New Suit Says Bishop Dailey Shuffled Pedophile Priests to Evade Investigations

By N.J. Burkett
ABC 7 [New York]
Downloaded October 2, 2003

(New York-WABC, October 1, 2003) The church sex abuse scandal could cost the Brooklyn Diocese millions of dollars. Late this afternoon, a lawsuit announced involving dozens of allegations against priests and making new accusations against Bishop Thomas Dailey.

N.J. Burkett is live in Midtown with the story.

The suit was filed on behalf of 27 alleged victims of sexual abuse, and names as defendents two dozen priests, including Bishop Dailey.

Although Dailey is not accused of sexual misconduct, the lawsuit makes a startling new claim; that Dailey played a shell-game with predatory priests. Moving them from parish to parish, in order, "... to deprive plaintiffs of the facts neecessary to establish claims ... for misconduct, until the applicable statutes of limitations had expired ...".

Some of the victims in this case went on to become alcoholics and drug abusers, one of them even committed suicide. The $200-million lawsuit was released this evening, and the allegations cannot possibly be described on television, or a family-friendly Web site.

And now many Brooklyn Catholics are demanding answers.

N.J. Burkett: "How do you feel? In your heart?"

Rosemary Pawlikowski, Parishioner: "Betrayed."

Rosemary Pawlikowski couldn't bear to talk about it. Like thousands of other Brooklyn catholics, she was confirmed by Bishop Thomas Dailey. Now, she feels betrayed by him.

Rosemary Pawlikowski: "We look to the Catholic Church to bring us leadership, guide us. And to have this happen with the priest I think is very unfair."

Dailey is about to retire as the bishop of Brooklyn, under allegations he covered up for pedophile priests.

The lawsuit filed today says in part, that Dailey, "... failed to thoroughly investigate ..." and "... preferred to keep priests who sexually abused children in pastoral ministry ...", and "... did not believe that a priest who engaged in sexual misconduct was apt to engage in such conduct in the future ...".

Representing the victims, New York attorney Michael Dowd.

Michael Dowd, Attorney: "I think Bishop Dailey is as culpable as the priests who put their hands on children, who sodomized children, who subjected them to all kinds of form of abuse, because he aided them."

A spokesman for the Brooklyn Diocese told Eyewitness News by phone that the allegations are entirely "inaccurate." And that anybody in Brooklyn who knows Bishop Dailey knows better. He insisted the only reason Bishop Dailey is stepping down, is because he is required to under canon law when he turns 75.


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