Agreement between the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the New York Attorney General reached; SNAP reacts

For immediate release: April 17, 2024

An independent monitor will oversee the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn’s handling of sexual abuse accusations under a settlement reached with the New York Attorney General. Although we hope that this solution will help to hold Church officials accountable, we worry that a deal like this may sound good on paper, but end up ineffective in reality.

The Attorney General’s office began investigating eight of New York’s Catholic dioceses in September, 2018. Today, AG Letitia James announced an agreement with Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan for independent oversight of abuse accusations in the Diocese.

Interventions by secular officials can provide a welcome change to “business as usual.” However, it is important to remember that the Catholic hierarchy has enabled, denied, ignored, and concealed heinous crimes against children for decades. Also, the Brooklyn Diocese, like all Catholic dioceses, is run by a man who truly answers only to the Pope. Church hierarchs are almost never defrocked, demoted, or even disciplined, no matter how poorly they handle abuse and cover-ups. Sadly, no agreement between an Attorney General and a Church official will ever change this unhealthy dynamic. 

Accordingly, we will hope for the best, but we will need to be shown that this arrangement truly brings change to the way a centuries old institution handles the issue of child sexual abuse by clergy, religious brothers and sisters, employees, and volunteers.

CONTACT: Mary McKenna, SNAP New York ([email protected], 516-781-2192), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Director ([email protected], 925-708-6175)Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Interim Executive Director ([email protected], 814- 341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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