Friday, February 29, 2008

Police: Priest abused kids

A Catholic priest acting as a Montgomery County family’s spiritual adviser has been arrested, accused of sexually abusing the family’s four children, state police said Wednesday.

John W. Broderick, 47, of Nicholville, St. Lawrence County, is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with the children, ages 5 to 11, over several months last year.

State police in Fonda began investigating after receiving a complaint from a Montgomery County family.

The parent told police Broderick befriended the family and became their spiritual adviser.

He left the county in May 2007, ending up in Massena, at the Holy Name of Jesus Academy. He was arrested by state police investigators there.

State police identified him with the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse; however, the school he was arrested at appears to be run by a sect not officially recognized by the Catholic Church.

Montgomery County District Attorney Jed Conboy said he did not believe Broderick was in the county acting on behalf of any diocese. Conboy was unsure how long Broderick was in the county.

State police spokeswoman Maureen Tuffey said the extent of the allegations make investigators fear Broderick had more victims.

“If somebody is 47 years old and doing this, it’s usually not their first time,” Tuffey said. “Generally speaking, when you see these cases, you usually encounter other victims.”

She cited that as the main reason they publicized the case Wednesday. Anyone with information was asked to call the state police at 853-4708.

State police described Broderick as a pastor who was not assigned to a particular church.

Broderick faces three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, felonies, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors.

He was arraigned in Town of Palatine Court and ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Broderick was suspended earlier this year by the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, police said.

However, the school where he was arrested is run by the Dominican Sisters of Idaho, a group not officially recognized by the Catholic Church, according to an article in the Watertown Daily Times.

A spokesperson for the Syracuse Catholic diocese did not return a call for comment Wednesday. Neither Montgomery County nor Massena are part of that diocese.

Montgomery County falls under the Albany diocese. Ken Goldfarb, spokesman for Albany, confirmed Broderick is not a priest for Albany and he was never assigned to any diocese parish.

The Albany diocese extends west to include Herkimer County.

Further, any priest from another diocese would have to ask permission from the local bishop to practice, Goldfarb said. “We have no knowledge of him ever seeking permission.”

Massena is under the Ogdensburg diocese. An official there said the Holy Name of Jesus school was under another group’s control. Calls to the school’s listed number were not returned Wednesday.

The Holy Name of Jesus Academy opened in September, serving about 50 girls in preschool to seventh grades, according to a newsletter from a group related to the Dominican Sisters of Idaho.

The newsletter also includes several photographs. In one photo, a man identified as “independent New York state priest, Fr. John Broderick” is described as helping bless the school complex.
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The placing of an article hereupon does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Sotto Voce

2 comments:

Missy said...

I do wonder what your goal was in posting this information about Fr. Broderick. We attended Mass at one of his churches for several years. He was the priest praying at the altar an hour before Mass and could be found there praying after the church was empty. He would also go into the confessional when asked and spent hours and hours offering spiritual direction. He was one of the holiest priests I met and we were greatly saddened when he left. I can't believe for a minute that he would do anything impure unless he had lost his mind, which I doubt. Already the media is making it sound like he tried to be around children a lot, and that just isn't true. He was kind toward children, but was never really interested in their activities. He prefered to talk to the adults about church history and the like. I never saw him gravitate to children over the many years I knew him, nor did my friends.

Father, I hope you are one of those priests praying at the altar before Mass. What a holy impression that would make on your parishioners.

Anonymous said...

I used to agree with you Missy

as a matter of fact he was my
spiritual director for many years

that is why I have not yet overcome
the shock of discovering the
truth about him

i have since then acquired info
about people afflicted with this
problem and leading double lives

it is a very sad thing to see the
damages done to innocent children

spera in Deo