Vatican Orders Cardinal Dolan To Probe Allegation Of Sex Abuse By Brooklyn Bishop

Steve Burns
January 19, 2020 - 4:40 pm
Nicholas DiMarzio

Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is now the subject of an abuse investigation ordered by the Vatican.

The Archdiocese of New York said the order came down from the Vatican about two weeks ago, kicking off an investigation into DiMarzio.

An archdiocese spokesman told WCBS 880 that Cardinal Dolan’s probe will make use of outside investigators, as is their practice.

DiMarzio heads the Diocese of Brooklyn and was previously assigned by Pope Francis to investigate sex abuse in the church.

DiMarzio is facing an accusation of abuse from his time at St. Nicholas Church and School in Jersey City.

Back in November, Mark Matzek, now in his mid-50s, accused DiMarzio of molesting him when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Nicholas.

A spokeswoman from the Brooklyn Diocese said DiMarzio is a leader in the fight against sexual abuse in the church and will be vindicated.

“Bishop DiMarzio looks forward to the investigation of the allegation made against him and having his good name cleared and restored,” the spokeswoman said.

Robert Hoatson, a former priest, victim advocate and founder of Road to Recover, said DiMarzio should step aside during the investigation.

“The protocol that’s in place for priests should hold for Bishop DiMarzio as well,” Hoatson said.

The diocese said DiMarzio’s status has not changed.

A statement from Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling:

“As directed by Vos Estis, Cardinal Dolan earlier notified the Holy See of the allegation that was raised concerning Bishop DiMarzio from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark.  On January 7, 2020, the Cardinal received instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he is to begin an investigation.  As is our practice, the Cardinal will rely on outside professional forensic investigators to assist him in this matter. The archdiocese will have no further comment on the matter while the investigation is undertaken.”

A statement from Brooklyn Diocese spokeswoman Adriana Rodriguez, in part:

“Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has categorically denied the allegation against him. He will vigorously defend himself against this false claim and is confident the truth will prevail. As the Church investigation is a Vos estis lux mundi probe, it does not require that Bishop DiMarzio step aside during the preliminary investigation. As such, his status has not changed. Since the allegation was announced two months ago, there has been a tremendous outpouring of support for Bishop DiMarzio, from here in the Diocese of Brooklyn and from the people he has served throughout his 50-year ministry, including parishioners from his time as parochial vicar at St. Nicholas Church in Jersey City.”