Pope Accepts Resignation of Philadelphia Archbishop Rigali After Sex Scandal Cover Up Yolanda/ Pixabay

The Vatican has exonerated Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas DiMarzo on allegations of sexual abuse that took place in the 1970s. New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan said on Wednesday that the Vatican has concluded its investigation citing that the case does not have the “semblance of truth”.

According to ABC News, the Archbishop hired a law firm to conduct the investigation with former FBI Director Louis Freeh heading the inquiry. The findings were forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who conducted a review and determined that the accusations were in fact, baseless.

The case has been closely watched as it was among the first to fall under new procedures put in place by Pope Francis two years ago. Known as Vos Estis Lux Mundo, it addresses any allegations of sexual abuse against the church’s clergy. Lawyers and critics have since expressed concern that the congregation would not be impartial as it is composed of bishops.

A Boston-based watchdog for abuse within the Catholic church strongly expressed concern saying that the investigation should only be led by officials in New York and New Jersey and not just in Rome. They are urging New York Attorney General Letitia James to conduct its own investigation.

The attorney representing the accusers said they will press forward with civil cases despite DiMarzio denying all accusations against him. “Throughout my more than 50-year ministry as a priest, I have never abused anyone,” DiMarzio said in a statement. “I ask for your prayers as I continue to fight against the lawsuits stemming from these two allegations, and as I now look forward to clearing my name in the New Jersey state courts.”

The men’s legal representative Mitchell Garabedian said the investigations concerning his client’s credibility were subjective and biased. He claimed the investigators were paid and controlled by the Catholic Church. “The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which rendered the decision, is in the business of continuing the secrecy of clergy sexual abuse by hiding the truth,” Garabedian asserted.

Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of Boston-based group, questioned the Catholic Church's transparency and has demanded the Vatican to release all documents related to investigations of the accused bishop.

Two years ago, two men came forward and accused the Brooklyn bishop of sexually abusing them when they were young. DiMarzio was still a priest in New Jersey at the time when the abuse was believed to have taken place. One of his accusers, Samier Tadros, said this began when he was 6 years old while he was an attending classes at the parish at Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City.

Now 48 years old, Tadros is demanding $20 million in compensation.

Cardinal Dolan however said in his announcement, the Vatican will not authorize any further canonical process related to the accusations.

Representation Image Bishops in Church Ceremony sabetheli/ Pixabay