NY--Archdiocese says abuse in the past, yet refuses to open secret files

For immediate release Thursday, December 14, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell, [email protected]

The New York Archdiocese has known about the extent of child sex abuse in its boundaries for decades. It’s a shame that it’s taken until now for church officials to finally reach out to a small portion of victims who have suffered childhood sexual assault by members of the clergy. 


Any step that helps victims on the path to healing should be applauded. We hope that the Archbishop Dolan will expand the program in 2018 to help those abused in the New York Archdiocese by religious order priests, nuns, brothers and lay employees. These groups also worked with NY children under the supervision of the Archbishop.

In a statement released yesterday the archdiocese claims “Fortunately, for the Catholic Church, such horrors are now mostly confined to the past.”  We cannot know if this is true, because Cardinal Dolan will not release evidence of abuse contained in his secret sex abuse and cover-up files. Those files can only be accessed through the tried-and-true civil justice system and by changing the statutes of limitations of child sex abuse in Albany.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested in all institutional settings, including churches, schools, clubs, and homes. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact – Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434[email protected]),  Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003[email protected]), Melanie Sakoda, (925-708-6175[email protected])

Showing 1 comment

  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-12-15 11:50:10 -0600
    The New York archdiocese did a good thing by compensating victims for whom the SOL has expired. But I found two official ‘Church Statements’ completely unacceptable:
    1. BS Statement
      “At a time when nearly every institution that involves minors has had to face allegations of abuse, the Church is now a model in how to respond to this horror,” the Archdiocese of New York said Dec. 7.
    2. “Fortunately, for the Catholic Church, such horrors are now mostly confined to the past,” it continues.
      I pray that the Roman Catholic Church never becomes the model of how an institution should respond to sexual abuse.
      The archdiocese will never open its secret files because that is not allowed by Church Law.
      Yes, boys and girls the same church laws requiring secrecy punishable by excommunication are still in place. Roman Catholic Church law says that leaders and clergymen should keep sexual abuse secret or else they will get booted out of the church. There are still secrecy church laws in place that require bishops to cover up for accused priests. The list could go on and on. The same laws, processes and penalties that made this priest sex abuse scandal possible are still in place and have not been changed one bit. This is a deep dark secret that Church officials don’t want the public to know. The abuse remains hidden in secret files and the church still deals with the sexual abuse of children by priests in secret.
      For the sake of justice and to prevent future recurrences Church Law and Processes must be changed. For example: how about a church law excommunicating priests who molest children and excommunicating bishops who coverup or fail to turn in accused priest to law enforcement?

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant