Cardinal Dolan's Payments to Pedophiles
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Jun 03, 2012 at 10:41:18 PM EST
When Timothy Dolan was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010, Frank Cocozzelli wrote that this was an indication that "They are going to escalate the culture wars at the expense of economic justice."

The Dolan-led Bishops and their allies on the Religious Right have certainly lived up to that prediction, even as it is worth underscoring that they had been moving in that direction for some time.  This is important context for what I am going to say here.   But this is not about that.

I couldn't help but notice that Cardinal Dolan is listed, as of this writing, as among the invited and confirmed speakers for the Values Voters Summit, the premier annual political conference of the Religious Right. Held in September, it is sponsored by such leading groups as The Family Research Council and AFA Action, the political arm of The American Family Association.  

Dolan is among those who have been invited but have not yet confirmed. He joins an impressive roster of conservative movement leaders, GOP politicians and Fox News celebrities. While the final mix will undoubtedly be different than the current page, I can't help but wonder whether the invitation will be quietly withdrawn or perhaps, quietly declined.

The reason for such a discreet move might be the extraordinary recent story about how when Dolan was Bishop of Milwaukee, prior to his promotion to New York, he paid off priests accused of child sex abuse with as much a $20,000 to leave the priesthood.

The New York Times recently reported:

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.

Minutes of a meeting presided over by Dolan in 2003 inwhich the payments were discussed, were part of the 2011 bankruptcy proceedings of the Diocese of Milwaukee, but only recently became public. Dolan had denied at the time that such payments constituted a "payoff" to pedophile priests. But that, it turns out to be exactly what they were. He refused to speak to the Times, but the story has made for riveting national news. (Such as this report on ABC News. National Catholic Reporter has a detailed run down of the scandal.)

But the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) made a point quoted in the Times' report that may haunt the values voters crowd for years to come:

"In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?"

Dolan decides to attack the press for reporting on his payments. It reminds me of Bernie "Above the Law" blaming the Boston Globe's press coverage for the sexual abuse scandals. I wonder why Dolan doesn't look in the mirror first when he thinks about who is to blame for the scandal? He's a wannabe Spellman, but fails to see how he and his fellow bishops have forfeited their moral authority with many of us lay Catholics.

Frank was and is right about the whole thing. It is almost like steeplejacking, but it's a centralized thing given our centralized church governance.

by khughes1963 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:47:47 PM EST

Dolan seems to be a wanna be pope.  But it also seems that too much rot will be exposed before that can happen.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:02:47 PM EST
The rot goes all the way to the top, and there's big money behind that and the effort to crack down on the LCRW. For one thing, the sisters have assets that could nicely plug the holes in American diocesan budgets, holes that to a large extent came about due to the hierarchy's efforts to conceal sexual abuse and the consequent litigation.

by khughes1963 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:08:33 PM EST

the Vati-leaks, the Vatican bank scandals and basically the 2000 year old evidences of the corruption of the institution of the Catholic Church and its horrific actions against millions of people, I am wondering how much more it will take before practicing Catholics just walk out the doors. The Irish got fed up enough to close their Vatican embassy and begin the clean out of their school system. They continue to hold the Church's feet to the fire over the proven cover ups and declarations by the Pope in writing the the Church is above any governmental laws and does not have to follow them.  Here in America Catholics should be in the streets protesting the pervasive immorality of this institution,  and follow that up with a massive exit plan. The idea that things can be changed by working within the Church should have been discarded long ago. It is not going to happen.

by BGBlade on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 09:22:27 AM EST
The topic of this site is the religious right and what to do about it.  Let's stick to the topic, please.

I wrote this post not because of the child abuse scandal but because of the politics of the occasion, as Dolan has been invited to address the Values Voters Summit next fall, and the role of Dolan and certainly other similarly tarnished prelates makes for fractures in an ostensibly pro-traditional family political coalition.

