How do they say this stuff with a straight face?
“How does he keep a straight face?” That’s the question I often think about the public relations staffers who work for Catholic officials.
Take Joseph Zwilling, the PR man for New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Here’s what Zwilling released yesterday about his boss’ deposition in clergy sex crimes cases:
"Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors. . .”
Ever met anyone who really looked forward to being deposed by a hostile lawyer in a child sex case?
Dolan’s a chatty guy. He blogs a lot. He gives lots of interviews. Maybe we missed it, but we don’t recall even once hearing Dolan say “Geez, I’m just dying to sit in a room for hours, surrounded by lawyers, and face questions under oath about predator priests. . .”
Notice too that Zwilling mentions Dolan’s alleged desire to talk about “the good work and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims" in Milwaukee and Dolan’s decision there “to publicize the names of priests who had abused children.”
That move, we’re convinced, was part of a shrewd strategy to forestall legislative reform that would have enabled more child sex victims to expose more predator priests in court.
But regardless, if publicizing the names of child molesting clerics in Milwaukee was “good work” and “progress,” why does Dolan refuse to do the same thing in New York?
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.