Twice Accused NYC Priest Allowed to Continue Working in Southern California

A clergyman who was accused at least twice of abuse in New York City not only remained on the job there, he also continued working in southern California.

On December 20th, the New York Times disclosed that two settlements had been paid by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program of the Archdiocese of New York on claims against Fr. Donald Timone . Both settlements were for six figures. One of the two men committed suicide in 2015.

However, while the settlements were paid out in 2017, church supervisors kept quiet and let Fr. Timone keep working around unsuspecting families and vulnerable kids in two states until he was outed by the Times. This violates common sense, common decency, church policy and hundreds of pledges by prelates to remove "credibly accused" abusers.

In California, Fr. Timone worked at the Church of the Nativity in Rancho Santa Fe and taught at  John Paul the Great Catholic University, in Escondido. However, as far as SNAP knows, there has been no public coverage of this deplorable situation in California.

John Paul the Greater University in Escondido, where Fr. Timmons taught, issued a statement on December 20th saying that since the priest was now suspended from ministry, he would no longer have a job there. That’s it.

We hope anyone who may have suffered, seen or suspected crimes by Fr.Timone, or any others associated with the Diocese of San Diego, will call the police immediately. Clergy sex crimes can also reported to the attorney general's office. In addition, victims, witnesses and whistle blowers can reach out to SNAP, or groups like ours, for help and support as they come forward.

We also urge Robert W. McElroy to remind both his flock and diocesan employees that all sex crimes should be reported to the police or to the attorney general. That it is, after all, is the right thing to do to make sure that those who abuse children are kept away from the innocent. 

Finally, we applaud the courage of Fr. Timone’s survivors in speaking up. We hope their bravery will prod other victims to come forward as well.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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