The Archdiocese of New York told a California college this month that a local priest had never been accused of sexual abuse, even while the priest was being investigated by the archdiocese for several abuse charges. An administrator at the college called the letter “a lie,” and said she can no longer trust assurances from the archdiocese.
On Dec. 4, the New York archdiocese issued a letter stating “without qualification” that Fr. Donald Timone had “never been accused of any act of sexual abuse or misconduct involving a minor.”
In fact the archdiocese first received in 2003 an allegation that the priest had sexually abused minors, and it reached settlements with alleged victims in 2017.
The archdiocesan letter was received Dec. 13 by John Paul the Great University in Escondido, California, where Timone served. According to the university, the letter was not rescinded until after university officials contacted the Archdiocese of New York, following a Dec. 20 New York Times report on the history of allegations against Timone.
Allegations were first made against Timone in 2003 but they were dismissed as “unsubstantiated” by the archdiocese following an investigation by the archdiocesan review board. New allegations were made against the priest during a 2017 investigation by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program of the Archdiocese of New York.
Last week, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that the archdiocesan review board had reopened its formal investigation into Timone in early autumn 2018.
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