FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2019
STATEMENT BY BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO AS
NEW YORK’S CHILD VICTIMS ACT TAKES EFFECT
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, today has issued the following statement on the first day of the one-year lookback window for claims of child sexual abuse following the passage of the New York State Child Victim’s Act this past session:
“Today, we stand with victims who were sexually abused as children. We have reached this point because too many victims all across society have sadly carried this heavy cross for far too long. Sexual abuse is a heinous crime, and victim-survivors now have a new avenue to seek redress through the Child Victims Act.
For anyone abused by a priest, employee or volunteer — I am sorry that a member of our church who you trusted became the source of pain and anguish. You should know the Diocese of Brooklyn has instituted the most aggressive policies to prevent any future abuse and to protect children.
We have also worked to put survivors first through many programs. Our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program has settled with nearly 500 victims. It is our hope and intention to continue the IRCP. Our various support groups and our yearly Mass of Hope and Healing highlight our commitment. I have also personally met with victim-survivors to hear their heart-wrenching stories.
The Diocese of Brooklyn will never stop fighting sexual abuse. We will never stop supporting those who need healing and will forever work to restore the faith of those we have failed,” said DiMarzio.
The link to a video recording of the above statement by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is below.
To date, the Diocese of Brooklyn has worked with nearly 500 victims and has paid over $90 million in settlements. Earlier this year, the Diocese of Brooklyn published a list of credibly accused clergy who have served the Diocese throughout its 166-year history.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has put victim-survivors first through the resources offered by the Victim Assistance Ministry. The Diocese provides independent licensed therapists and support groups to help victim-survivors through the healing process. The Bishop also celebrates a yearly Mass of Hope and Healing bringing the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens together to pray for victim-survivors of clergy sex abuse.
Throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn, significant programs have been instituted to prevent future abuse and to protect children. They include a Zero Tolerance policy which states that any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry.
The Diocese also conducts initial and ongoing background checks of all employees and volunteers and provides age-appropriate sexual abuse awareness training for children and adults.
Over 82,000 adults have been trained in sexual abuse awareness including all clergy, teachers, parish and academy/school employees, catechists and volunteers who work directly with children. Each year, over 60,000 children are instructed in the Child Lures Prevention Program.
A video explanation of the role of the Diocesan Review Board has been published on our website today. In it, Joseph Esposito, Chairperson of the Diocesan Review Board and retired NYPD Chief of Department, explains how the board handles allegations of sexual abuse against a cleric. The link to the video is below.
For more information about the ongoing efforts in the Diocese of Brooklyn, visit https://dioceseofbrooklyn.org/
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Video Statement:
Diocesan Review Board Explainer Video: