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On November 26, 1784, Pope Pius VI erected the Apostolic Prefecture of United States of America with the territory of what was then the entire United States of America. On November 6, 1789, the same pope raised this prefecture to a diocese and changed its title to Diocese of Baltimore headed by the first American bishop, John Carroll.
The first appointed Bishop of New York could not set sail from Italy due to the Napoleonic blockade, so a Jesuit priest, Anthony Kohlmann, was chosen as administrator pending his arrival. He was instrumental in organizing the diocese and preparing for its original Cathedral of St. Patrick to be built on Mulberry Street. The difficulties faced by Catholics at the time included anti-Catholic bigotry in general and in the New York school system and a strong Nativist movement that sought to keep Catholics out of the country and to prevent those already present from advancing.
On July 25, 1885, the same pope annexed the territory of The Bahamas to the Archdiocese of New York, establishing their first permanent Catholic presence, due to their proximity to New York's busy port. The Archdiocese of New York constructed and administered churches and schools in the Bahamas until Pope Pius XI erected the Apostolic Prefecture of Bahama ) on March 21, 1929 enabled a transition. By 1932, The Bahamas were no longer under the spiritual jurisdiction of New York. This established the present territory of the Archdiocese of New York.
From 1919 to 1983, the Archbishops of New York held the collateral position of Apostolic Vicar of the Military Vicariate of the United States.Pope John Paul II terminated this arrangement, first by appointing Bishop John Joseph O'Connor as Archbishop of New York but as Apostolic Administrator of the Military Vicariate of the United States on 26 January 1984 to oversee the transition and, subsequently, by reconstituting the Military Vicariate of the United States as the present Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, with its own archbishop and its see relocated to Washington, DC on 21 July 1986.
As of 2016, the Catholic population of the archdiocese was 2,642,740. These Catholics were served by 696 archdiocesan priests and 590 priests of religious orders. Also laboring in the diocese were 319 permanent deacons, 962 religious brothers, and 2,260 nuns.
For comparison, in 1929, the Catholic population of the archdiocese was 1,273,291 persons. There were 1,314 clergy ministering in the archdiocese and 444 churches. There were also 170,348 children in Catholic educational and welfare institutions.
In 1959, there were 7,913 nuns and sisters ministering in the archdiocese, representing 103 different religious orders.
The headquarters of the archdiocesan school system is in the New York Catholic Center Terrence Cardinal Cooke Building in Midtown Manhattan.
The following cemeteries are under the auspices of Calvary & Allied Cemeteries, Inc.:
Calvary Cemetery - Established in 1847; located in Queens. The cemetery, while located in the Diocese of Brooklyn, is property of the Archdiocese of New York as it was established before the Diocese of Brooklyn was canonically erected.
In August 2018, the archdiocese reported that between 2016 and 2018, its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program paid nearly $60 million to 278 victims of sex abuse by clergy. On September 26, 2018, it was reported that the Archdiocese of New York, and the three other dioceses where Theodore McCarrick served as a bishop, were facing an investigation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for McCarrick's alleged sex abuse. On January 28, 2019, the New York state Assembly and Senate passed a law allowing prosecutors to bring criminal charges until a victim turned 28, and permitting victims to sue until age 55. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on February 14, 2019.
On April 26, 2019, the Archdiocese released a list of 120 Catholic clergy accused of committing acts of sexual abuse. Some of those on the list, which includes both male and female church workers, have been convicted and many are deceased. The list was accompanied by a letter of apology from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who asked for forgiveness.
On August 14, 2019, James Grien, who has accused McCarrick of sexually abusing him when McCarrick was an auxiliary bishop of New York, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York for shielding McCarrick from a potential criminal investigation. In his lawsuit, Grien also stated that McCarrick's status as a friend of his family allowed the former New York Auxiliary Bishop to continue to visit and sexually abuse him after being transferred to New Jersey's Diocese of Metuchen and Archdiocese of Newark.
On September 30, 2019, Dolan released a report written by Barbara S. Jones, a former judge and prosecutor. Her report stated, among other things, that the Archdiocese had completed the process of removing all of its remaining accused clergy from active ministry. In the same report, Jones recommended that the Archdiocese should also hire a sex abuse "czar" to vet all complaints. Jones, who was commissioned by Dolan in 2018 to conduct the review of the church's handling of abuse allegations, also recommended hiring "a compliance officer for the Office of Priest Personnel to monitor its functions and oversee the new document management system". Dolan also backed the Jones Report and stated at a press conference that the archdiocese was expanding its sex abuse policy as well.
On October 10, 2019, it was announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Bronx-based Auxiliary Bishop John Jenik following an accusation of sex abuse. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop by Pope Francis in 2014, Jenik also served as vicar for the Northwest Bronx, appointed by Dolan's predecessor Edward Egan in 2006. Jenik, who submitted his resignation letter upon turning 75 in March 2019, had stepped out of public ministry in October 2018 after the allegation surfaced.
On May 8, 2020, Cuomo extended the 2019 New York Child Victim Act's statewide statute of limitations deadline to file sex abuse lawsuits, which was originally set for August 14, 2020, to January 14, 2021.
On July 27, 2020, it was revealed that a Catholic priest who served the Archdiocese of New York in upstate New York's Orange County was named in a new sex abuse lawsuit. In the lawsuit, eight men alleged that longtime Orange County priest Rev. George Boxelaar, who is now deceased, sexually abused them when they were children, adding their claims to those of at least three other accusers of the late Boxelaar who have sued. These three other accusers had filed lawsuits through the state Supreme Court in Orange County in late 2019, with one also naming the Archdiocese of New York and both Holy Cross and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches as defendants. In addition to these new lawsuits, a Scarsdale Catholic school teacher identified as Edwin Gaylor also confessed to committing acts of sex abuse.
On December 3, 2020, New York City priest Fr. George Rutler, the prestigious pastor of the Church of St. Michael in Manhattan who gained notoriety for criticizing high-profile Irish politician Leo Varadkar's homosexuality, was arrested on charges of groping female security guard Ashley Gonzalez. Rutler, considered a conservative icon, had made numerous appearances on EWTN and had written 30 books.
^"Contact". Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York. Retrieved . Our central office is located in the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Building, in midtown Manhattan. [...] Office of the Superintendent of Schools, Archdiocese of New York 1011 First Avenue, 18th Floor New York, NY 10022