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US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York removes accused priests

20:50  30 september  2019
20:50  30 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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NEW YORK - Every priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York who has a substantial sex-abuse accusation against him has been removed from ministry, according to a report released today.

Timothy M. Dolan holding a microphone: Cardinal Timothy Dolan addresses a news conference at the offices of the New York Archdiocese, in New York, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York said that it has hired former federal judge Barbara Jones to review its procedures and protocols for handling allegations of sexual abuse.© Richard Drew/AP Cardinal Timothy Dolan addresses a news conference at the offices of the New York Archdiocese, in New York, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York said that it has hired former federal judge Barbara Jones to review its procedures and protocols for handling allegations of sexual abuse.

That finding was revealed in a report by former federal judge and prosecutor Barbara Jones, who was tasked by Cardinal Timothy Dolan with studying the archdiocese's handling of sex-abuse complaints.

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Jones, who is serving as special counsel and independent investigator for the archdiocese, looked at its policies, procedures, and protocols related to the problem. She shared her findings and recommendations at a news conference at the Catholic Center in New York City.

Jones said the current processes for dealing with sex-abuse complaints are "working very well."

The archdiocese – which covers Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties, along with parts of New York City and the Hudson Valley – faces a bevy of lawsuits amid accusations of sexual abuse.

Addressing the issue

Among the chief recommendations in the report is that the archdiocese upgrade its technology to better track priests' backgrounds and monitor their training. The archdiocese should also hire someone whose sole responsibility would be to oversee sex-abuse complaints, according to the report.

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Jones also mentioned Safe Environment training that the archdiocese requires anyone working with children to undergo. That training is currently required once, but she suggested that it be an annual mandate, particularly in archdiocesan schools.

The Lay Review Board should also add new members who have more areas of expertise, Jones said. The board – which includes judges, lawyers, parents, a priest, a psychiatrist, and a religious sister – decides whether an allegation is substantiated, and if it is, recommends that the cardinal remove the priest from ministry.

Jones also is assisting in developing new protocols for dealing with allegations of abuse against adults in positions of power. She will summarize her findings and recommend how the archdiocese should respond to the sexual abuse crisis.

Some 290 lawsuits were filed against the eight dioceses of the Catholic Church in New York state, 110 of which were filed against the New York Archdiocese on the first day that suits could be filed, The Journal News/lohud previously reported.

Jones said more than $67 million has been paid to 338 people who have been abused.

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Contributing: Matt Spillane, The Journal News

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York removes accused priests

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A total of 367 people applied to a compensation fund for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, according to its administrators. Administrators with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kenneth Feinberg spent the past several days tallying up the applicants following the Sept. 30 deadline for claims under the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. “The administrators are still going through them to see how many will be paid out,” said spokeswoman Amy Weiss. Applicants need to meet certain criteria under the diocese’s program.

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