SURVEILLANCE VIDEO RELEASED OF STATUE BEING STOLEN FROM BROOKLYN CHURCH; NYPD HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE INVESTIGATING

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2019

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

 

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO RELEASED OF STATUE BEING STOLEN FROM BROOKLYN CHURCH;
NYPD HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE INVESTIGATING

The Diocese of Brooklyn is responding to an act of vandalism which took place last week at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, located at 249 9th Street in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

At approximately 12 p.m. noon on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt entered the Church, removed the statue of Our Lady of Cisne and threw it in the trash across the street, causing damage to the statue. A member of the Parish staff later noticed and retrieved the statue, at which time the New York City Police Department was notified.

Our Lady of Cisne is the patroness of the Loja province of Ecuador. This is the second such incident this month at St. Thomas Aquinas and the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is leading the investigation.

“The Diocese of Brooklyn strongly condemns this incident of religious hatred and is fully cooperating with the New York City Police Department’s investigation. This act of vandalism at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Park Slope has not deterred, but only strengthened, the resolve and faith of the parishioners,” said Father Willy Kingsley Ndi, Parish Administrator.

The NYPD has released this surveillance video of the vandal removing the statue:
https://vimeo.com/319488016

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Diocese of Brooklyn Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse

The Diocese of Brooklyn is releasing its list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. By credible, diocesan officials believe that the allegation(s) may be true. The comprehensive list spans the 166-year history of the diocese. This list, which can be found here, contains names of clergy who have been convicted, who have admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor or have had allegations determined credible by the Independent Diocesan Review Board.

The list is categorized into two sections:

  • Clergy Members of the Diocese of Brooklyn with Credible Allegations (67)
  • Diocese of Brooklyn Clergy who were Deceased/or Resigned prior to a finding of credibility (41)

The fact that this list contains the names of clergy who are deceased differentiates it from other dioceses.

“We know this list will generate many emotions for victims who have suffered terribly. For their suffering, I am truly sorry,” said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “I have met with many victims who have told me that more than anything, they want an acknowledgment of what was done to them. This list gives that recognition and I hope it will add another layer of healing for them on their journey toward wholeness.”

The list shows the number of incidents of clergy sexual abuse peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, but the reports largely came in post-2002 after the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was enacted and peaked again in 2017 (Graph 1) when the diocese started the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). This program is administered independently by Kenneth Feinberg, whose firm handled the 9-11 Compensation Fund. The IRCP is another possible mechanism for healing that may help bring closure to victims-survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Other key points about the list are illustrated in graphs seen below:

  • The 108 names represent less than five percent (5%) of clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn (Graph 2)
  • About two-thirds of accused priests are deceased (Graph 3)
  • The vast majority of cases involved priests who were ordained between 1930-1979 (Graph 4)

Bishop DiMarzio committed to releasing the list at regional meetings (video below) he held with the lay faithful late last year where he answered parishioners’ questions about the sex abuse crisis. In those meetings, the diocese outlined the numerous programs mandated by the charter, including, but not limited to, a zero tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry. Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens.

The charter also mandates sexual abuse awareness training for children and adults; specifically all clergy members, teachers, parish and academy/school employees, catechists and volunteers who work directly with children. Employees and volunteers also must agree to initial and ongoing criminal background checks and must sign a code of conduct.

To help victims, the Office of Victim Assistance provides referrals for therapy, support groups for survivors and a yearly Healing Mass to pray for all who have been impacted by sexual abuse.

In 2004, Bishop DiMarzio established an Independent Reporting Line for anyone to report allegations of abuse. That phone number is 1-888-634-4499. All reports generated are immediately reported to the Brooklyn or Queens District Attorney.

Evidence to date shows that the Charter has worked. Since 2002, there have been two credible cases involving active diocesan clergy.

“While even one is too many, this shows that we are on the right path to ensuring these horrendous acts of abuse are never repeated,” Bishop DiMarzio said.

The “List of Diocesan Clergy for whom the Diocese received allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor” can be found here.

Video statement by Bishop DiMarzio (English):
https://vimeo.com/317481719

Video statement by Bishop DiMarzio (Spanish):
https://vimeo.com/317482137

Video of Bishop DiMarzio’s Regional Meetings with the Lay Faithful (English):
https://vimeo.com/315322688

Video of Bishop DiMarzio’s Regional Meetings with the Lay Faithful (Spanish):
https://vimeo.com/315895204

Graph 1

Graph 2

Graph 3

Graph 4

THREE CATHOLIC ACADEMIES WILL CLOSE AT THE END OF THE 2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR; TWO CATHOLIC ACADEMIES WILL MERGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
646-241-9805
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

                  THREE CATHOLIC ACADEMIES WILL CLOSE AT THE END OF THE 2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR;
TWO CATHOLIC ACADEMIES WILL MERGE

The Board of Members and Board of Directors of Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Academy and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Academy, both in Brooklyn, and St. Camillus Catholic Academy in Queens have voted to close the schools at the end of this school year. The difficult decision was made due to declining enrollment and the severe budget deficits that have resulted.

Two Catholic academies in Bushwick, Brooklyn will merge, effective for the 2019-2020 school year. They are St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy and St. Brigid Catholic Academy. The new school, to be located at St. Brigid’s, will be called St Brigid-St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy.

The students at all the affected schools will be accommodated at nearby Catholic academies. They will automatically receive a $500 tuition assistance grant if they attend an academy or parish school within the Diocese of Brooklyn, as long as they have met all of their financial obligations. That one-time grant is made possible by the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust.

“It’s an emotional time for the diocese when schools have to close because it is affecting the lives of students, parents, and faculty. The decisions come after intense analysis of enrollment trends and the financial picture of each academy,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools.

  • At Mary Queen of Heaven in Mill Basin, enrollment is down almost 60 percent from five years ago. The budget for this school year shows a nearly $250,000 deficit and the Academy’s fund balance is more than $300,000 in the red.
  • The financial situation is similar at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dyker Heights, where the current school year deficit is more than $200,000. Enrollment is down 35% in the last five years.
  • At St. Camillus in Rockaway, the current school year budget is running a deficit of more than $20,000. And with deficits of more than $100,000 the two previous years, the academy has limited funds to meet expenses. Enrollment here is down almost 25% from five years ago.
  • The building repairs at St. Frances Cabrini have continued to increase and last year, the Board of Directors spent over $200,000 in unexpected repairs. That along with declining enrollment at both schools is the reason for the merger.

“I respect the boards’ decisions on these matters,” said Chadzutko. “When resources are constrained, it affects all aspects of the learning environment, which eventually impacts students and their needs. Our children are our first priority.”

Information Night meetings will begin next week at the academies scheduled to close. Administrators and personnel from neighboring Catholic academies will be on hand to present their programs and answer any questions parents may have.

“It is the goal of the office to assist all parents in placing their children in their neighboring school if they so choose as well as working with faculty and staff who have dedicated their lives to Catholic education,” said Chadzutko. “It is our hope that the changing demographics of Brooklyn and Queens stabilizes so that enrollment in Catholic academies throughout the diocese can increase in the future,” he said.

The merged St Brigid-St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy will be designated an Embassy School. As a result, it will receive additional funding from the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust. The merged academy will also receive technology updates to the infrastructure through DeSales Media Group, the communications, and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

For more information on the school closures, you can contact Adriana Rodriguez at (646) 241-9805 or at arodriguez@desalesmedia.org.

PASSING OF REVEREND MONSIGNOR VINCENT A. KEANE

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend
Monsignor Vincent A. Keane, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Keane was born
on September 10, 1932, in Queens, New York, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 31, 1958, and
died Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at the Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston.

Monsignor Keane served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Saint Francis de Sales
(Belle Harbor), and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (Bayside), Associate Pastor of SS. Joachim
and Anne (Queens Village) as well as Parochial Vicar of Saint Pascal Baylon (St. Albans). He also
served as Principal of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary (Elmhurst), Spiritual Director of the Cathedral
Seminary Residence (Douglaston), Diocesan Director of the Apostleship of Prayer-Sacred Heart
Devotion, Faculty of Cathedral College, Temporary Executive Director of the Immaculate Conception
Pastoral Center and Director of the House of Formation.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Friday, February 8, 2019
2:00 PM – 7:30 PM

VIGIL:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Friday, February 8, 2019
7:30 PM

FUNERAL:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Saturday, February 9, 2019
10:30 AM

BURIAL:

Saint John Cemetery
Middle Village, New York

Monsignor Keane was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. All priests are invited to
concelebrate the Liturgy. Please bring your diocesan vestments.
If you wish to send condolences, please mail to The Family of Rev. Msgr. Vincent A. Keane, c/o the
Bishop Mugavero Residence, 7200 Douglaston Parkway, Douglaston, New York 11362.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in
the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia