A Roman Catholic bishop appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the Church’s handling of the rampant sexual abuse allegations in Buffalo has himself been accused of sexually abusing a child.
In an epic moment of irony, a lawyer for the alleged victim let the Church know that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was conflicted from completing his probe into wrongdoing in Buffalo because he had pending allegations against him. It’s possible he could now become the subject of a child sex abuse investigation.
The alleged abuse occurred about 45 years ago, and the attorney and victim are seeking $20 million in damages.
In a letter sent Monday to the church’s Newark, New Jersey, archdiocese, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian said 56-year-old Mark Matzek alleges he was repeatedly abused by DiMarzio and a second priest, the late Rev. Albert Mark, when he was an altar boy at St. Nicholas Church and a student at St. Nicholas School.
This particular allegation seems similar to many others from the time period in that it alleges repeated sexual abuse and the existence of more than one perpetrator. The complaint has not yet been filed.
Of course, DiMarzio has already tried getting ahead of the story, denying all allegations and promising that he will be ultimately cleared.
DiMarzio said there is no truth to the accusation.
“I am just learning about this allegation,” he said in a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press. “In my nearly 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never engaged in unlawful or inappropriate behavior and I emphatically deny this allegation. I am confident I will be fully vindicated.”
This particular allegation aside, it’s basically impossible for any person, priest or not, to refrain from all unlawful or inappropriate behavior for 50 years. In other words, this guy doth protest way too much.
DiMarzio says he already submitted his report on the Buffalo diocese, but depending on how this case goes, it could be rendered invalid.