The faithful at Good Shepherd Church dedicated a Christmas tree outside of the Batchelder Street house of worship to accused pedophile Msgr. Thomas Brady — a move that the victim’s family finds downright sinful.
“The tree is dedicated to people who have done good work in the community and Msgr. Brady’s name was on it,” explained the father of the 14-year-old boy the 77-year-old priest allegedly molested. “It made me feel very angry and my child is traumatized.”
Police arrested Brady in October, claiming that the former spiritual leader attempted to perform a “criminal sex act” on two minors at two different times.
Sources say that one of the victims — a student at Good Shepherd Parochial School — was in the church rectory with Brady when the senior, who parishioners say has had several strokes and is currently fighting lung cancer, made several lewd comments. At one point, the former FDNY chaplain “offered to have sex” with the minor, cops said.
Investigators did not say that Brady had touched the child. Neither did the Diocese, which put Brady, an FDNY chaplain with close ties to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, on administrative leave for having “inappropriate contact” with the teenager, as well as a second teen. Diocese officials learned about the second attack while investigating the first.
Yet, just after Thanksgiving, Good Shepherd parishioners added Brady’s name to a list of people remembered at their Christmas tree lighting.
“This year’s tree lighting is dedicated to Monsignor Thomas F. Brady for his service to and love for the people of Good Shepherd,” read an oaktag-sized placard hanging on the gate next to the tree. The tree lighting was also dedicated to Maimonidies Medical Center and several parishioners who had passed away.
The father of the teen was outraged that the church would honor a man accused of a sex crime — particularly on one of the church’s own — but never complained to the church pastor.
Instead, he called the media. A day after the story ran in the New York Daily News, a Manhattan newspaper, he got a call from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s office.
“[The Bishop’s staff] said they were sorry and asked what they could do,” the victim’s aunt explained. “We told them the only acceptable form of an apology would be to take the sign down. So far, they haven’t done that.”
Instead, someone plastered the Daily News article on the tree dedication, the victim’s father said.
“I don’t understand, the church admitted that Brady attacked my son [by taking him away], but why did they dedicate the tree to him? All it does is punish my son.”
Good Shepherd Church Pastor James Devlin did not talk to reporters about the tree dedication. Calls to the Diocese for comment were not returned.
Because of his connections to Hynes, the case has been handed over to Staten Island DA to be prosecuted. Brady is expected back in court in February.
Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.