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Jonathan Wolfman's Blog
JUNE 1, 2012 6:59AM

New York's Cardinal Dolan OK'd Cash for Child Rapists

Rate: 18 Flag

 

 

 

   Cardinal Dolan (center)

 

     I must admit that I might be tempted to refuse to return calls from news outlets were I the new Cardinal of New York and word got around that when I was Archbishop of Milwaukee I'd authorized $20,000 payments to encourage rapist priests to zip up, shut up, and leave the priesthood.  Cardinal Dolan, unavailable for comment is, in addition to his now shepherding our largest diocese, the current president of the US Conference of Bishops. 

      Numbers of sources in New York, northern New Jersey, elsewhere, including the New York Times, report that when stories about these payoffs surfaced years back in Milwaukee, the then-Archbishop said the accusations were "false, preposterous and unjust." Apparently not, for as Laurie Goodstein in Thursday's Times' writes,

          "...a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdioces of Milwaukee...reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them..."

to speed up their own dismissals. Doing so in such cases allows the Church to ditch fast wayward priests from diocesan payrolls. The more typical laicazation process requires Vatican approval for each man a diocese wants gone and it simply takes much longer if the offending priest challenges the process --  thus the skids were greased with numbers of $20,000 payments.

     The Milwaukee Archdiocese stated publicly on Wednesday that the payments had been made, " as a motivation" for offenders to go.  This leaves the new New York Cardinal Dolan's emphatic denial, (again, when he headed the Milwaukee Archdiocese) looking at best silly. 

     There is a record of now-Cardinal Dolan's specific knowledge and approval of the Milwaukee payments. Ms. Goodstein writes that

          "the newly revealed document is in the minutes of a meeting of the financial council of the Milwaukee archdiocese from March 7, 2003"

which then-Archbishop Dolan attended. Those minutes attest to the fact that "unassignable priests", that is, those the archdiocese itself considered to have done harm to children were as yet receiving full salaries. A shorter process for taking these men from the salary rolls was wanted because the Milwaukee Church had already lost millions to sexual abuse-related law suits. In fact, Ms. Goodstein reports, last year the Milwaukee Church filed for bankruptcy despite the money-saving scheme. Cardinal Dolan, apparently, became New York's Cardinal when his former diocese went under.

     The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group that goes to bat for victims, asks this excellent question in a recent letter to the Milwaukee Church: 

          "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?"

     I'd ask two more.

     1. How much pain must an enormous and powerful universal institution inflict on our children by its utterly ahistoric  ideological insistence that a brilliant, charismatic, just and decent thirty-three-year-old Galilean peasant Jew disdained women so deeply --

          -- and that, that is what this is about --

that he died an umwed virgin and that those prepared to speak in his name must also disdain women so thoroughly that the idea of sex with them is repellent?

     2. How much longer must the Church's good works be undermined and its good people sullied by policies traceable to an absolutely ahistorical apprehension of who Jewish young men were in that time and place --

          -- they all married; all, unless they were severely  physically or mentally ill --

-- how long will the Church allow itself to rot from within by a policy that by its very nature invites into the priesthood young men who simply have to know they're fundamentally sexually and emotionally compromised and can find social approval and honor nowhere else but in the ministry...a ministry they already know will cover for them?

     

 _____

 

Note:

While it's true that the Church has not always required priestly chastity, it was an early demand even when it permitted married priests.

 

Council of Elvira, 305 C.E.
 
  • (Canon 33): It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.
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  •  Council of Cathage, 390 C.E.
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  • (Canon 3): It is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavour to keep… It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from conjugal intercourse with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity.
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    Comments

    Type your comment below:
    We coddle religious institutions; we'd tolerate this from no other kind.
    Like any and all institutions, they become corrupted over time, religious institutions the worse, because God is on their side...
    Throw the bum out, then throw him in jail... he's the moral leader? cut me a break...
    As I say, we coddle this class of criminal, Ray. I wish we didn't.
    i'm so WAY past tired of this......you mess with kids,you deserve only one thing.....a well placed round...period...
    Steel at least a prison cell
    Sooner or later civilized people have to recognize the problem that is religion in general. There really is no defense for it.
    Rick I cannot condemn faith; I can condemn crimininals who speak for faith institutions.
    Faith and "religion" have very little to do with each other.
    Rick we agree on that.
    long and disturbing tradition "benefit of clergy" from times when everyone needed a protector church, lord , or criminal but always corrupting.
    It never fails to amaze (and disgust) me how the RCC can be such rabid proponents of secular crap that's NOT in their holy book and completely ignore the alleged direct words of their deity that is clearly in their holy book.

    I wonder what part of COMMANDMENT confuses them?

