Retired Brooklyn Priest Is Accused of Inappropriate Conduct

By Joseph Goldstein
New York Times
October 15, 2011

A retired Roman Catholic priest in Brooklyn was criminally charged on Friday after a 13-year-old boy accused him of sexual misconduct, said a law enforcement official and a diocese spokeswoman.

Msgr. Thomas Brady, 77, was arrested on Friday morning at the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church near Marine Park, said Stefanie Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The charges against Monsignor Brady include endangering the welfare of a child and attempted sexual abuse, said Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office. He declined to provide a copy of the criminal complaint. While Monsignor Brady is accused of misconduct with one boy, a second boy has also described misconduct, Ms. Gutierrez said.

Ms. Gutierrez said the "inappropriate contact" between Monsignor Brady and the two boys was alleged to have occurred recently.

"I cannot stress enough just how out of character the allegations are," she said.

For about a quarter-century, Monsignor Brady had also been a chaplain at the New York Fire Department. He had been the pastor of Good Shepherd for more than 20 years before retiring in June 2009, Ms. Gutierrez said.

Monsignor Brady, who has had multiple strokes and is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, continued to live in the church's rectory after retiring, Ms. Gutierrez said. He has been placed on administrative leave.

A person answering a phone call to Monsignor Brady said he was not available to speak Saturday. In a statement posted on the diocese's Web site, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio requested prayers for "the victims of misconduct as well as for Monsignor Brady."

The prosecution will be handled by the office of the Staten Island district attorney, Mr. Schmetterer said, because the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, and Monsignor Brady "are longtime acquaintances."

Ms. Gutierrez said the Brooklyn diocese reported the accusation to law enforcement as soon as it learned of it. Earlier this week, the bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time that the leader of an American diocese had been criminally charged for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

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