Archdiocese Hears Case of Priest Accused of Abuse
By John Chadwick
The Record [Bergen County, NJ]
January 14, 2005
The Newark Archdiocese is conducting a closed-door hearing this week for a former Ho-Ho-Kus priest accused of misconduct with minors.
The Rev. William J. Dowd, who has been on leave from St. Luke Church since April 2002, faces removal from public ministry or the priesthood if found guilty.
The hearing, which began Tuesday, is taking place in the chancery offices in Newark before three priests from outside the archdiocese. Witnesses are expected to finish testifying today. The priests will then begin deliberations, said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
Dowd was one of about a dozen North Jersey priests implicated during the 2002 church crisis. The scandal, which began with a case in Boston, emboldened waves of accusers nationwide to come forward after years of silence.
Dowd has never been charged with a crime by law enforcement officials, and the accusation falls beyond the statute of limitations.
The church, however, is conducting its own judicial proceeding, one that is routinely used in handling annulments. Authorities in Rome have reviewed the accusation and determined a hearing is warranted, Goodness said.
Some parishioners at St. Luke said they believe Dowd is innocent and want him returned to the church. Shortly after his being placed on leave, they submitted a petition in his favor and demonstrated outside the archdiocese offices.
"There are many who believe in him," said Rosemary Freeman, of Waldwick. "He is a special man and we're hoping he gets back to his ministry."
Dowd, 64, has served as pastor at St. Luke since 1997.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems