Doctor outlines memory recall issue for Bishop Emeritus Clark in bankruptcy proceedings

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Attorneys handling the abuse claims of child sexual assault victims want a judge to put retired Bishop Matthew Clark on the stand.{ } He led the diocese for 33 years and is in the early stages of Alzheimers Disease.{ }{ }

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - New court documents are providing insight into the health of Diocese of Rochester Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark.

The new information came from a series of legal documents filed in Monroe County Court as part of the Diocese of Rochester's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. That process began just a few weeks after the Child Victims' Act took effect in August. It allowed survivors of child sex abuse to file civil action against their alleged abusers over a one-year window.

Among the documents filed on Friday was a letter from neurologist Dr. Anthony Maroldo. The letter objects to the bishop, who led the diocese for 33 years, from being called to testify.

Survivors of child sex abuse want to question Clark as part of the bankruptcy process. Many of the close to 100 sexual abuse claims filed against the diocese under the Child Victims Act occurred during his tenure.

The last time Clark was deposed was in 2012. That interview lasted four hours.

According to the letter, Dr. Maroldo began seeing Clark in August 2018. He said Clark was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia in July 2019 - about one month before the first flurry of lawsuits was filed against the Diocese. Maroldo said the disease "causes him to experience impairment of memory retrieval."

"His memory impairment limits his ability to recall past events...his language impairment limits his ability to formulate clear, cogent and reliable responses," according to documents filed.

The letter goes on to state that any additional interview would cause him anxiety, frustration, stress and irritability that would further impair his ability to comprehend and provide reliable responses to questions during a deposition.

An attorney for sex abuse survivors told 13WHAM News on Friday that his clients want the opportunity to test Clark's competency - adding that survivors deserve this.

The judge will make that final decision.