Pope Francis appointed a new bishop to lead the Roman Catholic parish in Brooklyn on Wednesday, and weeks after a Vatican investigation revealed to him two accusations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s, the current bishop Nicholas Di. Marzio’s 18-year term has ended.
The new bishop, Robert J. Brennan, will be the eighth man to lead a parish, including the 1.5 million Catholic parishes in Brooklyn and Queens. He has been Bishop of Columbus, Ohio since 2019. Prior to that, he played various roles in the Rockville Center Diocese on Long Island for over 30 years.
Bishop Brennan, 59, from Bronx, who grew up on Long Island, will be officially placed in that location on November 30th. On Wednesday, 77-year-old Bishop Dimarzio explained the appointment of his successor by generation.
“He knows New York, he’s a quick study because he’s familiar with the issues here,” Bishop Dimarzio said at a press conference. “It’s a good mission for him because he knows many priests in the parish. He is young and energetic.”
The appointment of Bishop Brennan ended two years of speculation and confusion in the Parish of Brooklyn.
In accordance with Church policy, Bishop DiMarzio submitted his resignation to the Pope on his 75th birthday in June 2019. The Vatican typically waits more than a year to accept the resignation of the Bishop, but is characterized by some unusual events during the period since Bishop Demarzio submitted him.
First, in November 2019, public abuse by a man said Bishop Dimarzio had abused him when he was a boy at the Altar of Preteen in Jersey City and conducted a long-standing Vatican investigation. There was a complaint.
Later, a coronavirus pandemic broke down Brooklyn and Queens early on.
As it spread to the United States, the virus killed more than 54,000 people in New York City, including two priests in the Parish of Brooklyn. To combat the pandemic, former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced limits on the scale of religious services. This was a successful parish objection to the US Supreme Court last November.
Later this year, a second man publicly accused Bishop Dimarzio of sexually abusing him as a child in the 1970s, when he was a young priest in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Vatican investigations into both claims cleared Bishop Dimarzio this month, but lawyers in both accusations said the proceedings they filed against him on Wednesday would continue to pass through New Jersey courts.
“The retirement of Bishop Dimarzio does not prevent the proceedings of two separate civil proceedings against Bishop Dimarzio,” lawyer Mitchell Garabedian said in a statement.
“The recent discovery that the Vatican cleared Bishop Dimarzio of sexual abuse was the result of a biased investigation conducted by a self-serving Vatican court on a given agenda,” Galavedian added.
Bishop Dimarzio said on Wednesday, “I didn’t expect Mr. Galavedian to withdraw his case because I retired,” and said the case “I’m confident that it will keep me busy with retirement.” rice field.
Bishop Brennan refused to deal with a civil lawsuit against his predecessor at a press conference, but said he was “greatly confident in the findings” of the Vatican’s investigation.
The Church paid for an external law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, and a consulting group led by former FBI Director Lewis Free to carry out the investigation. The findings were then reviewed by a powerful Vatican congregation for the doctrine of faith that formulates the doctrine of the Church.
“The church has been working hard for the last two decades to tackle the problems of the past,” said Bishop Brennan. “What do I say to those who don’t have trust yet? Very simply, I understand, sorry, what was done, and what we will continue to do. I hope we can see what we are doing and rebuild that trust. “
The new bishop said leaving Columbus “painful” just two years later, but he also emphasized New York’s good intentions.
He said his father had been a New York City police officer in Queens for 24 years and his brother is currently working at a police station.
Bishop Brennan attended St. John’s University in Queens, Jamaica and said, “I first experienced the amazing diversity of the Parish of Brooklyn.”
“Brooklyn and Queens parishes have long embraced the richness of their diversity, and bishops and parish leaders have sought to provide and learn from immigrants from around the world.” He said. “I want to know the many diverse communities that make up this amazing and unique bishopric.”