Wednesday 17 April 2024

NY Attorney General: Brooklyn diocese mishandled abuse allegations; agreement announced

The New York State Attorney General has announced that the Diocese of Brooklyn, led by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio from 2003 to 2021, “failed to consistently comply with its own policies and procedures for responding to sexual abuse.” 

These policies were implemented shortly after the US bishops issued their Dallas charter in 2002.

The diocese “applied inconsistent standards to evaluate the credibility of an abuse allegation, delayed investigations, and failed to adequately monitor priests who were accused of sexual abuse,” Attorney General Letitia James said on April 16.

Under an agreement reached with the attorney general, the diocese has agreed to install “an independent, secular monitor who will oversee the Diocese’s compliance with enhanced policies and procedures and issue an annual report on the Diocese’s handling of sexual abuse cases.”

The diocese has agreed to accelerated timelines for addressing abuse allegations and to establishing new leadership positions, including a “Clergy Monitor, with previous law enforcement or counseling experience addressing and preventing sexual abuse, [who] will regularly monitor credibly accused priests and other clergy, as well as develop individualized prevention plans for each.”