A Roman Catholic Church bishop in Brooklyn, New York has been under investigation for allegations of sexual abuse. A second man has come forward with an allegation of abuse from the 1970s, where the priest, at the time in the 70s, was a parish priest in New Jersey.
Samier Tadros claims bishop Nicholas DiMarzio “repeatedly sexually abused” Tadros when he was 6-years-old, approximately. A March 9 letter from the lawyer for Tadros claimed this when sent to the attorney representative of the Archbishop of Newark.
The Associated Press reported, “DiMarzio has previously denied the accusations made by the first accuser. In a statement to The Associated Press, he also denied the accusation leveled by Tadros. ‘There is absolutely no truth to this allegation,’ he said. ‘This is clearly another attempt to destroy my name and discredit what I have accomplished in my service to God and His people.’
The attorney for DiMarzio is Joseph Hayden. Hayden, in an email, stated that they have uncovered “conclusive evidence” of the innocence of DiMarzio. However, The Associated Press was not permitted to see the evidence declared by Hayden, which leaves this as a strong claim without definite confirmation by independent journalists.
Pope Francis set forth new procedural guidelines in dealing with some cases under church law since last June, which has brought this particular case to the fore of the conversation around child sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Church.
This is a powerful context for Americans. Because Roman Catholicism is the religion of Mel Gibson, Alexis Bledel, George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Mickey Rourke, Michael Moore, Bono, Alfred Hitchcock, Mark Wahlberg, Elijah Wood, Ennio Morricone, Abel Ferrara, Jessica Rey, Andy Warhol, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Adolphe Menjou, and so many others in Hollywood and other areas of prominence and influence in the United States of America.
“The procedures — known in Latin as Vos Estis Lux Mundi, or You are the Light of the World — were issued in an apostolic letter that addresses how the church will handle claims against bishops and other ranking church officials accused of abuse or covering it up,” The Associated Press stated, “The rules direct archbishops to lead the investigation of an accused bishop in his jurisdiction. In this case the archbishop of New York is Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”
One of the attorneys for the accusers of DiMarzio, Mitchell Garabedian, stated that Tadros decided to step forward and make his case after another now-57-year-old man named Mark Matzek came forward. Matzek made the same claim of sexual abuse as a youngster in the middle of the 1970s.
As of June 4, DiMarzio has denied the accusations against him. Now, the two men who are making the accusations, Matzek and Tadros, live in separate states and have never met, which can strengthen the claims against the bishop because of the independence of the evidence and the claims. Tadros is requesting $20 million in compensation with DiMarzio, according to Hayden, being firm of never accepting a settlement of the claims.
“Dolan has retained New York attorney John O’Donnell and the law firm of Herbert Smith Freehills to conduct the investigation. The firm in turn has hired a risk management company founded by former FBI director Louis Freeh to assist in the inquiry. Freeh was named in 2011 to lead an investigation into Pennsylvania State University and its handling of sex abuse claims against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, which led to a report critical of university officials,” The Associated Press reported.
With the new procedures of the Vatican, the investigation of Dolan will be submitted for review of the evidence and then there will be a recommendation to the current leader, Pope Francis. Dolan will not conduct the investigation himself, but will submit the investigation plus a vote in accordance with the new Vatican procedures. No conflicts of interest and impartial acting are required for the archbishop.
Dolan said, “Bishop DiMarzio, I mean, I love the guy. He’s a good friend… He’s never had an accusation against him in his whole life. But in November, somebody made an accusation from way, way, way, way, way, way back, 48 years or so ago. And as much as Bishop DiMarzio said, ‘This is preposterous, this is ridiculous, this is unjust,’ darn it, we have to take it seriously.”
With files from The Associated Press.