March 28, 2002
After celebrating a special Mass for priests from Brooklyn and
Queens--and marking his own 50th anniversary in the priesthood
--Bishop Thomas Daily said he had no intention of turning over
names of priests accused of abusing minors.
The bishop's steadfast declaration came as church officials in
Long Island began handing over information on accused sex
"We feel that we have a policy . . . and we feel that we've been
responsible, and we're sticking with that policy," Daily said, standing
on Jay Street outside St. James Basilica Cathedral, where he had celebrated
the annual Chrism Mass Thursday morning with 300 priests from the Brooklyn
diocese, which includes Queens.
The diocese of Rockville Centre, which takes in Nassau and Suffolk Counties,
has said it sent to prosecutors information on alleged sex abusers.
On a related matter Thursday, Daily made his first public statements to the
media about John J. Geoghan, the now-jailed ex-priest who abused more than
100 children in the Boston archdiocese, when Daily was an administrator there
in the 1980s.
"I would have asked more questions," said Daily.But Daily said that while he
should have "investigated a little more," he nevertheless was acting they way
church officials typically did."Those were days when we didn't do those
things," he said, referring to serious investigation of abuse accusations.
Two weeks ago the Boston archdiocese reached a $30 million settlement with
86 people who charged they or their children had been abused by convicted
In other comments on Geoghan, Daily said that "as I recall . . . a couple of
priests" had made allegations against the ex-priest before he was finally
"yanked" from his church duties.
If true, it was rare case. It is extremely unusual for priests to come forward
against a fellow priest, said David Clohessy, national director of the St. Louis-
based Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests.
"I don't remember hearing that," Clohessy said, referring to priests who spoke
out against Geoghan. "I'd want to give them a medal of courage . . . but I would
certainly hope and pray that they suffered no ill consequences" for speaking out
against another priest.
A spokeswoman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, Sharon
Toomer, repeated Hynes' demand that Daily disclose all allegations of child
Daily said that while Hynes may be publicly demanding the church's sex abuse
files, "I haven't heard from him . . . no letter or anything like that."
Hynes' spokeswoman refused to comment when asked whether Hynes intends
to subpoena the information from the diocese.
Newsday reported Thursday that Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota did
just that before the Long Island diocese handed over its files.