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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A second man has now come forward to accuse the bishop of Brooklyn, New York (and former bishop of Camden, New Jersey) of committing sexual abuse 40 years ago.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio vehemently denies any claim of sexual wrongdoing. "There is absolutely no truth to the allegation," DiMarzio said Thursday. "I deny this outrageous and libelous claim."
DiMarzio had been bishop of Camden from 1999–2003, right before being appointed to head the diocese of Brooklyn. He is now saying that he may sue his accusers, who claim they were sexually assaulted as children by DiMarzio at separate parishes in Jersey City. This is according to a statement released by their attorney Mitchell Garabedian.
DiMarzio's first accuser, Mark Matzek, said he was 11 to 12 years old when he was allegedly abused in 1974 and 1975 when DiMarzio served at St. Nicholas Church. The allegations were first made public in November 2019, although the name of the accuser was not disclosed at the time. DiMarzio has denied the claims.
In the new case, Samier Tadros claims that he was about 6 to 7 years old when the alleged assaults took place in 1979 and 1980. DiMarzio at that time was assigned to Holy Rosary Church. Again, categorically denying the charges, DiMarzio said in a statement "I am ready, willing and able to go to trial to defend myself."
Garabedian said that his clients "feel a need to provide a voice for clergy sexual abuse victims." He said his clients came forward due to Dolan's "repeated comments about his friendship with Bishop DiMarzio and (the cardinal's) refusal to recommend that Bp. DiMarzio be placed on administrative leave during the investigation."
DiMarzio has had a complicated history with relation to the ugly realm of clergy sexual abuse. As a protégé of Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, appointed in 1996 to be his auxiliary bishop in Newark, DiMarzio was asked to lead a Vatican-authorized probe into Bp. Richard Malone's Buffalo diocese in 2019, which was caught up in scandal.
Church Militant has noted that DiMarzio served under McCarrick as his auxiliary bishop for less than three years before being promoted in 1999 to lead the diocese of Camden. Such fast-tracking was remarkable since auxiliary bishops typically work under a diocesan bishop for twice that long before being given their own diocese.
While investigating Malone in 2019, DiMarzio himself was accused. On Jan. 18, 2020, Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York was asked by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate allegations of sex abuse against DiMarzio, the second such investigation conducted under the new norms of Vos Estis Lux Mundi, Pope Francis' 2019 motu proprio providing new mechanisms for handling accusations against bishops.
The accuser was Matzek, now 56, who was seeking $20 million in damages. At that time, a statement was released from the diocese that "Bp. Nicholas DiMarzio has categorically denied the allegation against him. He will vigorously defend himself against this false claim and is confident the truth will prevail."
In a recent statement relating to the second allegation, DiMarzio said the allegations were intended "to destroy my name and discredit what I have accomplished ... including my efforts to fight the scourge of sexual abuse."
The bishop's statement described DiMarzio "as a leader in the fight against sexual abuse," and also noted that the diocese of Camden, which has spoken out in support of DiMarzio, was the first in the country to offer a toll-free reporting line for victims of clergy sex abuse.
Essex County attorney Joseph Hayden, who is representing the bishop, asserted that "conclusive evidence" supports DiMarzio's innocence, although he provided no details. Hayden contended that although DiMarzio's accusers "are each seeking $20 million from the Newark archdiocese," the bishop "will never agree to a settlement."