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‘Leave no stone unturned,’ Cardinal Dolan tells NY archdiocesan investigator

The Archbishop of New York has announced the appointment of retired federal Judge Barbara Jones an archdiocesan special counsel, who will be tasked with an independent review of protocols for responding to allegations of sexual abuse.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan holds a news conference Sept. 20 in New York City. Cardinal Dolan announced he has appointed a retired federal judge to independently review the way the Archdiocese of New York has been handling the sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests and church workers. (CNS photo/Jeenah Moon, Reuters)

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 / 01:48 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of New York has announced the appointment of an archdiocesan special counsel, who will be tasked with an independent review of protocols for responding to allegations of sexual abuse.

At a press conference Sept. 20, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that retired federal Judge Barbara Jones will undertake “an exhaustive study of our policies, procedures, and protocols on how we deal with any accusation that comes to us about an alleged abuse of a young person by a priest, deacon, or a bishop.”

“I have promised her complete access to our records, personnel, and to me personally,” Dolan said.

The cardinal said that in recent months clergy members, Catholics, and other community members have conveyed to him the importance of “accountability, transparency, and action.”

“I also hear them honestly say to me something that stings me very much: ‘Cardinal Dolan, we’ve been so let down that we’re beginning to lose trust in you bishops.’”

“If I lose the trust of my people and this community, I don’t have a lot left,” Dolan said.

Dolan said that Jones would “conduct an independent, scrupulous review to see if there are gaps, if there are things we should be doing and are not, and, hopefully, to affirm that we are doing our best to live up to the promises we bishops made to our people in 2002.”

Jones has also been asked to “enhance and strengthen our protocols for accusations of inappropriate behavior by anyone abusing his or her position of authority,” he added. She will also be tasked with reviewing policies and protocols related to workplace sexual abuse and harassment.

“Even our many critics do admit we’ve made a lot of progress in dealing with abuse of minors; now we need to be certain we are doing the same for responding to allegations of abuses of position and power.”

During the press conference, Jones told Dolan that she is “ready to help,” adding that “the cardinal has told me to leave no stone unturned.”

“My review will focus on the efficacy of [archdiocesan] programs, and whether the archdiocese has followed its existing protocols in addressing reports of abuse. Where I see deficiencies or gaps or non-compliance with current procedures, I will identify them to the cardinal for his review and remediation.”

In her work for the Archdiocese of New York, “I will also review the procedures followed in every new case of abuse to ensure that the Archdiocese has followed its protocols. I will make the results of those reviews available to the cardinal before he makes a final adjudication in each case,” Jones said.

Jones has a long record investigating complex organizations. She began her legal career in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, serving as a part of the agency’s Manhattan Strike Force in the 1970s. She was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York from 1977 to 1987, leading an organized crime unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, before becoming a high-ranking prosecutor in the New York district attorney’s office.

In 1995 Jones was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She retired from the court in 2013.

During her time on the bench, Jones presided over U.S. v. Windsor, a case that challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In a 2012 decision upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Jones found that definition violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“I approach this importance assignment with an open mind and an understanding of the scope and scale of the issues that challenge the archdiocese. I have already begun an initial review of the archdiocese’s past efforts,” Jones said Thursday.

“Based upon this review I certainly see a robust infrastructure in place with the archdiocese but my job now will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing programs and policies in that infrastructure.”

Dolan told reporters that he has asked Jones to provide a public report on her findings at the conclusion of her work.

“The cardinal has asked me to be rigorous in my examination and to call out deficiencies as I see them. He has assured me that he will take appropriate action as expeditiously as possible, based upon my recommendations,” she added.

“I would not have taken this assignment without these assurances.”

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19 Comments

  1. I guess this means 2 things:

    A – Cardinal Dolan agrees with his fellow leftist that marriage is whatever the leftists say it is…but “no offense intended Lord Jesus.”

    B – sexual abuse of seminarians and other adults by bishops, seminary directors etc is no problem and off the table (just ask McCarrick).

    Well, at least Cardinal Dolan realizes he really doesn’t have any trust left. I only guess he is doing this to ask people to pretend that they trust him…

  2. This is pure a junkyard PR move by the King Carnival barker, carefully crafted to avoid the serious investigation of homosexual predation against seminarians by Bishops and seminary directors etc.

  3. I went to Cardinal Dolan’s blog, where he posted this information, and attempted to post a reply; but his site is not accepting comments. Here is what I wrote:

    “Judge Barbara Jones? Is this the same Judge Barbara Jones who supported the “marriage” of two men or two women? If so, given that this sexual abuse crisis that is causing the Church so much grief and agony is largely a matter of priests who are homosexual predators and the bishops, archbishops, and cardinals who covered up their crimes and sins, enabled them, and, it seems in some cases, encouraged and participated in them, it is an affront to common decency to appoint this woman to investigate the matter.

    Stop admitting homosexuals to your seminary. Clean out the ranks of priests and bishops. Even in cases where the behavior is not abuse of a minor or of a vulnerable adult, the behavior is vile. I notice that you mention ‘”Sexual Misconduct” in violation of our policy: any sexual act with another person without consent; any sexual conduct that is a violation of civil law….’ That is absurd. “Civil law” is not the chief concern here, moral law is. In case you somehow missed it, sodomy is one of the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, and “consensual” simply means that two people instead of one are terribly guilty.

