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Bishop DiMarzio cleared from sexual abuse allegations

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn has been exonerated of sexual abuse allegations.

By Vatican News staff writer

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced on 1 September that it found the allegations against Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to “not to have the semblance of truth” following an independent investigation that lasted over a year.

A statement released by the Archdiocese of New York said the CDF has informed Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, that it has found the allegations of sexual abuse of minors brought twenty-one months ago against Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, to be baseless.

“Given this finding, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will not authorize any further canonical process to address the accusations,” the statement said.

Two civil lawsuits have been filed against Bishop DiMarzio alleging that, as a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark a half-century ago, he had committed acts of sexual abuse against minors, which Bishop DiMarzio has steadfastly denied.

Investigation

The Holy See authorized Cardinal Dolan, as the Metropolitan Archbishop of New York, to conduct an investigation into the allegations in accord with Vos estis lux mundi, the norms issued by Pope Francis in 2019 to address allegations of abuse brought against bishops.

Cardinal Dolan hired the law firm of Herbert Smith Freehills which, in turn, retained the Freeh Group, headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, to conduct an thorough, independent, investigation. The results of the investigation were submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its review and determination.

Bishop DiMarzio's statement

In a personal statement released following the announcement, Bishop DiMarzio said: “I repeat what I have said from the beginning. There is no truth to these allegations. Throughout my more than 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never abused anyone.” 

He went on to say that he fully cooperated with the inquiry “knowing that he did nothing wrong,” and said he remains focused on leading the Diocese of Brooklyn as it emerges from the darkness of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I ask for your prayers as I continue to fight against the lawsuits stemming from these two allegations, and as I look forward to clearing my name in the New Jersey state courts,” he concluded.

02 September 2021, 17:43