Brooklyn Diocese: Accused Priest Cleared

By Stephanie Saul
March 18, 2004

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has absolved a priest of sexual abuse allegations after finding the claims "unsubstantiated and lacking in credibility."

The diocesan investigation concluded that the Rev. Vincent Gallo was not serving at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bushwick when the alleged abuse occurred, a crucial finding in its decision to exonerate him, according to a letter from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

"It is my decision that Father Gallo should remain as your pastor," DiMarzio's letter told parishioners at St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale, where Gallo has been pastor for four years.

The letter clearing Gallo, 69, was read at four St. Pancras Masses last weekend and released yesterday to Newsday.

"The letter speaks for itself," Gallo said yesterday, also thanking parishioners for their support since October, when he was accused in a lawsuit.

The suit filed by Manhattan attorneys Michael Dowd and Susan Egan demands $300 million in damages on behalf of 27 plaintiffs who accused 24 current or former priests from the diocese, including Gallo, of sexual misconduct since the 1950s. The case, which also names the diocese as a defendant, is pending in State Supreme Court in Queens.


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