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Cardinal Lies About Paying Off Pedophile Priests

Yet another sordid turn in the long saga of the Catholic Church’s reprehensible response to priests raping children. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times reports on a new document that shows that Cardinal Nolan authorized payments to priests who were accused of raping children in their parishes — and lied about it.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” said Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the archdiocese. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”

Funny how they found all these elaborate ways of dealing with the situation within canon law, but it never occurred to them to do what they obviously should have done, which is turn the priests over to the police. In fact, they explicitly forbid doing that. And then they want to lecture us about the evils of secular morality.

Comments

  1. says

    “Funny how they found all these elaborate ways of dealing with the situation within canon law, but it never occurred to them to do what they obviously should have done, which is turn the priests over to the police. In fact, they explicitly forbid doing that.”

    Why should they? They are bound by a higher authority than any secular authority, which as you well know comes from the higher authority who’s office on earth resides in the Holy See.

    Hands up how many of you have hear this before and how many of you are reaching for a stone…

  2. cptdoom says

    But the best part is that Dolan (btw Ed – check your spelling, wouldn’t want some poor guy named Nolan to get all the crap Dolan deserves) issued a non-denial denial yesterday to the NY Post:

    “The New York Times does not have a reputation for fair and accurate reporting when it comes to this issue,” Dolan said yesterday after Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown. “So, to respond to charges like that — that are groundless and scurrilous — in my book it’s useless and counterproductive.”

    Notice, he refuses to respond to the charges (which his office referred to as “charity” – meaning the payments were made, but hvae been rationalized by the corrupt leadership of the Church) and attacks the character of the NY Times through the NY Post without any hint of irony.

    Then, to prove what a stellar pastoral counselor and guide Dolan really is, proceeds to attack the victims of the rapists for whom he’s covered up:

    The cardinal also lashed out at an advocacy group — Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — that has called the payments “secret deals” and “incentives.”

    But Dolan fumed, “SNAP has no credibility whatsoever.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/holy_hell_from_dolan_iUsIwF0IoLNF31v6MMaPnO?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local

    It is clear from Dolan’s response to this latest nugget of scandal and his attitude toward civil rights for LGBT citizens that his elevation to cardinal was no fluke. That nasty piece of work Ratzinger apparently only elevates those who act just like him.

  3. says

    Their bureaucracy gives them convenience incentives to bribe sexual predators into quietly quitting instead of just kicking them out and turning them over to the cops?

    They just keep coming up with new ways to twist basic morality.

  4. d cwilson says

    If a secular institution had systematically covered up hundreds of cases of rape, moved the perpetrators around from one division or another like chess pieces, and ultimately paying them off to quietly go away, they’d be facing prosecution under the RICO statute.

    Of course, if any other organization was ruled over by a dictator who declared that he had a direct line from gawd that made his pronouncements infallable, we’d call them a dangerous cult. And if said cult believed it was above the law and had a history of child rape, we’d be storming their strongholds with ATF and FBI agents like we did in Waco.

    But hey, because the Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years, we have to somehow respect their traditions.

  5. Paul W., OM says

    This should not be even a little bit surprising.

    Whenever you cover up a crime, and thus become an accessory after the fact, that gives the perp leverage over you—if you expose him for doing something now, he can expose your complicity before.

    I’d be shocked if the RCC had not been paying off pedophiles for a long time.

    This is an entirely usual pattern of corruption in various criminal enterprises, oppressive regimes, spying, etc. It’s a classic way that people get in deeper and deeper because one criminal action makes you vulnerable to pressure to commit another.

    As I understand it—though I forget where I read about it—it’s been known for a long time that the Catholic church let some pedophiles stay in the priesthood (though with limited duties) for fear that they’d make a public fuss if the Church tried to defrock and fire them. (IIRC that includes at least one priest who was openly a member and defender of NAMBLA.)

    Given that, it’d be quite surprising if none of the ones who did leave quietly were paid to do so.

