Syracuse Diocese Priest Goes on Trial This Fal

By Renee K. Gadoua

September 4, 2008

The Rev. John Broderick accused of sexually abusing 3 minors in Albany Diocese.

The Rev. John W. Broderick, a Roman Catholic priest of the Syracuse Diocese, will go onO7BroderickO trial Nov. 10 on charges he sexually abused three minors in Montgomery County.

If Broderick is convicted, the diocese will seek Vatican approval to have him permanently removed from the priesthood, said Danielle Cummings, assistant chancellor and spokeswoman for the Syracuse Diocese.

A Montgomery County grand jury last week indicted Broderick, 48, on charges accusing him of abusing three children younger than 11. The indictment says Broderick engaged in "the crime of sexual conduct against a child" at least twice with each of three minors.

The indictment also accuses Broderick of unlawfully dealing with a minor by providing alcohol.

The accusations of sexual contact with minors are felonies; unlawfully dealing with a minor is a misdemeanor.

According to the indictment, the children were abused in the Montgomery County town of Palatine between 2005 and 2007. Montgomery County is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

When Broderick was arrested in February, he was charged with four counts of sexual abuse and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was accused at the time of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with four children ages 5 to 11.

Montgomery County District Attorney James E. Conboy did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"These children were victimized and the grand jury obviously believed them," said John Aretakis, a lawyer representing the victims.

Aretakis confirmed that the alleged victims are brothers.

The Post-Standard does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Aretakis said the family of the victims considered Broderick their spiritual adviser.

Broderick's case is the first time since the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in early 2002 that a priest of the Syracuse Diocese has faced criminal charges.

Broderick has not ministered in the Syracuse Diocese since 2004, when he resigned from his position as pastor of St. Malachy Church in Sherburne.

Since then, he has been on unpaid leave from the diocese. Early this year, he was suspended from the ministry.

Officials in both the Syracuse and Albany dioceses have said they are not sure where Broderick lives or where he has ministered since 2004.

Cummings would not say what led to Broderick's administrative suspension, but she has previously cited "lack of pastoral judgment" and "administrative conflict" in discussing the case.

Cummings said the discipline of Broderick does not involve allegations of sexual abuse.

"To this day, we have not received any allegation of sexual abuse involving Father Broderick," she said.

The Montgomery County district attorney has not contacted the Syracuse Diocese about Broderick, she said.

When Broderick was charged in February, the diocese initiated its own investigation, she said.

The criminal charges also spurred the diocese to implement rules that bishops approved in 2002 in response to the clergy abuse scandal. Those rules include removing from permanent ministry any priest facing credible allegations of sexual abuse. Those priests cannot work, dress as priests or identify themselves as priests.

Broderick is a native of Endwell and was ordained in 1989. He is a 1982 graduate of Le Moyne College. In addition to ministering at St. Malachy, he has served at St. Joseph, in Camillus, and Our Lady of Sorrows, in Vestal.

He appears to be involved with the Lefebvrites, a breakaway group founded in 1969 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a French priest who disagreed with changes the Catholic Church made as part of Vatican II.

The Roman Catholic Church considers the group, formally called the St. Pius X Society, to be in schism, or not in union with the pope.

Cummings said despite his disciplinary status, Broderick is still a diocesan priest.

"To my knowledge, we have nothing official about his relationship with Pius the 10th," she said.

Renee K. Gadoua can be reached at or 470-2203.


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