The Diocese of Brooklyn is being rocked by allegations that one of its priests in the 1970s molested two Queens brothers, one of whom became a Catholic priest. Rev. Timothy Lambert accuses Brooklyn Bishop Thomas Daily of covering up for a predator, Rev. Joseph Byrns. Daily is accused of doing the same as a Boston church official for another priest. Lambert, 50, of New Jersey, who claims Byrns molested him for several years, from age 12, mostly on the grounds of St. Anastasia Church in Queens. Lambert said, I don't understand why they would consider an allegation from a brother priest not credible, these guys just think they're above the law. Daily is standing by the accused priest saying Byrns did nothing wrong and will keep his job as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Brooklyn. Lambert said Byrns, 63, who was his mentor, first molested him during an overnight trip to Niagara Falls. He told his older brother Robert about being molested years later in 1997 when he was undergoing therapy for alcoholism that he says stemmed from the abuse. Robert then told him he was also molested by Byrns. Robert, told The Post that as a 13 year old he was sleeping in Byrns' bedroom in Queens and I felt his hand down my pants, and he was fondling me. He said he was molested at least one other time by the priest and that the Brooklyn diocese is paying for his therapy now.  Byrns denied the claims to his flock during Mass.  He said his accuser is to be pitied rather than condemned, and asked parishioners to pray for Lambert.  An advocacy group charged that Daily has violated the U.S. Catholic bishops' zero-tolerance policy against priests accused of sex abuse.  Daily is one of the 10 bishops and archbishops nationwide accused by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests of violating the six-week-old zero-tolerance policy.  Daily's delay before suspending Byrns was criticized by David Clohessy, the group's executive director.  The zero-tolerance policy was adopted June 14, but Daily did not suspend Byrns until July 26.  Our biggest fear is when the media limelight fades, it will be back to business as usual for the bishops, said Clohessy.

The family of a young altar boy who accused Byrns of raping him in a Brooklyn church yesterday urged any other victims of the 63 year old clergyman to be courageous and come forward.  Byrns has been charged by Brooklyn DA Charles Hyunes with two felonies and 20 misdemeanors.  He allegedly sodomized and fondled the boy in St. Rose of Lima Church in Kensington between 2000, when the youngster was 11, and 2002. The boy is now 17.  

Byrns convinced the boy that the molestation would bring him closer to God, the teen testified on January 12, 2006.  

Lambert is outraged that Byrns will received no jail time in the other child-molestation case.  I don't know how he's not behind bars, said Lambert.

Byrns denies the claims and the accusations were beyond the statute of limitations for prosecution.  He remains a priest, but was relieved of his duties.

On March 28, Byrns pleaded guilty to child endangerment in connection with the sodomy of the 11 year old boy and was sentenced to three years' probation.  He was also ordered to stay away from kids.  He is banned from working with or having any unsupervised contact with children and was ordered to attend a sex-offender program.

(New York)