  6. says

    I heard the commentators on Catholic Radio glibly excusing the pay-offs by describing them as a “pragmatic” way to avoid a protracted dispute over the dismissal of certain priests. After all, convicts are given a small chunk of start-up money when they walk out of prison at the end of their terms, so why shouldn’t priests get a chunk of money to ease them into society? It’s practically the same thing (absent the prison term, of course)! Interestingly enough, the commentators seemed entirely sincere in their confusion over the controversy. Why would people be upset about cash being slipped into the pockets of defrocked priests? They figured it must have something to do with media bias against Catholics. Really.

  7. says

    In the NY Daily News yesterday, they published a Letter to the Editor from a presumably Catholic reader who things it’s no coincidence that this issue is being raised now against Dolan because he is an outspoken opponent of Obama’s contraception coverage policy.

  8. Eric R says

    In the NY Daily News yesterday, they published a Letter to the Editor from a presumably Catholic reader who things it’s no coincidence that this issue is being raised now against Dolan because he is an outspoken opponent of Obama’s contraception coverage policy

    To them its probably clear the baby Nobama forced the catholic church to abuse little boys in an effort to have a wedge issue in the future kenyan anti-colonialist takeover.

  9. bobaho says

    What does Micheal Voris say about this? Why it’s a conspiracy against the the pope of course! Those darn wolves!

  10. says

    Regarding the argument that the payoffs were a much cheaper and faster way to dispose of problem priests…

    Well, it’s true, but conveniently overlooks the basic fact that the Catholic Church is in full control of its own laws and HR procedures.

    All it would take for summary dismissal to become the standard in cases of gross misconduct by a priest is for the Pope to decree it.

  11. otrame says

    @9

    Hey, I see Voris is still holding on the the Worst Rug in Christendom Title that he so cherishes.

  12. judyjones says

    Can Cardinal Dolan please tell us what the difference is between the word ‘payoff’ and ‘charity’..?
    These child predators should have been fired, without pay, and sent to police.. they committed crimes against innocent kids.

    BTW, SNAP is a ‘we’ organization. with over 12,000 members who mostly have been sexually abused by clergy. So is Dolan saying that all of these victims “have NO credibility whatsoever”? That is extremely sad.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
    [email protected]
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org).

  13. grumpyoldfart says

    So how many of the mugs in the pews will miss the service next Sunday, and protest outside the church instead?

    Millions? Thousands? Hundreds?

    My prediction: Not one!

  14. jakc says

    Seriously, why can’t the Pope just kick them out? Don’t Catholics think the guy speaks for God? This isn’t a president acting against the Constitution – doesn’t the pope have the unilateral authority to change cannon law without worrying about challenges or impeachment? Can’t he excommunicate people for disagreeing with him? And from a practical sense, wouldn’t it be easier to fleece the sheep of more money by telling them “millions for defence but not a penny for pay-offs!” Oh, to be a small listening device in Dolan’s confessional.

  15. Konradius says

    >Can Cardinal Dolan please tell us what the difference
    >is between the word ‘payoff’ and ‘charity’..?

    Well, you know, if they didn’t call this charity it’d be harder for them to pretend to give money to charity…

  16. says

    “But hey, because the Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years, we have to somehow respect their traditions.”

    It’s too big to fail?

    “doesn’t the pope have the unilateral authority to change cannon law without worrying about challenges or impeachment?”

    I’m afraid I’ll have to correct a slight mistake on your part. “Canon Law” is what the churches do. “Cannon Law” is what larger, more militarized countries do, to smaller less militarized ones (See U.S. foreign policy since, um, 1776).

    The RCC is an organization that’s rotten, from the head down. Prune the hierarchy and get rid of the moneylenders and you might have a decent charitable organization–although it would still be one with collective delusions about supreme beings, etc.,.

  17. ricko says

    I’m happy the Archbishop is now the Cardinal in New York, it was a lot tougher having him in Milwaukee… Good on you, New York!

    I wish he’d apologize to all the Catholics in Milwaukee who had their money taken, with no input, to get these priests gone. (I didn’t give any, as I’d long left the Church for the Atheist position.)

    Well played, Cardinal.

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