Busting Big Apple’s Dolan?


There may be a lot of fireworks for Timothy Dolan this week but not the usual Fourth of July type.

As reported on July 2nd in the national and international press, Cardinal Dolan – Archbishop of New York and President of the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been accused by sexual abuse victims of taking part in a decades-long cover-up by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic ordained ministers.

Documentation, made public on Monday, as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud, provide details about Cardinal Dolan’s plan to: (1) pay some abusers to leave the priesthood and (2) move $57 million into a trust for “improved protection” as the Milwaukee archdiocese prepared to file for bankruptcy amid dozens of abuse claims. A Vatican office approved the request to move the money.

Will Dolan be busted?

As Andrew Sullivan, writing yesterday in THE DISH, observed: You know where this man is coming from when he dismissed the organization SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – as having “no credibility“. The records from his old diocese in Milwaukee show he authorized pay-offs to child-rapist priests to encourage them to leave the ministry. (In the Catholic hierarchy, you don’t report rapists to the police; you eventually offer them financial incentives to leave.) Nonetheless, at the time, Dolan insisted that these charges were “false, preposterous and unjust,” whatever the records or even the spokesman for his old diocese said. Now, in another piece of stellar reporting, Laurie Goodstein adds more context to this man’s record:

Files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday reveal that in 2007, Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan, then the archbishop there, requested permission from the Vatican to move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has emphatically denied seeking to shield church funds as the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009. He reiterated in a statement Monday that these were “old and discredited attacks.”

However, the files contain a 2007 letter to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, “I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” The Vatican approved the request in five weeks, the files show.

So, twice now, we have been forced to choose between his words and our lyin’ eyes, when it comes to questions of how he handled and cosseted child-rapists under his jurisdiction in Milwaukee. We now know he deliberately sequestered church assets so he could argue he had no more funds to compensate those raped by his subordinates. He was once again putting the institutional church’s interests above those of the raped. And he seems to be able to lie about all of it – in the face of massive evidence – with nary a flicker of hesitation.

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9 thoughts on “Busting Big Apple’s Dolan?

  1. And, making his/the Vatican’s behavior even more egregious, there was another 90 million moved to the parishes where it was ruled it could not be touched. Bankrupt? My sweet a**!

    “The assets of the archdiocese are a key issue in the bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to the $57 million placed in the cemetery trust, $90 million was transferred to parishes. In Wisconsin, parishes are separate legal entities, and the bankruptcy judge, Susan V. Kelley, ruled earlier that the parish funds are not part of the proceedings.” NCR

  2. Greetings John,
    I have been a subscribing fan of “Another Voice” for some time now and always await the new edition with anticipation. I am Canadian and a cradle Catholic. I retired after 38 years of service in public education. I subsequently joined “Scarboro (Roman Catholic) Foreign Mission Society (SFM) ” in Toronto for a 3 year mission service in Malawi, Africa. It was there that the “Lessons of the Beatitudes” became very real. It was also the genesis of my book ( 2010 published in print) but is now in 2nd edition in Amazon E-books titled “Ordained Holy Men – power, sex and sexuality in the Catholic Church.” I recall your April 30/13 article on “Why I Remain Catholic.” I have recently been confronted with the same. The book has been positively received by my lay community but very guarded by my clerical fraternity. I am 73 years old with a background very similar to yours. This may sound like an “Ad” for the book, but as one influential priest from SFM insisted, “keep the conversation going, Merv.”
    In your words, “Together we pursue the Truth. Together in respectful dialogue and fellowship.”

  3. I have been out of the loop on this blog for a while due to a prolonged illness, so forgive me for a few late comments. I have also been inclined to bite my tongue for a while as so much of what has been said has filled me with dismay and frankly angered me. I did not want to jump in with both feet in a reactionary way, making allowance for my immediate sense of frustration. However, I feel compelled to say this, despite all those reservations, so I am going to say it. Jesus the Christ said very plainly ” You cannot serve God and Mammon….”The Church is doing precisely this. Everything is being run according to money and doing things the way the system dictates. In my view this makes it uinable to do what it wa supposed to do, what indeed it was created for, to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth. If being an “institution” requires this, then maybe it should never have become one. The Church is just aligning itself with all that is deplorable in a world which is misguided enough to tnhhink that money and wordly power ( which goes with it), can ever bring God into the human equation. FFrom this point of view, I have to agree with Roderick, the Church IS the most corrupt and sick institution because it is going completely against its purpose, a Divine purpose at that. With the greatest respect to you Jack and all the good people on this blog, I make no apologies for stating what to me should be pretty obvious. If we have lost sight of this, we have lost the whole point of the purpose for which the Church exists. Best Wishes. Mari.

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