- More evidence contradicts Cardinal
- Two new secret memos are disclosed
- In letter, Dolan pledges “special fund” for predator
- Prelate claimed that $10,000 was for “health insurance”
- But two documents – just released - show Dolan misled public
- SNAP: Record shows pedophile’s payment was NOT for insurance
- Money was paid even after notorious predator priest was defrocked
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- disclose and discuss two secret internal church memos about Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s payoffs of a notorious admitted predator priest,
-- discuss a 2003 letter from Dolan to then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger in which Dolan pledges to set up a “special fund” for that pedophile priest, and
-- explain why the revelations show recklessness and further hurt Dolan’s credibility.
TODAY, Wednesday, June 5, 12:30 P.M.
Outside St. Patrick's cathedral, on 5th Ave., between 50th & 51st St. in Manhattan
Two members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a New York City woman who was molested as a child and is the organization’s local director
Two newly-disclosed internal church memos show that a secret $10,000 payment in 2005 from then-Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to a pedophile priest was not for health insurance, as Dolan claimed. And in a little-noticed letter from Dolan to then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Dolan promised that he would “set up” a “special fund” for the admitted predator.
The new memos - posted on BishopAccountability.org (under “New & Noteworthy”) - deal with Franklyn Becker, a now-defrocked priest who reportedly molested children in both Wisconsin and California. The two single-spaced typed documents show that
-- a $10,000 payment to Becker was never linked to health insurance,
-- another Milwaukee church official was working to get him health insurance through Catholic Charities, and
-- to avoid legal liability, the archdiocese would NOT pay for Becker’s health insurance.
In a separate 2003 letter, after Becker was arrested for child sex crimes, Dolan asks the Vatican to defrock him.
“Whatever financial needs (Becker) may have,” Dolan promised Ratzinger, “can be provided for him through a special fund we will set up.” It’s not clear whether such a fund was ever established.
At the time of the memos, Becker was 69, well past the age when he could start collecting Social Security and qualify for Medicare.
No conditions are put on the $10,000 and health insurance is not linked in any way with payments in either memo. Insurance is brought up by Becker afterwards as a separate point.”
In one of the memos, it’s noted that Becker threatened to contact reporters and tell them what information he has, presumably about clergy sexual abuse in the archdiocese. SNAP suspects that this is the real reason for the pay off – to make sure Becker keeps quiet about other clergy misconduct – sexual, financial, or whatever – that he knows about.
So far, Dolan’s only direct comment on the controversy has been to attack the New York Times and SNAP.
SNAP notes that for a decade, Dolan and his brother bishops have repeatedly pledged ‘openness’ in pedophile priest cases. They say Dolan should be open about this case and the other alleged ‘handful’ of cases in which proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics were paid to quietly ‘go away.’
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported such payouts were not unusual. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/us/cardinal-authorized-payments-to-abusers.html
The Dolan-Ratzinger letter was posted several years ago on BishopAccountability.org. The two memos by the deacon were just disclosed yesterday and posted last night. (They are written and signed by Milwaukee Deacon David Zimprich, 414-769-3409, firstname.lastname@example.org, 262 392 2117 home).
Becker now lives in Mayville, about 40 minutes northwest of Milwaukee.
David Clohessy, SNAP Director 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Mary Caplan, SNAP New York Director 917 439 4187, email@example.com, Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee) 414 429 7259, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette Nestler-SNAP Southern New Jersey