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Report Abuse

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.

Click here for the Online Form for Complaints about Clergy. A complaint about sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric may also be filed by contacting the Victim Assistance Coordinator: [email protected]You will be contacted within one business day.

To report a complaint of sexual abuse by a non-cleric (i.e., a lay employee or volunteer) acting in the name of the Church, recently or in the past, please click here and fill out the online form.

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.

These are not general complaint forms. They are only for filing a complaint of the sexual abuse of a minor. Please do not use them 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.

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 maltreatment.

A summary of our reporting procedures can be downloaded in English and Spanish.

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.

Persons who report alleged incidents pursuant to this policy, and those who cooperate with investigations of such reports, shall be entitled to the protections of the Archdiocesan whistleblower policy. The Archdiocese expressly prohibits any form of retaliation, including harassment, intimidation, or adverse employment actions against personnel who raise suspected violations of law, cooperate in inquiries or investigations, or identify potential violations of Archdiocesan policies in good faith.

All complaints will be treated confidentially subject to the requirements of civil or canon law, the need to cooperate with investigations by civil authorities, and the need to thoroughly investigate the report and take appropriate corrective action.

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 or by calling toll-free 1-800-276-1562.