Former Camden bishop DiMarzio faces second sex-abuse allegation

Courier-Post, New Jersey/June 4, 2020

By JIm Walsh

Camden -- A second man has accused a former bishop of the Diocese of Camden of childhood sexual abuse.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who now leads the Diocese of Brooklyn, rejected the claim of wrongdoing that dates to the late 1970s.

"There is absolutely no truth to the allegation," the bishop said Thursday. "I deny this outrageous and libelous claim."

DiMarzio, who led South Jersey's Catholics from 1999 to 2003, said he might sue his accusers.

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"I am ready, willing, and able to go to trial to defend myself," the bishop said in a statement.

DiMarzio's accusers say they were sexually assaulted as children at separate parishes in Jersey City, according to a statement released by their attorney.

In the new case, Samier Tadros contends he was about 6 to 7 years old at the time of alleged assaults in 1979 and 1980. DiMarzio at that time was assigned to Holy Rosary Church, the statement said.

The other accuser, Mark Matzek, said he was 11 to 12 years old when allegedly abused in 1974 and 1975. DiMarzio then served at St. Nicholas Church.

Matzek's allegations were first made public in November, although his name was not disclosed at that time. DiMarzio denied those claims as well.

In his statement, Garabedian said his clients "feel a need to provide a voice for clergy sexual abuse victims."

The attorney also questioned the neutrality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York in connection with a church investigation into the claims against DiMarzio.

Garabedian said his clients came forward due to Dolan's "repeated comments about his friendship with Bishop DiMarzio and (the cardinal's) refusal to recommend that Bishop DiMarzio be placed on administrative leave during the investigation."

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, which is led by Doan, said the cardinal "continues to take seriously any allegation against a brother bishop, priest, or lay employee."

The spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, also said Dolan is relying on "professional outside investigators to conduct a fair, impartial, and thorough examination."

In his statement, DiMarzo said the allegations were intended "to destroy my name and discredit what I have accomplished … including my efforts to fight the scourge of sexual abuse."

The bishop's statement described DiMarzio "as a leader in the fight against sexual abuse."

Among other points, it noted the Camden diocese, which has spoken out in support of DiMarzio, was the first in the country to offer a toll-free reporting line for victims of clergy sex abuse.

The statement also pointed out Pope Francis has named DiMarzio to investigate alleged abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo.

Joseph Hayden, an Essex County attorney representing the bishop, asserted "conclusive evidence" supports DiMarzio's innocence, although he provided no details.

Hayden contended DiMarzio's accusers "are each seeking $20 million from the Newark Archdiocese," but that the bishop "will never agree to a settlement."

DiMarzio rose from parish priest to auxiliary bishop in the Newark archdiocese before coming to Camden in 1999.

A representative of the Newark Archdiocese declined to comment.

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