Bishop Emeritus Clark’s Deposition is the First to be Taken and Released in a New York Diocese Bankruptcy Case
(Rochester, NY) – Today in the Western District of New York Bankruptcy Court, the deposition of former Rochester Bishop Matthew H. Clark was released to the public. According to a June 24, 2020 case management order issued by Judge Warren, the transcript of the deposition was to be filed on the bankruptcy case docket after certain parts of it were redacted to protect survivor information. Judge Warren’s order stated, “The Court is making an exception in this case for the sake of transparency and for the sake of disclosure.”
Bishop Clark’s deposition was taken on March 3, 2020 as part of the Diocese of Rochester’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and is the first deposition of a Roman Catholic Bishop to be taken and released in any New York diocesan bankruptcy.
“The release of this deposition will reveal how top officials in the Diocese of Rochester handled allegations of child sexual abuse,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “This is an important victory for survivors seeking truth and transparency from the Diocese.”
Bishop Clark’s actions and the playbook of the Diocese of Rochester have been well-known to survivors and Anderson for decades. In 2002, Anderson brought suit against the Diocese on behalf of ten survivors abused by notorious perpetrator, Fr. Robert O’Neill. The cases were dismissed on the statute of limitations.
“The Fr. O’Neill story now being revealed to the public in Bishop Clark’s deposition was well-known to us for decades and is emblematic of the playbook of concealment used by the Diocese of Rochester and all Catholic dioceses in their mishandling of clergy sexual abuse,” said Anderson. “The story of Fr. O’Neill, which is unfortunately like many others, is now being revealed as a result of the Child Victims Act, and the reckoning has just begun,” says Anderson. Jeff Anderson also deposed Bishop Clark in a separate civil case in 2012.
The full transcript is available here and will also be available on the bankruptcy court docket.