FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2019
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has shared this letter with the faithful of the
Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord:
Today, the Associated Press has published a story accusing me of sexual abuse in the 1970s, while I was a priest at St. Nicholas Parish in Jersey City.
This was my statement to the AP reporter: “I am just learning about this allegation. In my nearly 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never engaged in unlawful or inappropriate behavior and I categorically deny this allegation. I am confident I will be fully vindicated.”
There will be a legal process now and I will vigorously defend myself against this false allegation. I am confident I will be fully exonerated.
Sexual abuse is a despicable crime and since arriving at the diocese in 2003, I have worked and will continue to work tirelessly to purge sexual abuse from our diocese in Brooklyn and Queens. The Diocese of Brooklyn has created safe environments through sexual abuse awareness training for all children and adults who work with them. We conduct ongoing background checks on all who work with children. We have created a Victim Assistance Ministry that provides independent counseling and therapy to victim-survivors and provides numerous supports to help them with the healing process. Our Mass of Hope and Healing continues to be celebrated yearly so that as a diocese we can pray together and stand in solidarity with victim-survivors and all those impacted by sexual abuse in our Church as they seek to heal.
The coming days may become challenging for us as a diocese as I work to defend myself from this false allegation. During this difficult time, I will pray for our diocese and ask for you to remember me in your prayers.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D.
A copy of the letter is attached.