DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN RESPONDS TO NEW YORK STATE  ATTORNEY GENERAL’S SUBPOENA AND INVESTIGATION 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESeptember 6, 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Carolyn Erstad
323-384-7098
cerstad@desalesmedia.org

Adriana Rodriguez
516-238-7565
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN RESPONDS TO NEW YORK STATE
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S SUBPOENA AND INVESTIGATION 

The Diocese of Brooklyn has received the subpoena sent by the New York State Attorney General and we are in the process of reviewing it. We have been collaborating closely with law enforcement for many years and stand ready to work with her office on this investigation.

In 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn handed over all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest or deacon, to the district attorneys in Brooklyn and Queens. Since that time, we have adopted a zero tolerance policy and have reported any and all allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement.

###

Message from Bishop DiMarzio: Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

It is with great sorrow that I address the horrific stories in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. It is shameful to think that some bishops and others in positions of authority would have failed to recognize the gravity of child abuse and not taken greater steps to stop it. I know this has been hurtful and confusing to the faithful. It is even more painful to the survivors of clergy abuse who are forced to relive their trauma when they hear additional accounts of evil perpetrated against more than a thousand innocent children. The wounds of betrayal continue to be reopened. I know that words alone cannot express the anger and pain that many are feeling. Only Jesus can bring about healing in the midst of such darkness and brokenness.

Many people have lost trust in the Catholic Church, and words are empty without action. Here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, we continue to urge anyone who is a victim of sexual abuse, or is aware of sexual abuse committed by a member of the clergy, a diocesan employee, or volunteer to report it. Allegations called into the diocesan reporting line at 1-888-634-4499 will be immediately turned over to law enforcement and callers will be met with compassion, support, and concern. We are committed to ensuring that children and the most vulnerable are protected, that victim-survivors are heard, and that protocols to immediately and directly report allegations to law enforcement are strictly followed. Our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) has allowed hundreds of victims to seek some sense of closure and compensation. The Church has come a long way over the past 15 years, but we must never become complacent. We must never stop working to understand and protect against the evil that has hurt and even destroyed so many within our Church. And we must remain committed to regaining the trust of the faithful.

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN TO SPONSOR MASS OF HOPE AND HEALING  WITH SURVIVORS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Carolyn Erstad
323-384-7098
cerstad@desalesmedia.org

Adriana Rodriguez
516-238-7565
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN TO SPONSOR MASS OF HOPE AND HEALING
WITH SURVIVORS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

On Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 PM, the Diocese of Brooklyn, in partnership with survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, will hold the fourth annual Mass of Hope and Healing. The Mass at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, 150-75 Goethals Avenue, Jamaica, Queens is offered for all those affected by sexual abuse. The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will be the main celebrant.

The Mass is organized by the diocesan Office of Victim Assistance Ministry along with survivors, who have come together to pray for the ongoing healing of sexual abuse survivors, for their families, the Church, and for the continued vigilance toward the protection of children and youth.

Survivors who help organize the annual Mass are sharing their stories in a video message, encouraging others who have suffered abuse to come forward and seek support. “The abuse victims have suffered, for many, also severed their relationship with the Church,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “Through God’s grace, we have begun to restore some of these relationships. The survivors have advised us of the need for healing Masses so I hope people will join me in praying for our survivors.”

Clergy, survivors, family members of survivors, and many others committed to the protection and safety of children will be in attendance. Healing Intervention Team members will also be present for anyone wishing to learn about the services provided by the Office of Victim Assistance Ministry.

Media interested in covering the Mass must contact Carolyn Erstad at 323-384-7098 or cerstad@desalesmedia.org. There will be specific guidelines for photography and filming.

New Evangelization Television (NET TV) will broadcast the Mass for Hope and Healing LIVE. The Mass will also be LIVE streamed on www.netny.tv.