    One would almost have to think that they really didn't believe ANY of the malarkey they are selling and are nothing more than a bunch of manipulative, power hungry, old men.
    kenneth very good historical take on this thanks!
    Amy as one new and very bad revelation after another come, yes, one must wonder
    The blind allegiance to the "criminals" in church leadership who perpetrate the continued scenarios of cover ups and subterfuge around child exploitation and abuse is probably the most disgusting kind of allegiance promoted by the Catholic church, give me a minute and a few more will come to mind.
    Sheila thanks and sure, give us all you want on this.
    Hang him by his betzim!
    You missed the most important point, that the church had a duty to report offenders to the police, except, perhaps, if they heard about it in confession, but I suspect most offenders didn't confess. They wouldn't have needed to speed up the process or wait for Rome if the priest-offender went to jail.

    Perhaps, the Archbishop is so steeped in the traditions of the church that this point passed him by, but that only condemns the institution.

    BTW, I'm an atheist. I never was a Catholic, but I think your comments about Jesus spoil the piece by irrelevancy. I don't think it's hatred of women that made the church choose celibate priests, I suspect it is children. Note the words "and not beget children." People like to ensure that their children are well-provided for, so someone whose only wealth comes from their position need to place their children in similar position. Then, you have a essentially a hereditary aristocracy, rather than a group chosen for its devotion to god and the church.

    The problem the church faces is that too few men want to live celibate lives for God. They had a choice of shrinking their staff, changing their rules, or lowering their standards and they chose the latter.

    The problem with changing the rules is that suggests they were never infallible and that the church follows social changes, rather that preserves eternal truths.
    Mal while we disagree as to the roots of the celibacy rule, in part, I really appreciate all of your interesting points here.
    Balt in part, I agree...but no other institution would be shielded from civil suits and the victims do deserve something more than the mea culpae (which rarely come).
    Regarding your initial comment, I would offer that we seem to tolerate egregious and damaging behavior in many of our institutions---start with banking.
    Spike that's so but the Church is the only one we coddle specifically set up to work with and shepherd kids and families.
    We indeed coddle religious institutions,and while we ask, "why the f.should we", ah, we know it is built into our Constitution.

    i know i know. those old boys who wrote it wanted
    nothing more than for all the religious damn fools to fight among
    themselfs, none of them gaining the upper hand.

    but there is the trouble of Money. those guys were independently wealthy, and had property, and not much fear.........but.........


    "unassignable priests" is not something they ever conceived.

    ..................
    well but the Pope & his minions hold onto that old idiot wisdom:
    "Perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught"

    there is so much in that small quote i could attack.

    The apostles?

    They taught second hand info, suffused in superstition, yet
    perhaps , perhaps, for a good cause.
    back then

    back then.

    things have changed.

    if Jesus had never been born, what would be the universal religion?

    what do you think, sir?
    James nothong in the First Amendment prevents the government w prosecuting rapists who happen also to be Church employees.
    The flip side to the "slug" of the RCC Pedophile Retirement Plan is just how horribly they treat the victims.

    Here's a case in point from one of OS's very own:

    http://open.salon.com/blog/witchjoey/2012/05/31/letter_in_response_to_diocese_of_san_francisco#comment_2956368
    Back again. Your response to my comment is just right, and reminds me of why this abuse is so heinous - it's not only a physical violation (I have a hard time calling it "rape" as I can't imagine a priest's abuse on a par with someone in a dark alley with a knife, but maybe that's my failure of experience!) but worse, and more lastingly damaging, a violation of trust and faith. The hypocrisy is what, to me, is searing.
    Amy and Spike Thanks very much for these apt follow-ups.
    I'm not going to deny your anger at pedophile priests, Mr. Wolfman However, these words of yours trouble me:

    ...its utterly ahistoric ideological insistence that a brilliant, charismatic, just and decent thirty-three-year-old Galilean peasant Jew disdained women so deeply --

    -- and that, that is what this is about --

    that he died an umwed virgin and that those prepared to speak in his name must also disdain women so thoroughly that the idea of sex with them is repellent?


    I don't care what you say about Jesus; that's between you and Him. But as one of the many men who engender disdain, disgust and outright hatred by women, no matter what we do, I'm insulted. We can't help that women hate us. It's a daily struggle not to return their hatred with our own, and as your local news show will tell you, some of us lose that struggle.

    Being the hate magnet for women is probably the only way anyone could call me Christ-like, and it's something I think should be praised, not damned.
    Jon, I believe that most religious people, those we call the faithful, are embarrassed and bewildered when they are let down by their institution of faith. It is not unlike the loss of trust and faith in a parent. The last thing they want is to have their dirty laundry aired.
    It is more of that than denial. The Cardinal should not be excused. The crimes of the priests are horrible. The church, the government, the armed forces, school systems, the judiciary, congress, boy scouts, camps, businesses and any other organization for profit or not for profit does not want their failures to be their legacies.

    We should not be surprised by cover ups. That doesn't mean that we forgive and forget. The Cardinal will be retired to a monastery or golf course of his choice. Not funny. True.
    Neutron perhaps some other commenter can better explain to me your contention abt the hatred of women toward men, whch you seem to take as a given. Thanks, though, for your comment.
    Ande I doubt very much that Cardinal Dolan will be removed from his position by Rome.
    An excellant piece. If you believe a recent movie based on a great novel, Jesus did in fact marry and had children including a woman whose off spring inhabit the world to this day... so sayith the film starring Tom Hanks. Damn, can't remember the name. It was about the Knights Templar
    It is an abomination.
    The church requires to be exorcised.
    Rated
    @ Andy Bliss:

    Retired my sweet Sicilian butt! "Tiny" Tim Dolan is on the short list for becoming the next pope!

    Apparently, being a misogynistic, homophobic, lying, protector of pedophiles isn't a negative, but in fact a positive in the eyes of the Church!


    ********


    BTW, while I'm at it, after DECADES of reported abuses, hundreds of convictions, millions of dollars spent and thousands of lives destroyed by the Catholic Church, how the HELL can anyone still be a member of that organization?

    They are a systemic evil that covers up the stick of their own rot by spraying the perfume of a few good deeds around.

    What the he is with you people? Are you blind AND stupid?

    As far as I'm concerned, after the DECADES of organization wide evil, if you are still a catholic you are just as evil and corrupt as the pedophiliac priest and his accomplices who hide and excuse it. You all suck.
    Good heavens, dear Amy is a firecracker.

    There ARE sincere Catholics, like my sis.
    They dont believe any of the theology.
    Still, they do good. They get comfort.

    is that weakness? to glom onto a group?

    nah.

    we all sin .

    if we sin by omission, we are golden.

    this is medieval wisdom anyway. who cares about that,
    except the Catholic Hierarchy?

    just cut off their balls, figuratively.
    like they did to their spiritual masters, priests.

    who would listen to a fellow who never had sex,anyway?

    some do, though.
    James thanks for adding to the discussion. :)
    Jon: Without engaging in the debate over the church's history or its current policies, here's something I don't understand: why has this story all but disappeared from the front page?
    It seemed to me to be a bombshell when I read The Times story. But even then, it barely made the top of the (electronic) fold.
    I'm not suggesting anything conspiratorial. I just thought the story would generate more traction, as the saying goes.
    Pertinent quote:
    "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?"
    Thanks for calling attention to it.
    Jeremiah for the same reason(s) that the popular culture seems sated w this bad news.
    Keep beating the drum on this issue, Jon. I'm sickened by all of it. Then they wonder why so many of us have lost our respect for the Catholic Church. I can't even take priests seriously anymore. I see them, and I want to cross the street.
    Disgraceful and disgusting. The Church is a facade and its foundation is a depot for perversion.
    We coddle banks, Jon. That's why Wall Street blossoms while we wither away.
    CORRECTION: whither

    I've a bad case of conjunctivitis.
    Jon, I could write a post of two myself on these lying hypocrites, but this is your place. I'll just say, Good Job!
    Deborah and a sad fact is that the priest you now avoid on the street may well be an ok fella.
    B. we do coddle bankers. Yes.
    Kenny Thanks. I will. :)
    Why is this even open for discussion? This has to include some evidence of indictable obstruction of justice at least. I'm sure the HRC disagrees but I will not believe that separation of church & state allows anyone to break the laws of the state with impunity. Dolan belongs in prison.
    Cred the document referred to above comes from a meering where Dolan was in attendance; as archbishop, he had to sign off.
    Sure it should be prosecuted. :)
    I thought I had heard a report (it was morning, I was doing other things) of email discussions of paying off the offenders - which would amount to conspiracy. Prosecutors always seems so bent on punishment and retribution, even vengeance. Where are they now?
    cred as i say society coddles these men, sadly
    How many have sinned in their attempts to 'protect' mother church? How many have sacrificed children to preserve the 'integrity' of the religion? It makes my skin crawl and bile to creep up my throat. If there is an afterlife, and if it includes punishment for sinners, theirs will be extensive and intense. Unfortunately, I'm not a believer in heaven and hell...but reincarnation makes some sense, so maybe some cruel fate awaits them. Shame--if those journals are to be believed--seems to be outside their emotional repertoire.
    beauty uhnhmm thank you
    Let's see what the church does with this
    Well, thanks for the reply, Mr. Wolfman. Which was, Neutron perhaps some other commenter can better explain to me your contention abt the hatred of women toward men, whch you seem to take as a given.

    To explain (I can't even believe you need it explained to you) it's a given because it's a fact. Women are like rocks and boulders and bullets and knives. You can't argue with them and their primary purpose in life is to hurt you. You can bathe in lavender soap, dress in perfect clothes, say nothing offensive or impolite and buy them dinner and cars, and they'll still hate you. Saying "I'm sorry" and even slitting your own throat won't alter or abate their hatred.

    And yes, pedophile priests are horrible and corrupt and hurt young boys even more than women will hurt them. But I contend that they deserve a smidgen of sympathy. The world has treated them as badly as it has treated me. I gave up and accepted the hatred of women a long time ago. They didn't; they sought some other form of release, which turns out to be the abuse of little boys.

    I escaped the trap into which they fell. They fell, or sometimes jumped, right into it. I don't ask forgiveness for their acts, but I pity them submitting to their own weakness.