Report a Complaint
Our online complaint form may be used to present an allegation that a cleric (bishop, priest, deacon) has committed an act of sexual abuse of a minor. The completed form is CONFIDENTIAL and is submitted to us automatically by e-mail.
If there is an emergency, and you believe that a child is in imminent risk, please call 911, and then contact the New York State Hotline (1-800-342-3720).. The policy of the Archdiocese is to report to law enforcement every allegation that presents reasonable suspicion of child abuse (sexual or otherwise) or neglect.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator can be contacted by email: [email protected]. You will be contacted within one business day.
To report a complaint of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or anyone acting in the name of the Church, recently or in the past, please click on the link below and fill out the online form.
This is not a general complaint form. It is only for filing a complaint of the sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric. Do not use it for any other purpose. If you have a complaint about any other subject, please identify the appropriate Archdiocesan office from this list and submit it directly to them.
Click here for the Online Complaint Form.
After you submit the completed form, you will be contacted within one business day. To ensure a follow-up, please include a means of communication in your form (i.e. email or phone). We are unable to follow up on cases where a means of communication are not included.
If the complaint is against a member of the clergy, we strongly urge the complainant to report their allegation immediately and directly to the District Attorney’s Office for the county in which the incident occurred. We will also report the matter to the District Attorney. If the complaint is against a lay person, we also will report the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency. This is very important to emphasize again — the Archdiocese will report to law enforcement every allegation that presents reasonable suspicion of child abuse (sexual or otherwise) or neglect.
The Archdiocese will cooperate with any criminal investigation by the District Attorney’s Office and any other law enforcement agency. The Archdiocese, after consultation with the appropriate District Attorney’s Office or law enforcement agency, will take appropriate protective action concerning the cleric, including removing him from his assignment, to ensure the safety of minors.
Allegations of child sexual abuse by a clergyman are investigated by an independent private investigation firm. Their findings are then presented to our Advisory Review Board. This board is made up primarily of lay people, along with one priest and a religious sister. They have various areas of expertise, including judges, attorneys, law enforcement, education supervision, psychology, and child sexual abuse. They review all the available evidence and advise the archbishop whether the allegation is substantiated by sufficient reliable evidence. In such a case,
“When even a single act of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon is admitted or is established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon will be removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, if the case so warrants.”Bishops’ Charter and the Essential Norms (Norm 8)
If there is a finding that the allegation is unsubstantiated, the cleric may be returned to service and steps taken to restore his good name.
To file a complaint about a bishop
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has established an independent third party reporting system to receive allegations of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops of the United States. Anyone wishing to make a complaint against a bishop of sexual abuse or other related misconduct may make such a report at ReportBishopAbuse.org or by calling toll-free 1-800-276-1562.