Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio is cleared of charges by the Vatican, SNAP responds.
In a press release issued September 1, 2021, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced the conclusion of an investigation into sexual abuse allegations made against him. A portion of the statement from DiMarzio’s attorney states, “ As the language of the decision stated, the allegations against Bishop DiMarzio have been found to have no semblance of truth.” Notably, Bishop DiMarzio did not offer one prayer for a single victim in his press release. This statement was clearly the preservation of his reputation in the plague-filled diocese.
A canonical investigation into Bishop DiMarzio was carried about by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and was sent to Rome for further analysis and a decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given Bishop DiMarzio’s high rank in the Catholic Church – and especially given the fact that he had been tapped by Vatican leaders to investigate other prelates accused of wrongdoing – we believe true transparency and accountability will need to come from secular officials in New York and New Jersey, not Rome. We hope these allegations are being investigated by NY A.G. Letitia James and that her investigation into the allegations will mean much more to survivors and advocates than an internal investigation done by church officials themselves. Who invites the arsonist to investigate a fire?
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was accused of abuse in a lawsuit filed in November of 2020, alleging that he had abused a boy while he was a priest in Jersey City. That accusation came after Bishop DiMarzio had been tapped by Vatican officials to lead an investigation into Bishop Richard Malone, the former head of the Diocese of Buffalo who resigned in disgrace. A second lawsuit in March 2021 was filed alleging that the prominent Brooklyn bishop abused a child while working as a priest in New Jersey.
It really comes as no surprise to us that DiMarzio was cleared, church officials, especially high-ranking prelates like Cardinal Dolan, have a code of honor. This precedence was clearly demonstrated in the case against former Cardinal McCarrick of whom Vatican officials allowed decades of abuse to occur.
We stand with both victims who came forward in the claims against Bishop DiMarzio and encourage them to join our network for support.
(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)