NY Attorney General Letitia James, Diocese of Brooklyn reach settlement on clergy sex abuse reforms

John Annese, New York Daily News on

Published in Religious News

NEW YORK — The Diocese of Brooklyn and state Attorney General Letitia James reached a settlement Tuesday on a host of reforms to address accusations of years of mismanaging allegations into priests who were accused of sexual abuse.

Those reforms include the installation of a secular monitor to oversee how the diocese will handle allegations of clergy sexual abuse cases going forward. It also requires greater transparency on the part of the diocese.

James announced the settlement Tuesday.

“The Diocese knew about this pervasive problem, but it did not adequately address allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct,” James said Tuesday.

“Now, the Diocese has made a commitment to implementing holistic reforms that will ensure every report of sexual abuse or misconduct is handled quickly and transparently. New Yorkers deserve to trust their faith leaders, and my office will continue to support the Diocese’s efforts to rebuild that trust with their community.”

According to James’ office, an attorney general investigation found the Diocese failed to consistently follow its own policies from 2002 regarding sexual abuse allegations, and that those policies were inadequate to protect children.


As part of the reforms, the Diocese has agreed to send out a press release whenever a credibly accused priests or other clergy member is removed from active ministry, put the offender’s name on a published list, inform the priest’s former parish and provide support to parishioners.

“This agreement concludes a difficult period in the life of the church. While the Church should have been a sanctuary, I am deeply sorry that it was a place of trauma for the victims of clergy sexual abuse,” said Bishop of Brooklyn Robert Brennan.

“I pray God’s healing power will sustain them. Today, we move forward with the strongest policies in place for the protection of children and adults.”


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