Cardinal Dolan introduces independent reviewer on sex abuse allegations

MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan —  The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has hired a former federal judge to review its procedures and protocols for handling allegations of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the appointment of Barbara Jones on Thursday.

"A federal judge, a former prosecutor, known for her wisdom and fairness, I have asked Judge Jones to help me and this archdiocese," Dolan states in a news release.

Dolan said he was ordering the review because Catholics in New York have demanded "accountability, transparency" and "action" from church leadership.

The cardinal also asked that Jones "hold my feet to the fire."

The step comes after New York's attorney general announced that she was doing a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse allegations across the state.

Two years ago, the archdiocese announced a compensation fund for victims of clergy sex abuse willing to forego lawsuits. It has paid out about $60 million so far.

The Manhattan-based archdiocese is the nation's second biggest after Los Angeles.

Thursday's announcement was made less than a month after Missouri became the first state to publicly announce an independent inquiry into sex abuse allegations, the Washington Post reports.