###

Official Statement of the Diocese of Brooklyn

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that James Lara, aka Jaime Lara, who was ordained in 1973 and was in active ministry until his removal in 1992, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized by the Holy Father.  This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric.  This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is consistent with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Joseph P. Byrns, who was ordained in 1969 and was in active ministry until his removal in 2002, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that William E. Finger, who was ordained in 1962 and was in active ministry until his departure in 1980, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, which at the time was the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Stephen Placa, who was ordained in 1995 and was in active ministry until his departure in 2002, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Thomas O. Morrow, who was ordained in 1971 and was in active ministry until his departure in 1987, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Romano J. Ferraro, who was ordained in 1960 and was removed from active ministry in 1988, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Charles M. Mangini, who was ordained in 1968 and was in active ministry until his removal in 1993, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Christopher Lee Coleman, who was ordained in 1994 and was in active ministry until his removal in 2011, was dispensed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Robert McConnin, who was ordained in 1973 and was in active ministry until his removal in 2007, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Thomas Nohilly, who was ordained in 1981 and was in active ministry until his removal in 2002, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Barry E. Ryan, who was ordained in 1976 and was in active ministry until his removal in 1994, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Patrick Sexton, who was ordained in 1977 and was in active ministry until his removal in 1990, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

The Diocese of Brooklyn wishes to confirm that Daniel J. Sheehan, who was ordained in 1979 and was in active ministry until his departure in 1998, was dismissed from the clerical state, otherwise referred to as laicized, by the Holy Father. This action was communicated via an ecclesiastical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric. This confirmation is being made in keeping with clause #6 of the aforementioned decree, and is in accord with the policies and procedures of the Diocese of Brooklyn, put in place for the protection of minors.

_________________

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT RECONCILIATION AND COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR SURVIVORS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing a significant step in its ongoing response to the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) will allow survivors of sexual abuse by priests or deacons of the Diocese to seek financial compensation. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is implementing the voluntary program in Brooklyn and Queens to promote healing and to bring some element of closure.

“I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this compensation program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends,” Bishop DiMarzio said in a video statement announcing the IRCP. (Read Bishop DiMarzio’s written statement here)

How the Program Works
The Diocese of Brooklyn’s IRCP will be administered by renowned settlement administrators and compensation experts Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros. Modeled after a program launched last October by the Archdiocese of New York, Feinberg and Biros will have total independence in determining compensation for survivors, and the Diocese will abide by their decisions. To further ensure public confidence in the IRCP, the Independent Oversight Committee has been established. Retired NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Joseph P. Dunne, retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph G. Golia, and former president of the Queens Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association Dr. Barbara L. Ponieman have agreed to serve on this committee. Commissioner Dunne and Justice Golia have reviewed and approved the program’s protocol and will oversee its implementation and administration. The decisions made by Feinberg and Biros will not, however, be subject to appeal and cannot be overturned by the committee or the Diocese.

“We commend Bishop DiMarzio and the Brooklyn Diocese for their decision to implement the Brooklyn IRCP,” Feinberg said. “The Brooklyn Program continues the successful implementation of our work with the New York Archdiocese for which we have made payments to over 120 eligible individuals. We look forward to working with the Diocese and the Independent Oversight Committee.”

Policy on Reporting Abuse and Issues of Confidentiality
The Diocese of Brooklyn reports all claims of sexual abuse against a minor, irrespective of when the alleged abuse occurred, to the appropriate law enforcement agencies including the local district attorney.

Along with law enforcement authorities, the Diocese understands the importance of protecting the identity of victims of sexual abuse. To that end, the Diocese and the IRCP will respect the privacy of participants. However, participants themselves will not be bound by any type of confidentiality agreement and are free to discuss any and all aspects of their case and the compensation they may receive with anyone they wish.

Continued Victim Outreach
The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Office of Victim Assistance will continue all of its past efforts to support victims, such as paying the cost of therapy provided by independent professionals who are unaffiliated with the Church, offering various support groups, providing monthly prayer groups, and holding our annual Mass of Hope and Healing. Bishop DiMarzio will continue to listen to and be guided by the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Survivors Advisory Committee, whose members were victims of clergy abuse, in developing new ways to respond to the needs of victims.

Victim Response to the IRCP
Anthony Hughes, 41, came forward in 2006 to report being abused by a priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn in the 1980s. Hughes says at first the Church was unsupportive and he felt that he was not believed, but in recent years there has been a significant shift. “This Bishop [DiMarzio] is listening to survivors. People need to know that the Church is moving in the right direction.” Today, Hughes is a member of the Survivors Advisory Committee and speaks publicly about his story.

