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SEX VICTIM BLASTS PASTOR FOR PRAYING 'HARDBALL'

Aug 2, 2003 | New York Post PRIEST sex-abuse victim Philip Young remembers the "hardball" legal tactics employed by the Diocese of Camden under the helm of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

Under a bruising cross examination in Atlantic County Superior Court, Young and his brother Robert broke down when they describe five years of abuse at the hands of a diocese priest who happened to be their dad's best friend.

When the nine-year-old class-action lawsuit, filed by 23 victims against 15 priests, was settled in March for $880,000, the judge scolded the diocese for its "legal hardball" tactic.

Young yesterday warned New Yorkers about DiMarzio's hardball ways, which he charges the bishop still employed even after the settlement.

"It seems to me, personally, they're playing the same shuffle game just like they moved pedophile priests," said Young, 37, of Delaware.

The diocese bragged after settlement that it initiated the deal because the bishop wanted to provide outreach for the victims.

Yet Young said talks with the diocese's newly created victim-assistance coordinator went nowhere and all he really wanted was a formal apology to him and his family. "It seems to me he doesn't want to deal with the issue."

Kevin Gemmell, who heads the South Jersey chapter of the Catholic lay group called Voice of the Faithful, said DiMarzio banned his group from meeting in his churches, talking to his priests or handing out fliers to his worshippers.

"You guys are in for it in Brooklyn," said Gemmell, recalling one meeting with DiMarzio where the bishop told him, "I don't want anything to do with" the group.

DiMarzio has been named to replace Brooklyn Bishop Thomas Daily who was cited in a Massachusetts state attorney general's report to be one of the main culprits in the Boston priest sex-abuse scandal.

In the eight years Daily spent as the No. 2 man in the Archdiocese of Boston, he "had a clear preference for keeping priests who sexually abused children in pastoral ministry."

DiMarzio is known for his advocacy for immigrants and for quickly establishing an impressive program to deal with sex-abuse issues when the scandal erupted last year - which, when compared to Daily, is an improvement.

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