]New sexual abuse accuser goes public with allegations against Manhattan pastor charged by seven others
By Larry Mcshane
June 25, 2019
|Cammarano has accused Monsignor John Paddack, pictured, of molesting him during a predatory stretch stretching from 1984-2002.|
|Joseph Caramanno (left) is the eighth person to accuse Msgr. John Paddack of molesting him. |
An alleged sexual abuse victim went public Tuesday with charges against a veteran Catholic priest, becoming the eighth accuser to identify the cleric, who remains active in a Manhattan parish.
“I never thought I would have to come to this moment,” said accuser Joseph Caramanno, 34, at a Manhattan news conference. “I thought that everything would be settled, and he would be removed, and that’s it. ... I’m putting my name out there, putting my face out there, so be it. I truly hope something is done. Something that should have been done years ago."
Caramanno, joined by his attorney Jeff Anderson, accused Msgr. John Paddack of molesting him during a predatory stretch where the priest supposedly targeted his victims between 1984-2002. Lawyers for the victims said the Archdiocese of New York first learned of the charges back in 2012.
Previous accusers alleged that Paddack, currently stationed at the Church of Notre Dame on W. 114th St., steered them away from classmates with an offer of private advice — only to grope the boys.
“We are here to sound the alarm about the present practice being employed by the top priest in the archdiocese, Cardinal Tim Dolan, and the very perilous and reckless decisions he chooses to make ... and to hide what he knows to be a very dangerous situation," said Anderson.
Paddack, interviewed by the Daily News in March, denied all the allegations against him.
“Nothing happened, believe me,” he said. “I have a 50-year record of teaching. And it’s a good record, believe me. I think they’re seeing the advertisements on television and in the paper, and a chance to make money. Very sad, and it could ruin a reputation.”
Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling responded that the Anderson press conference “once again contained half-truths and outright inaccuracies concerning the Archdiocese of New York’s ongoing, vigorous response to the tragedy of the sexual abuse of minors.”
The Paddack allegations were shared with the proper district attorneys, he noted, and the suggestion of a coverup was undermined by media scrutiny of the case and the priest’s own discussion of the allegations with his parishioners.
Five accusers leveled abuse allegations against Paddack in March, with one former student at Cardinal Hayes High School recalling how he went to the priest for counseling over suicidal feelings. Rafael Mendoza said Paddack instead asked him to strip naked and examined him with a stethoscope.
According to Caramanno, the time for Paddack’s removal is long overdue.
“I am here today because Father John Paddack should not be in the ministry today,” said Caramanno. “There are eight of us, and he’s still in the ministry in Manhattan. Something further needs to be done ... You can’t sleep at night, and you wonder what can help.”