U.S. News


Retired Judge To Review New York Catholic Church's Sex Abuse Policies

Former federal judge Barbara Jones was most recently the special master in the Michael Cohen case.
Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 20, 2018

The Catholic Church in New York hopes a former federal judge who's assisted with some high-profile cases can help it regain the public's trust.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the Archdiocese of New York appointed Barbara Jones as special counsel and independent reviewer to "do an exhaustive study" of how the church handles abuse allegations.

Most recently, Jones was the special master in the Michael Cohen case and determined which files investigators seized from Cohen were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Dolan says parishioners have told him they're losing trust in the church's leadership.

He said, "If I lose the trust of my people in this community I don't have much left."

Earlier this month, New York's attorney general subpoenaed all of the state's dioceses as part of a sex abuse investigation focused on how they "reviewed and potentially covered up" sexual abuse allegations involving minors.

That investigation followed the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that alleged hundreds of priests in that state had abused more than 1,000 children over several decades. The grand jury report also noted widespread abuse in the church appeared to continue, in part, because the church appoints clergy to investigate the allegations instead of trained investigators.

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.