NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of the Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, New York, Nicholas DiMarzio, weeks after a Vatican investigation cleared him of sexual abuse allegations.
DiMarzio is 77 years old, two years beyond the normal retirement age for bishops. Francis accepted his resignation and appointed Bishop Robert Brennan of Columbus, Ohio, to take over in Brooklyn, the Vatican said.
On Sept. 1, the New York church announced that the Vatican had closed its case against Di Marzio after an investigation concluded that the allegations against him didn’t have “the semblance of truth.” Two men had separately claimed Di Marzio abused them a half century ago, when he was a priest in New Jersey.
Di Marzio denied the allegations. The accusers’ lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, has said the two men will both press forward with civil cases against Di Marzio.
Today, I welcome Bishop-designate Robert Brennan, as the eighth Bishop of Brooklyn. I have known Bishop Brennan for many years, and have great confidence in his ability to lead the @BrooklynDiocese, and build upon the pastoral achievements we have made. pic.twitter.com/0BLAXVNENw
— Bishop DiMarzio (@BpDiMarzio) September 29, 2021
In a tweet Wednesday, DiMarzio welcomed Brennan to Brooklyn and said he had “great confidence in his ability to lead” the diocese.
“In the selection of Bishop Robert Brennan, the Holy Father has called upon a native New Yorker to return to lead the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens. On behalf of the Diocese of Brooklyn, I welcome Bishop Brennan who I have known for many years, with confidence in his ability to lead our Catholic community and build upon the pastoral achievements we have made. It has truly been an honor to serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn for 18 years,” DiMarzio said.
For the Bronx-born Brennan, 59, it’s a homecoming to New York after he was educated at St. John’s University in Queens, ordained in Rockville Center, Long Island and made an auxiliary bishop there before being sent to lead the Columbus diocese in 2019.
“I came to know amazing people in the Diocese of Columbus and there is a tremendous sadness in leaving them behind. As I prepare for a return to New York, I am ready and eager to embrace the people of Brooklyn and Queens as their pastor. Knowing we are loved by Jesus, we will strive to show others his face, bearing the Joy of the Gospel and the Splendor of Truth. In the end, that’s what it is all about – in Columbus, Brooklyn, and around the world,” said Brennan.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)