Findings of investigation into sex abuse crisis in NY archdiocese released

Kimberly Dole
September 30, 2019 - 10:32 am

Juliet Papa/ 1010 WINS


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Archbishop of New York Cardinal Dolan addressed the findings of an independent investigation into the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church on Monday.

Former federal judge and prosecutor Barbara Jones who was asked to lead the investigation which began a year ago, joined Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan to issue her findings and recommendations to the Archdiocese of New York’s response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

"Overall, I have found that the Archdiocese has complied with the Charter in all material respects. It has faithfully followed its policies and procedures and responded appropriately to abuse complaints, and is committed to supporting victims-survivors of abuse," Jones said.

She found that every claim was investigated and that no priest with a substantiated claim remained in the ministry.

"The Archdiocese follows strict protocols any time that it receives an allegation that a cleric has sexually abused a minor. The District Attorney for the appropriate county is promptly notified of the allegation. When an allegation is made against a cleric in ministry, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought, the Archdiocese initiates an independent investigation of the allegation. The results of that investigation are presented to a Lay Review Board, which decides whether the allegation is substantiated. If the allegation is substantiated, the Board recommends to the Cardinal that the cleric be permanently removed from ministry. Cardinal Dolan accepts the Board's recommendation and has never returned a cleric to ministry against whom there has been a substantiated complaint," Jones said.

Jones, who was given access to records, personnel, and the cardinal personally found that some areas still needed improvement.

Some of her recommendations include that the Archdiocese hire a person whose sole responsibility is to oversee its response to sexual abuse complaints.

Safe Environment training, is currently required once for anyone working with children and Jones recommends an additional annual training, particularly in Archdiocesan schools.

Jones also recommended that certain best practices be used in all independent investigations into sexual abuse allegations. These include enhanced investigative techniques to ensure the thoroughness of the process.

Cardinal Dolan said he was stung deeply when told "we're having trouble trusting you bishops.", but hopes that this investigation would help boost confidence in the Catholic Church and Archdiocese of New York.

Jones was also asked to assist in developing new protocols for dealing with allegations of abuse of position or power with adults.

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