Bishop John Jenik has been asked to step aside while Cardinal Timothy Dolan, of New York, Archdiocese investigates allegations that he molested a minor several decades ago. According to CNN, the Bishop, now 74 years old, will be removed from his duties while the church looks into the claims.
Jenik has served since 1978 at the Our Lady of Refuge Parish in the Bronx. He denies any allegations of wrongdoing and hopes the review board will prove his innocence.
An Allegation Going Back Three Decades
The alleged victim released his details to CNN in an interview. Michael J. Meenan, who is now 52, has said he was 13 when he met Jenik at the church. Meenan came to him to confess, and the confession turned into a discussion of family problems that were occurring at the time. According to Meenan, Jenik took advantage of that confession, turning it into a relationship where the two of them would go out alone, going to restaurants and watching pornographic movies. Meenan has also said that Jenik would take him to stay at his house, and at one point, the two spent the night in the same bed where he groped him and tried to kiss him.
Parishioners Have Been Notified
Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to parishioners in late October to explain the situation. In the letter, he said the Lay Review Board, comprised of judges, attorneys, parents, and child care experts, found the evidence to be credible, and now the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, will be investigating the claim. He also said the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office will be notified.
No Criminal Charges Can Be Filed
The statute of limitations has unfortunately long since expired on this case. As a result, the Bronx District Attorney has no power to investigate the incident.