The Archdiocese of New York announced Wednesday that the Vatican has cleared the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn of sexual abuse claims dating back to the 1970s. The allegations against Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the archdiocese said, do “not hold a semblance of truth.” DiMarzio’s first accuser stepped forward just one month after Pope Francis chose him to investigate the Buffalo diocese’s handling of its own sexual abuse charges. The subsequent Vatican-authorized investigation, although conducted by an outside law firm, was overseen by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, a group comprised of other bishops.
Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the two men who have accused DiMarzio, challenged the decision, saying that the Congregation “is in the business of continuing the secrecy of clergy sexual abuse by hiding the truth.” Garabedian also stated his intention to continue to pursue civil claims against the bishop. DiMarzio, who has led the Brooklyn diocese since 2003, has denied the accusations and said he looks forward to clearing his name in court. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, more commonly known as SNAP, also released a statement on Wednesday, asking New York Attorney General Letitia James to open a separate, secular investigation into the bishop’s past.