New York cardinal appoints retired judge to review sex abuse cases
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Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced Thursday that his office had appointed a former federal judge to review and evaluate the archdiocese of New York's response to the growing sexual abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church.

At a press conference, Dolan introduced Barbara Jones, a former district court judge for the Southern District of New York, as the archdiocese's "special counsel and independent reviewer," according to a press release.


"A federal judge, a former prosecutor, known for her wisdom and fairness, I have asked Judge Jones to help me and this archdiocese, and I’m grateful she’s accepted," Dolan said, adding that Jones will conduct "an exhaustive study of our policies, procedures, and protocols on how we deal with any accusation that comes to us about an alleged abuse of a young person by a priest, deacon, or a bishop."

"I have promised her complete access to our records, personnel, and to me personally," Dolan said, noting that he wants Jones "to hold my feet to the fire."

Dolan's announcement comes a day after the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops announced a new set of measures aimed at holding accused priests accountable for sexual misconduct, including a yet-unspecified third-party system for reporting sexual abuse at the hands of priests or other members of the clergy.

"This is a time of deep examination of conscience for each bishop," the committee said in a statement. "We cannot content ourselves that our response to sexual assault within the Church has been sufficient."

The Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal was back in the spotlight last month with the publication of a Pennsylvania grand jury report identifying hundreds of "predator priests" and more than 1,000 victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Pope Francis has yet to address the scandal with specific measures at the Vatican, but has referred to the crimes detailed in the grand jury report as "atrocities."