Diocese of Brooklyn Sheltered Priest Accused of Abuse in Colombia

For immediate release, October 16 2018

For almost a year, Brooklyn Catholic officials refused to tell their flock about a credibly accused predator priest.

According to the Gothamist, the Diocese of Brooklyn “bypassed its own safety protocols” to hire Fr. Roberto Cadavid in 2012. Fr. Cadavid worked in Brooklyn from 2012 through 2017 until he abruptly left the country to return to his native Colombia. But the Diocese waited ten months after Fr. Cadavid’s departure to tell the truth about his absence to their parishioners: the Diocese of Medellin had come forward in June, 2017 to share “Cadavid’s long history of alleged abuse.”

This reckless behavior cannot continue. We call on police and prosecutors to investigate this secrecy, on Brooklyn's bishop to explain it and on Brooklyn parishioners to protest it.

Brooklyn church officials claim that their overseas colleagues lied to them about Fr. Cadavid. If so, they should be hollering from the rooftops and insisting that Vatican officials discipline those who allegedly deceived them. Let us assume Brooklyn officials are right. This would mean that Catholic officials cannot even be honest with one another about accused predator priests. If that is true (and plenty of evidence in other cases shows this to be true), what are the odds that Catholic officials will be honest with police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public?

This is yet another example of why we call for independent investigations by law enforcement, backed by subpoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath. Institutions cannot police themselves and cannot be trusted to adjudicate crimes that occur under their roof. We know that New York has already begun a statewide investigation into their dioceses and hope that this information is being brought to their attention.

We urge anyone, in Brooklyn or elsewhere, who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse in New York to make a report to law enforcement and to share their information with New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood by calling the New York state hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or by using their online form.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 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)

Showing 1 comment

  • Loyolaalum Snap
    commented 2018-10-16 20:00:36 -0500
    On the other hand Fr. Thomas Smolich, once the top Jesuit in the USA, said that the rules were so strict in nearby Manhattan way back in 2002 that a Jesuit priest, who reported himself as a victim of sex abuse from within the Jesuit Order, could supposedly not accept a job offer from a parish in Manhattan.

    Fr. Smolich said the reason to not accept the job offer was that the victimized Jesuit had once, in 35-years as a Jesuit, raised his fist to another Jesuit. According to Fr. Smolich this would violate the strict rules in Manhattan.

    Fr. Ray Nobelitti, M.M., pastor of Transfiguration Parish for Chinese in lower Manhattan offered the Jesuit priest under Fr. Smolich a job in 2002. Fr. Nobelitti knew Cantonese and was looking for a Mandarin-speaking priest, like the priest who reported to Fr. Smolich. Fr. Smolich said the strict rules in Manhattan precluded the Jesuit priest from accepting a job offer from Fr. Nobelitti due to one fist raising in 35-years.

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