The bishop tapped by the pope to investigate sexual abuse in the church’s Buffalo, N.Y., diocese is being accused of abuse himself, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Michael Garabedian, the attorney for the alleged victim, told the church’s Newark, N.J., archdiocese that he was planning to file a lawsuit for his client who says he was abused by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in the 1970s. The lawyer plans to file the suit next month, he told the AP.
His 56-year-old client, Mark Matzek, said he was repeatedly abused by DiMarzio and the late Rev. Albert Mark, while serving as an altar boy at St. Nicholas Church and attending St. Nicholas School.
Maria Margiotta, the spokeswoman for the Newark Archdiocese, told The Hill that it had received Garabedian’s letter and has reported the allegations to law enforcement.
DiMarzio, who served as a parish priest in Jersey City at the time of the allegations, is denying the allegations.
“I am just learning about this allegation,” he told the AP. “In my nearly 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never engaged in unlawful or inappropriate behavior and I categorically deny this allegation. I am confident I will be fully vindicated.”
In a separate statement citing the story, DiMarzio calls sexual abuse a “despicable crime” and describes initiatives taken in the Brooklyn Diocese to combat it.
Pope Francis asked DiMarzio to investigate how the Buffalo Diocese and Bishop Joseph Malone handled sexual abuse allegations against clergy.
Adriana Rodriguez, press secretary for the Brooklyn Diocese, confirmed to The Hill that DiMarzio completed his report on the diocese and submitted it to the Vatican last week.
Garabedian argued that the allegations against DiMarzio taint his investigation in Buffalo.
“The investigation of the diocese of Buffalo by Bishop DiMarzio is tainted because of these allegations,” Garabedian told the AP. “There needs to be a truly neutral investigator to determine whether Bishop Malone should resign.”