Letter from Bishop DiMarzio – June 4, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I regret to inform you the Archdiocese of Newark has notified me that a second allegation has been leveled by an individual claiming misconduct dating back 40 years. The attorney in both of these matters is Mitchell Garabedian. He is seeking a total of $40 million in these two unsubstantiated allegations.

There is absolutely no truth to either of these allegations. I deny this outrageous and libelous claim. I am contemplating filing a lawsuit against those responsible for these statements, which have no basis in fact. I am ready, willing, and able to go to trial to defend myself.

I have hired Joseph Hayden, an experienced trial lawyer from New Jersey, who has been investigating these claims and has uncovered conclusive evidence of my innocence. We plan to challenge these allegations in court or in any other proceeding.  I will never agree to a settlement of these claims.

These false allegations are troubling.  They will not deter me from our continued ministry and our Gospel mission. The last 50 years of my life have been spent in service to the Church, ministering to the poor and marginalized. That work must continue, along with my commitment to protecting children and continued advocacy for the healing of, and justice for, all victim-survivors of sexual abuse.

These have been difficult days for all of us. Our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens remains at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic and the center of civil unrest in our country. These untrue claims cannot distract from our efforts to continue bringing faith, hope, and charity into our parish communities during these unprecedented times.

I understand this is a grave matter. A Church investigation, called Vos Estis, is being conducted. The Archdiocese of New York has hired an outside law firm to oversee the process and they in turn hired the investigative agency run by the retired former director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, to conduct the investigation. I pledge my full cooperation to this independent investigation. As we go forward, I will keep you informed.

Asking you to keep the Diocese of Brooklyn in your prayers, and assuring you of my prayers for you, I am.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio
Bishop of Brooklyn

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Bishop DiMarzio is recognized as a leader in the fight against sexual abuse. Since arriving at the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2003, Bishop DiMarzio instituted changes to protect children that surpassed the mandates of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. They include an independent reporting line, where reports are automatically sent to the district attorney in Brooklyn or Queens. He meets with victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse and started the annual Mass of Hope and Healing to pray for them.

Even before the mandates of the Dallas Charter, Bishop DiMarzio created protocols when he was the Bishop in the Diocese of Camden from 1999-2003 to ensure that children were protected and that victims received the care they need. Under his leadership, the Diocese of Camden was the first diocese in the country to offer victims a toll-free reporting line.

As a result of his exemplary record fighting sexual abuse, Pope Francis recently selected Bishop DiMarzio to conduct the investigation into the Diocese of Buffalo.

From the Pastor (May 28, 2020)

Dear Parishioners,

Just over a week ago, Bishop DiMarzio announced the reopening of Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens according to four distinct phases or steps:

  1. Opening of churches for private prayer and devotion. Restricted funerals, baptisms, weddings, and confessions according to specific norms.
  2. Limited celebration of weekday Mass.
  3. Limited celebration of Sunday Mass.
  4. Celebration of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

We are now in the first phase, which began last Tuesday. The dates of the subsequent stages are not yet determined, and will depend on how  the previous stages play out.

St. Raphael’s opened for the first phase this week. Parishioners showed up daily for personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Our first funeral in church will take place this coming Friday. The specifics of our procedure are elsewhere in this bulletin, both in English and in Spanish. Please read them if you are planning to “make a visit”.

The full diocesan plan for the reopening of our churches is on our parish website, and more information will  be found in The Tablet, available in hard copy and online.

We have announced in this bulletin that we are updating our parish email file, and again request that you let us know (either for the first time or again) your current email (either in writing or by email or by phoning the parish office).  Earlier this week, we were able to send a heads-up email on the reopening to those who have submitted this information, and we hope to continue to use this platform for future communication with parishioners.

Happy feast of the Holy Spirit! As Pope Francis has said, “Without the Spirit, our Christian life unravels, lacking the love that brings everything together”.

-Father Jerry Jecewiz


Elizabeth Buckley: In Anticipation of The Eucharist

One of my earliest memories is watching Mass on TV with my Nonna. I would patiently await the time during the Mass when she would walk over to her china closet and tear off a piece of an Oplatki Christmas Wafer she kept inside.

I’d soon learn that “time” during the Mass for a special treat was Communion. I yearned for it at a young age. I wanted to experience what everyone else was experiencing.

Read the complete article on The Tablet