A Roman Catholic bishop who was tasked by Pope Francis with investigating sexual abuse in Buffalo, New York's clergy has also been accused of sex abuse, The Associated Press reports. A New Jersey attorney told the Newark, New Jersey archdiocese that his client is preparing to file a lawsuit against Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, with claims that DiMarzio molested him in the mid-1970s. Mark Matzek, 56, reportedly accuses DiMarzio and another priest of repeatedly abusing him when he was an altar boy at St. Nicholas Church and a student at St. Nicholas School. The second priest in Matzek's claims has since died. DiMarzio denied the claims to the AP.
“I am just learning about this allegation,” he said. “In my nearly 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never engaged in unlawful or inappropriate behavior and I emphatically deny this allegation. I am confident I will be fully vindicated.” Matzek is reportedly demanding $20 million in compensation and his lawyers said the lawsuit will be filed next month. A spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese confirmed it had received the letter from Matzek's lawyer and have reported the claims to law enforcement.
In October, Pope Francis named DiMarzio to investigate the Roman Catholic diocese in Buffalo after Bishop Joseph Malone received backlash for his handling of the clergy abuse scandal. “The investigation of the diocese of Buffalo by Bishop DiMarzio is tainted because of these allegations,” Matzek's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said. “There needs to be a truly neutral investigator to determine whether Bishop Malone should resign.”