Blessed are you when...

“Blessed are you when people ...tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers."     (Matthew 5:11) 

Forced to resign from the Brooklyn Jails because of a false accusation by a woman

Here is the evidence!

  It was almost 8 months I was working as a Chaplain in the Brooklyn Jail – NY - when all of a sudden February 4, 2003 coming back home in the Rectory of the Church where I was living as a guest, I found a letter from the Archdiocese. The letter was about withdrawing the authorization I needed to serve as a catholic Chaplain in New York. Consequently I was forced to resign from the Prison of Brooklyn and come back to Italy, the 12th of February 2003.


What had happened?

  It was the end of October 2002 (I don’t remember the precise day) when  the Ecclesiastic Responsabile of the Personnel from the Archdiocese of New York called me. He asked me if I knew a certain Lady (I’ll call her L.D.) I answered that indeed I knew L.D. because I met her in my first trip to New York in May 2001 in a House in the Bronx, where she worked as Social Worker trying to help inmates.

The Ecclesiastic Responsabile told me that L.D. had given a letter to a bishop of Spanish speaking who lived in New York. In this letter She accused me of  “Sexual Harassment”.

The Ecclesiastic Responsabile told me he didn’t have that letter so he couldn’t show (I am not been able to see this letter until now).

Right away I told him I was innocent of the accusations of that woman. I came to know L.D. because she begged for my help since she was in a deep depression so much so she wanted to commit suicide. I accepted to support her spiritually.

The Ecclesiastic Responsabile told me that perhaps L.D. had misunderstood my intentions.

I asked him what would have been my behaviour. He told me to be careful not to meet L.D. alone. I told him I would have followed his advice. He told me to write a sort of memo about her.

Before leaving He told me He would have called me for updating me about the situation. 

After a while one Sunday L.D. came to the Church where I used to celebrate the Holy Mass in Italian at 11.00 a.m. I asked her the reason of all that false accusations. She told me she was out of her mind when she wrote that letter. She asked forgiveness for that. I told her I had no intention to help her anymore, so she could find another spiritual director.

On November 20, I received a letter from her. In this letter she asked forgiveness for the false accusation and asked to pray for her 

(Klic the word "letter" to see the letter in  the original Spanish and the translation in English). 

  After that I thought that everything was cleared even because The Ecclesiastic Responsabile didn’t called me anymore.

But as I said before, February 4, coming home from the Jail I found the letter of the Archdiocese. I was a loss for words for the serious decision from the Archdiocese without telling me before.

I called immediately The Ecclesiastic Responsabile and I told him I was very surprised about that letter. He told me that L.D had confirmed that accusations, He told me He had trying to contact me but he only could leave some messages ( I didn't receive any messages even if the secretary of the Parish was always very precise in giving me the messages I received). I answered that this woman was a liar, and I told him about the letter the woman had written to me asking for forgiveness. The answer of The Ecclesiastic Responsabile left me without words: “ Send me the letter through Fax Machine We’ll put it in your file but In any case beyond the fact whether this Lady is right or not you cannot serve as a Priest in New York anymore".

If had been allowed defending myself they would have found out that this Lady while accusing me in the Archdiocese office, at same time used to write me asking forgiveness for the false accusation and thanking me because with the help of God and my advice she had been able to face the several problems she had. 

(Klic on "to write me" to see the letters in the original Spanish)


What can we say?

To God the glory and the honour and the power for ever!

As Saint Peter, I thank God to be found worthy to suffer something for the sake of Jesus Christ!

At the same time I forgive that Lady and I’ll ask God to forgive and protect her always. 

After considering the documents I send to Him Card. Michele Giordano of the Archdiocese of Naples gave me a letter ( see the original in Italian)  to allow me to go back as Chaplain in the Poggioreale Jail.

I want to take advantage now to thank His Emin. Card. Giordano because of his fatherly care.

  Fr. bruno Oliviero