While there are gray areas, let's draw a bright line here: This is not a place for gratuitous concern trolling about what American Catholics should or should not do, or for making broad generalizations about this or any other religious institution. You are walking up to and right past a TOS violation.  Don't do it again.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 01:24:34 PM EST

come across as someone who was using this site to push any personal agenda or participate in "concern trolling". I was just reacting to the story and giving my opinion. There were references to the child abuse and to "rot" in the other comments, so I was just following along and offering what I thought was a solution to the second part of your guideline- "what to do about it".  I did not criticize what Catholics believe. Many Catholics have broken away from the main church and formed their own newer institutions, which I think is a good idea. I just do not see any other way to temper this institution other than to withdraw support of it. However, if making that suggestion violates your rules to comment on this site, then I certainly will keep that in mind whenever I comment.

by BGBlade on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 03:09:43 PM EST
and are opportunistic in your approach. The TOS also makes clear that the comment threads are not for arguing with the moderators.

We are not kidding about the kind of conversation we want to have, and take a dim view of people who are looking for the proverbial opening in hopes of being able to drive a truck through it. We know a truck when we see one.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 05:54:36 PM EST

Your own About page says: "What if the goal of the site were not just education and the expression of opinions, but to think about and encourage taking action?"

Isn't that exactly what the poster was doing? Thinking, reacting, and encouraging action?

by Jafsie on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 06:56:34 PM EST

The dour, unconstructive commenter was disparaging Catholics for being Catholics -- which flies in the face of the culture of mutual respect we encourage here.

If we are going to have a politics and a culture in which religious pluralism is respected, for Christians and non-Christians, religious and non-religious people, and is reflected in the law of the land, we need to practice it here. In fact, we require it. Or at least we try our best.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:23:06 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

The Sour Grapes Of Wrath: Tenn. County Politician Seeks To Stave Off God's Vengeance
It has become a cliché to say that you spotted an article online that was so strange you first assumed it was from The......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Catholic Right Star and the Porn Star -- Revised and Updated
An international network of some of the world’s most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Banned In Boston (And Elsewhere): The American Tragedy Of Censorship
When I was kid, the phrase "Banned in Boston" confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn't censor......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bill Donohue Mum While Andrew Napolitano Calls Pope Francis "A False Prophet"
Catholic League president Bill Donohue goes after anyone he believes is engaging in anti-Catholic behavior, real or imagined. But as we have come to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Decade Of Disgrace: Marking Ten Years Of The `Values Voter Summit'
The annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), the nation's largest gathering of the Religious Right, begins today. The event, sponsored by the Family Research Council......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Looking Beyond the Francis Frenzy
Much has been and will be written about the Pope regarding his historic visit to the U.S.  But it will be important to try......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Barton Bounces Back: Religious Right Purveyor Of Ersatz History Still Going Strong
Three years ago, Religious Right phony historian David Barton published a ridiculous book called The Jefferson Lies that argued, in part, that Thomas Jefferson......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
The Papal Visit Brings Forth Ugliness From the Right
In a recent press release, Catholic League president Bill Donohue warned, "Pope Visits To U.S. Occasion Ugliness." Donohue then went on to describe the......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Coercion In Kansas?: State Worker Claims She Was Fired For Non-Attendance At Christian Service
Let's say some people at a company want to get together during lunch hour and hold a Bible study. It's totally voluntary, and they......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Kim Davis and Southern Civil Disobedience
Kim Davis, the county official who refused to grant marriage licenses, fits the profile of a long line of civil disobedience from the South.......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
An Anti-Theocratic, Progressive Christian Leader
I recently posted a short excerpt here, from an interview I published with Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, the new General Minister and President of......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Litany Of Lies: FRC's Perkins Packs An Email With Copious Falsehoods
I realize that people may be tired of reading about the saga of Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk who is in jail......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Kim Davis is No Jack Kennedy
Kim Davis, the embattled Kentucky county clerk who sits in jail for defying a Federal Court order to issue marriage licenses to everyone who......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Book Report: Yes, Politicians, We Know You Love The Bible. What Else Have You Read?
Real estate magnate Donald Trump says lots of outrageous stuff, but none of it seems to slow him down. His latest gaffe, however, ought......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
American Renewal Project
On my journey to the American Renewal Project in Austin, Texas, I listened to hard right talk radio out of Houston.  There was an......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.