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. Archbishop Timothy Dolan Purposely Shuttled 57 Million Dollars Away From Sex Abuse Victims He Viewed The Victims As A Major Inconvenience
Breaking news out of Milwaukee today as thousands of pages of documents have been released from the Catholic Archdiocese there. The papers show that Archbishop Timothy Dolan bribed priests to keep them quiet about the child sex abuse scandal, purposely shuttled nearly 57 million dollars out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese before it declared bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying settlements to victims, and was far more concerned with accused priests’ well-being and comfort than with the victims themselves. The papers, published on the Archdiocese website as well as on the website of victims’ lawyers, detail depositions, personnel files and court papers in relation to 42 separate child sexual abuse cases.
In preparation of the publication of the documents, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee wrote a letter to his congregation, attempting to explain how the church has had to undergo an “arc of understanding” to comprehend the fact that molesting children is a criminal act. In one paragraph, he says “The arc of understanding sexual abuse of a minor progressed from being seen as a moral failing and sin that needed personal resolve and spiritual direction; to a psychological deficiency that required therapy and could be cured; to issues of addiction requiring more extensive therapy and restrictions on ministry; to recognition of the long-term effects of abuse and the need to hold the perpetrator accountable for this criminal activity.”
While most would say that sexual abuse of a minor would automatically be considered a criminal act for which the perpetrator should be held accountable, the church seems to have taken nearly 80 years coming to that conclusion. Owning up to the mistakes, Listecki said, took a long time because the church only realized that having sex with children was wrong when they looked back upon their actions. “Acknowledging our past… includes facing up to mistakes that were made, even if some of those mistakes become apparent only in hindsight” he writes.
Whereas the vast majority of the population does not feel that child molestation is difficult to equate with criminality, Archbishop Listecki seems to feel otherwise. In his letter he reflects back on how some of the documents show that parents didn’t want the police to be involved, and that some of them were more concerned for “Father” than for their own children. He goes on to say “I do not offer this as an excuse, but rather, as examples of the complexity of the topic and the context in which decisions were made.”
Contrary to what Archbishop Listecki states, most would say that handling child molestation is not complex. It’s actually very simple. The majority of first responders would probably pick up the phone and dial 911. But the responders were “ill-equipped” and “didn’t understand” he says. He tells his congregation to “prepare to be shocked” about the documents that were to be published.
Indeed, the papers are shocking. We will spare our readers the details of the horrible accounts of child molestation committed by the same priests who were supposed to be moral guides for their young charges. The details are too disgusting and disturbing to be repeated. Instead, we’ll focus on the atrocities committed by the more powerful among the church, including Archbishop Dolan.
The fact that Archbishop Dolan paid priests accused of molestation $20,000 each became news last year, but the documents released today paint an even more shocking picture of Dolan’s role in covering up the scandal. Dolan’s deposition reveals that the payouts were a bribe designed to force the priests to be defrocked and “leave quietly.” In exchange for the payout, the priests agreed not to sue the Catholic Church. Dolan had been paying this hush money since 2003, but publically denied that the payouts were orchestrated to force the priests to leave without protest. The records show, however, that the purpose of the cash settlement was to sweep the problems under the carpet and to save the church money in handling the issue. Bribing the priests to go away quietly also assisted them in avoiding prosecution and spared the church additional legal expenses.
Dolan said he was concerned about the priests having medical insurance, and admitted that paying the priests off to accept being defrocked was a common practice. “…helping a man get medical insurance or to transition out of the priesthood, which we were eager to have done and there was a precedent for it… (it was a) practice that it was done sometimes, yes,” he stated during his deposition.
Further, it appears that Dolan had only money on his mind when he purposely shuttled nearly 57 million dollars out of the diocese coffers and off of the official records before the Milwaukee Archdiocese went “bankrupt,” ensuring that the funds would not be available to the victims as settlements for their suffering.
Read more: http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/archbishop-timothy-dolan-purposely-shuttled-57-million-dollars-away-from-sex-abuse-victims/
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