    If you want to regain anybody’s trust, this is not going to do it.”

  4. Considering this judge was appointed by a democrat and many of our catholic shepherds support democratic political candidates, and these democrats promote homosexual marriages, and this cardinal was in a parade highlighting homosexuality, maybe a federal prosecutor appointed by the DOJ should be part of this investigation.Just a thought.

  5. I wish these Cardinals and bishops would have a “town hall meeting” with us Catholics- laity,sheep, believers at their local parish or diocese office or Catholic school auditorium. And hear what we have to say! Have they approached us to hear what we feel about this crisis or get our opinion? Don’t they care? We are the church too and we have every canonical right to be heard! You would get an earful from us believe me!
    Praying is not enough, we have to do something!
    Faith without works is dead!

    • I hear what you’re saying John but your voice would likely be drowned out by shrieks of,”hateful homophobic bigots”and “you are not Catholics” by the confused and deranged parishioners who have bought into an entirely different faith other than Catholicism.

  6. My fellow Catholic brothers and sisters let’s stop donating money to the archdiocese.
    Write a letter to your local bishops and tell them why you will stop donating money to them.
    Time to boycott and stop giving money, let these bishops sell there mult-million New York real estate property they own to pay for their sins.
    We should not give them a penny!
    Cdl. Dolan is a politician he’s the same guy that strongly supported homosexuals from LGBT to march on New York St. Patrick’s day parade.
    Remember?

  7. So, a same-sex advocate judge is doing the investigation.

    No hope for the Church in New York.

    Funny that Dolan chooses that particular judge. Does that tell you something?

  8. Will this retired leftist judge be empowered to do a financial audit of the archdiocese? Without that,there will be no complete investigation. Follow the money.

  9. Just another insulting attempt at a, “Look, we’re doing something!” smokescreen. Is anyone surprised there is no mention in Dolan’s plan to root out the CAUSE of the abuse? Is anyone surprised there is NO REAL, MEANINGFUL ACTION on the part of Church “leadership” to root out the CAUSE of abuse before it occurs? Too little, far too late. Faith is shattered. Trust is gone.

  10. There is no better bad actor than Dolan. That’s his greatest strength in that he is able to wield phoniness of the order of he knows that you know that he knows that you know. He hits you with this, his awareness of your awareness, and you can easily mistake that “truth” for some actual, specific truth or “his” truthfulness.

    This investigation is not “independent.”

  11. Sept. 22nd: Too little, too late. He allowed gay pride to take over the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and then marched at the head of the parade laughing it up with them. What made him turn over McCarrick? After all this time…because it was going to happen anyway. I think we need a whole new group of Bishops and Cardinals – not ’eminences’ or ‘lordships’ but simple Bishops living as Christ did who had ‘nowhere to lay His head.”

  12. Another point: isn’t Cardinal Dolan now asking his parishioners to cough up millions and millions of dollars for his projects – how any Bishop has the nerve to ask for more money after hundreds of thousands and more have been taken from the donations of donations for payments on behalf of abusive Priests, to purchase luxurious homes, or cars or vacations…all Cardinals and Bishops should leave their palatial homes and live a more simple life.

  13. Sept. 22nd: And Jones, the woman he just hired to investigate his diocese – isn’t she pro-abortion and pro-homosexual? What a sham!!! Let the Feds. investigate and dismiss Jones – you’re paying her out of the donations of your parishioners – don’t you think they’ve paid enough for sexual abuse settlements?

  14. Leaders like Dolan have lost my trust. I simply do not believe the hold the same faith as I do, or perhaps they simply manage to believe it while also operating on a level where it really doesn’t matter. How on earth can this be true, when they have given their entire lives to the Catholic Church. I do not know. But I do know their words and their management decisions defy harmonization with my understanding of the faith.

    The fact that the most recent revelations of scandal have provoked this present crisis seems to have awakened our leaders to the fact my perception is shared by a lot of people. But the fact Dolan, O’Malley, Wuerl, and even the Pope can continue to traffic in gibberish and Youth Synod blather suggests nothing will really change. And who imagines that Wuerls replacement will be anything but someone in the mold of Cupich.

  15. Cardinal Dolan is an example of what goes wrong when clergy are promoted through the ranks without psychological evaluation, especially for intractable personality disorders. I would bet his Manhattan home that he is a poster child narcissist. His lip-dripping public interviews suggest a man who is much too fond of himself. In some ways, a man like this, incapable of sincere altruistic notions and certain that no one is smarter than he is, represents a greater long term threat to the Church than the despicable scoundrels who astonish us when their infantile proclivities are exposed. Imagine him as one of the twelve original apostles and you will see how fit for purpose he is. In DaVinci’s painting, itself an act of creative imagination, Dolan’s presence at the table would have destroyed the Christ-centered perspective. And that is just what Dolan does every time he speaks.

  16. I find it hard to believe that Timothy Cardinal Dolan from here in St. Louis would appoint an investigator who is pro abortion and pro gay marriage.

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