NY--Accused New York priest passes away
For immediate release: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
For more information, please contact SNAP Director David Clohessy of St. Louis, (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Accused New York priest passes away
He molested young seminarians & worked in Goshen
After his victims came forward, cleric was sent to Rome
He was subject of newspaper investigation on "runaway priests"
Victims blast Cardinal Dolan & religious order for “continuing secrecy”
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is disclosing that a New York Catholic priest who was accused of molesting children has passed away. Investigative reporters discovered Mataconis "in hiding" in Rome.
He is Fr. Richard Mataconis who worked in Goshen in the Archdiocese of New York, where two boys accused him of abuse. He also went by the name Philip Mataconis.
Mataconis’ death was mentioned in the January 23, 2014, newsletter of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the religious order to which he belonged.
In 2012, Mataconis was sued for allegedly molesting two boys at a Salesian center in Goshen, NY, in the Archdiocese of New York. The suits were dismissed because of a legal technicality. Soon after, Mataconis fled the country.
A 2004 investigation by the Dallas Morning News found that Fr. Mataconis was living in Rome, where he was guiding tours of the Catacombs of St. Callistus and "mingling with adults and children." http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2004_09_12_Dunklin_InThe.htm. SNAP believes he was intentionally sent there by Salesian officials who feared that there may be more Matagonis victims in the US with rights in civil or criminal courts.
Mataconis is one of numerous Salesian priests with accusations of sexual abuse who were moved to Rome. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spe/2004/runawaypriests/
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Salesian officials in Rome and New York to “aggressively seek out anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Mataconis' crimes.”
“Fr. Mataconis cannot be criminally charged, but we fear that other current and former Catholic officials have ignored or concealed his crimes,” said SNAP Outreach Director Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, “Victims can only be helped if others with knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing speak up."
"New York archdiocesan officials let Mataconis work in the area, so they have a duty to try and find and help his victims," said SNAP director David Clohessy of St. Louis. "Dolan shouldn't split hairs and evade responsibility. There may well be New York area parishioners whose lives and faith were shattered by this child molesting cleric."
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of abuse victims, handled the case of at least one victim of Mataconis.