Syracuse Catholic Priest Ordained in 2019 Arrested- Child Sex Crimes
(For Immediate Release September 6, 2023)
Last week, a Syracuse Catholic priest was arrested for child sex crimes. We are grateful that law enforcement has charged the clergyman. However, we are concerned that there may be other victims and we urge the Diocese to do outreach.
On August 31, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Reverend Nathan Brooks. The cleric is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a child on multiple occasions from 2019 to 2021 in the Town of Homer and the City of Cortland. He has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, forcible touching, and sexual abuse in the third degree. According to the Diocese, Brooks has been suspended from all priestly ministry at this time.
We feel it is also incumbent upon the Diocese of Syracuse to announce this arrest in every place that Fr. Brooks was assigned either as a cleric or a seminarian and to beg anyone who may have experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse to contact law enforcement.
Fr. Brooks was ordained in 2019. He worked at the Church of the Nativity at Saint Joseph in Lafayette, Immaculate Conception in Pompey, Saint Leo in Tully, and Saint Patrick Mission in Otisco. Recently, the Diocese reached a bankruptcy settlement agreement with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. At the time, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia said that the final settlement would include a commitment to strengthen safe environment protocols, "to further ensure the past does not repeat itself." Yet sadly, rules and regulations do not protect children, and there is no effective protocol to screen for potential offenders. Parishioners and the public need to be aware of these facts, and remain alert for signs that a child is being groomed or harmed.
Each month we read, on average, two news reports about the arrest of Catholic clergy or staffers for sexual abuse or misconduct. This disturbing news from New York shows us once again that the persistent claims from Church officials that the abuse scandal is a thing of the past are simply not true. It is very much a thing of the present.
We encourage anyone who might have relevant information to call the Cortland County Sheriff's Office, 607-758-5599, directly.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications ([email protected], 267-261-0578)Melanie Sakoda, Survivor Support Director ([email protected], 925-708-6175) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)