The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has cleared Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of allegations that he committed acts of sexual abuse. The Vatican congregation, which handles all alleged cases of abuse of minors, ruled that the claims against the bishop “did not have the semblance of truth.”
The decision closes a nearly two-year process. In January 2020, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was directed by the CDF to conduct an investigation into allegations that DiMarzio, 77, sexually abused a male student, a minor, in the 1970s. A second man then came forward and accused DiMarzio of sexually abusing him in 1979 and 1980.
“Given this finding, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will not authorize any further canonical process to address the accusations,” a statement from the New York archdiocese said Sept. 1.
DiMarzio has repeatedly declared his innocence, and insisted he would clear his name in both canonical and civil courts, as necessary.
The canonical investigation was authorized by the Vatican under the norms of Vos estis lux mundi, the new law issued by Pope Francis in 2019, following his special summit of the heads of the world’s bishops conferences to address the sexual abuse crisis and the question of episcopal accountability in the wake of the Theodore McCarrick scandal.
“I repeat what I have said from the beginning. There is no truth to these allegations,” DiMarzio said Wednesday in response to the CDF’s decision. “Throughout my more than 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never abused anyone.”
“As promised, I fully cooperated with this inquiry, because I know I did nothing wrong. I have prayed for a conclusion to this investigation, and these final results further verify, as I have consistently said, that these allegations have absolutely no merit.”
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