Diocese of Brooklyn Sheltered Priest Accused of Abuse in Colombia
By Zach Hiner
October 16, 2018
For almost a year, Brooklyn Catholic officials refused to tell their flock about a credibly accused predator priest.
According to the Gothamist, the Diocese of Brooklyn “bypassed its own safety protocols” to hire Fr. Roberto Cadavid in 2012. Fr. Cadavid worked in Brooklyn from 2012 through 2017 until he abruptly left the country to return to his native Colombia. But the Diocese waited ten months after Fr. Cadavid’s departure to tell the truth about his absence to their parishioners: the Diocese of Medellin had come forward in June, 2017 to share “Cadavid’s long history of alleged abuse.”
This reckless behavior cannot continue. We call on police and prosecutors to investigate this secrecy, on Brooklyn's bishop to explain it and on Brooklyn parishioners to protest it.
Brooklyn church officials claim that their overseas colleagues lied to them about Fr. Cadavid. If so, they should be hollering from the rooftops and insisting that Vatican officials discipline those who allegedly deceived them. Let us assume Brooklyn officials are right. This would mean that Catholic officials cannot even be honest with one another about accused predator priests. If that is true (and plenty of evidence in other cases shows this to be true), what are the odds that Catholic officials will be honest with police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public?
This is yet another example of why we call for independent investigations by law enforcement, backed by subpoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath. Institutions cannot police themselves and cannot be trusted to adjudicate crimes that occur under their roof. We know that New York has already begun a statewide investigation into their dioceses and hope that this information is being brought to their attention.
We urge anyone, in Brooklyn or elsewhere, who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse in New York to make a report to law enforcement and to share their information with New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood by calling the New York state hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or by using their online form.