Funding the IRCP
The Diocese will take out a loan to pay for the cost of compensating survivors. Donations given by the faithful in support of parishes, schools, charitable works, ministries, apostolates, and the Generations of Faith fundraising campaign will not be used to fund the IRCP.

How to File a Claim
The Diocese has already begun reaching out to survivors who have previously reported abuse by a diocesan clergy member. These known survivors are invited to participate in Phase I of the IRCP. In the next few days, these individuals will be receiving further information by mail from Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros with details about the IRCP process and instructions for submitting a claim. (The deadline for filing a claim in Phase I of the IRCP is September 30, 2017.)

Those who may come forward with a previously unreported allegation of abuse will be eligible to participate in Phase II by first registering through the program’s website to receive information for Phase II when it becomes available.

To learn more about the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program and for information on how to file a claim, go to www.BrooklynDiocese-IRCP.com or call toll free 855-796-3463.

###

Independent Reconciliation And Compensation Program

For Spanish click here

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT RECONCILIATION AND COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR SURVIVORS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing a significant step in its ongoing response to the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) will allow survivors of sexual abuse by priests or deacons of the Diocese to seek financial compensation. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is implementing the voluntary program in Brooklyn and Queens to promote healing and to bring some element of closure.

Read more »

STATEMENT FROM BISHOP DIMARZIO ON THE IRCP

I am announcing a significant new step in the ongoing effort of the Diocese of Brooklyn to address the wounds of those sexually abused by members of the clergy. It is called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). It is one more way our diocese, which serves Brooklyn and Queens, can acknowledge the harm that was done by those who were priests or deacons and show our solidarity with survivors.  Our Program is modeled after the program recently launched by the Archdiocese of New York. Compensation decisions will be made by Kenneth R. Feinberg who administered numerous high-profile compensation programs, including the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the compensation fund for the victims of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, served as a mediator for sexual abuse cases for Penn State University and administered many other corporate and charitable independent compensation programs. Mr. Feinberg will have total independence in his decisions.

Throughout my time as a diocesan bishop, first in Camden and then in Brooklyn and Queens, I have met with more than 50 survivors.  It is difficult to hear about the pain caused by the criminal behavior of members of the clergy.  I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends. We hope it will help with the healing process and bring survivors some element of healing.

Read more »

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN TO SPONSOR BILINGUAL MASS OF HOPE AND HEALING WITH SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

On Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 PM, the Diocese of Brooklyn, in partnership with survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, will hold the third annual Mass of Hope and Healing. The bilingual Mass at St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd Street, Brooklyn is offered for all those affected by sexual abuse. The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will be the main celebrant.

Read more »

‘The Healing From Abuse Continues’ by Bishop DiMarzio

April 13, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last year, the diocese offered its first Mass of Hope and Healing requested by survivors of sexual abuse. There was a very positive reaction on behalf of survivors, lay faithful, and clergy. Many stated how they experienced it as a grace-filled evening. This year, the second Mass of Hope and Healing will take place on Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m., at Our Lady Queens of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills.

Also last year, a group of survivors came together for the first time, working with our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Ms. Jasmine Salazar, who is a licensed social worker, to explore and give voice on what survivors felt is needed for healing. This also provided an opportunity for these survivors to meet each other, and share in their experience. The group has since become the Diocesan Survivors Advisory Committee, and has become a guiding voice in our outreach to those impacted by sexual abuse committed by clergy and others.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

‘Healing the Wounds of Sexual Abuse’ by Bishop DiMarzio

March 16, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This week we celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, protector of the Child Jesus and model for the Church in the protection of children. The sexual abuse crisis in the Church was highlighted, especially, at this year’s Academy Awards with the Oscar for Best Picture going to the movie “Spotlight.” The movie chronicled the investigative journalism work of the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” unit which identified the depth of the sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston and precipitated a review of all dioceses.

In 2002, the Bishops of the United States met in Dallas, Texas and signed what is now known as the Dallas Charter. This Charter has guided the Church in the last almost 15 years to redouble its efforts in creating a safe environment for children within the Church. The issue of sexual abuse by clergy and other employees of the Church is a page in our history that we must not forget, since it causes us to see the harm and pain which has been caused as well as drives us to make sure that such a situation will never happen in the future.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.