Editorial: Dolan investigating DiMarzio points up flaws of ‘Vos Estis’

National Catholic Reporter

January 24, 2020

We have long held unabashed admiration for Pope Francis. But events keep raising issues about the shortcomings of Vos Estis Lux Mundi, his signature intervention to address the church’s sex abuse crisis.

Latest case in point: According to press reports and statements from the dioceses involved, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, under Vos Estis provisions, is investigating Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, his neighbor across the East River.

DiMarzio has been publicly accused of sexual abuse of a minor dating back 45 years to a parish in Jersey City, when he was a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. DiMarzio has adamantly denied the charge. He has won a reputation as a no-nonsense responder to sex abuse issues both in Brooklyn and in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, where he previously served. DiMarzio should earn the presumption of innocence. And it’s proper to keep in mind that while a lawsuit has been threatened, as of this writing it has not been filed.

Yet for ecclesial purposes, for the confidence of the people of God in New York and beyond, the serious charges cry out for an investigation. Our problem is with making Dolan responsible for leading an inquiry.

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