Say this for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: He sure is a multi-tasker.
When he’s not threatening to cease “liv[ing] out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others” unless all American women are denied access to contraception, using his blog to smear children raped and molested by priests, coordinating massive lawsuits against the Obama administration because women’s health care makes him sad, appearing on TV to false witness through his teeth, appreciating “the work done” by the hate group Catholic League, or organizing a national “fortnight” of civil disobedience, he’s apparently busy praying that no one will find out about how, before he became the most powerful Catholic figure in America, he secretly bribed pedophile priests to leave the Church quietly.
Bad news for Dolan: His God has forsaken him yet again. The New York Times reports:
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. [...]
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.”
Yes, because, as it says in the Bible: When thou discovers that thine Men o’ the Cloth are raping children, thou shalt not immediately turn them over to the police, but rather, thou shalt offer them riches to gain their cooperation in turning over their robes and rosaries. Sayeth the Lord.
Of course, the Bible also says thou shalt not, like, make shit up, but apparently Dolan skipped over that part:
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.”
False. Preposterous. Unjust. Too bad for Dolan God didn’t see fit to shred the documents that proved his right-hand man in America is a big fat liar:
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.
In fact, it looks like God’s really sticking it to Dolan with that unearthed smoking gun:
The archdiocese was facing a flood of potential lawsuits by people claiming abuse, and the church’s insurance company was refusing to cover the costs because it said the church had been negligent. The minutes noted that “unassignable priests” — those suspected of abuse — were still receiving full salaries.
“Unassignable priests” is, apparently, ecclesiastical speak for “Priests who’ve raped so many kids, we probably should stop them assigning them to work with kids.”
But at least Dolan had a really good Biblical justification for bribing his priests:
Cardinal Dolan said in response to a reporter’s question at the time that the payment was “an act of charity,” so that Mr. Becker could pay for health insurance.
The cardinal sure has a funny definition of “charity,” doesn’t he? Priests who rape and molest children deserve charity in the form of cash because they deserve health insurance. Women, on the other hand … not so much.
Perhaps Cardinal Dolan is an overachiever who has simply taken on too much. So here’s a suggestion for you, Father: Try spending a little less time crying about how vaginas violate your freedoms, and a little more time reading what’s actually in your holy book. You may want to pay special attention to the sections on false witnessing. I hear the consequences are quite damning.