Cardinal Timothy Dolan

David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS/Sipa USA

Cardinal Dolan Hires Former Federal Judge To Review Church Sex Abuse Policies

September 20, 2018 - 4:47 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has hired a former federal judge to review its procedures and protocols for handling allegations of sexual abuse.

Calling it a summer of hell for Catholics and saying bewildered, frustrated, and angry members of the church are beginning to lose trust in the bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has appointed Barbara Jones special counsel and independent reviewer.

"Here is what I've asked her to do -- an exhaustive study of our policies, procedures and protocols on how we deal with any accusation that comes to us about an alleged abuse of a young person by a priest, deacon or a bishop. I promised her complete access to our records, personnel and to me personally," Dolan said. 

"The cardinal has asked me to be rigorous in my examination and to call out deficiencies as I see them. He has assured me that he will take appropriate action as expeditiously as possible based upon my recommendations," Jones said.
Dolan said he was ordering the review because Catholics in New York have demanded "accountability, transparency'' and "action'' from church leadership.

"I want you to hold me feet to the fire if you feel that I'm not following through on the recommendations that you make," Dolan told Jones.
The step comes after New York's attorney general announced that she was doing a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse allegations across the state.
Two years ago, the archdiocese announced a compensation fund for victims of clergy sex abuse willing to forego lawsuits. It has paid out about $60 million so far.
The Manhattan-based archdiocese is the nation's second biggest after Los Angeles.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)