NY: Victims to Dolan: “take action now"
Victims to Dolan: “Before conclave, name the predator priests of New York, release sex abuse deposition”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge New York Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan before electing a new Pope to lift his veil of church secrecy in how he has managed child sex offender priests in the New York and Milwaukee Archdioceses by:
--Immediately releasing the names, locations, and criminal case histories of dozens of known New York child sex offender priests
--Immediately releasing a recent sex abuse deposition taken by Dolan in Milwaukee Federal Court
TODAY, Thursday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Outside of St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, 5th Ave, between 50th and 51st
Two leaders of the US-based international support group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Milwaukee man who is the organization’s long time Midwest Director, joined by other victim/survivors of childhood sexual assault by clergy.
As Cardinal Timothy Dolan prepares to join the conclave to elect a new Pope, victims of childhood sexual assault by priests are urging Dolan to take steps to open up the church to a new era of urgently needed transparency and accountability.
Specifically, victims want Dolan to immediately publish the names and case histories of all known sex offender clerics from the New York Archdiocese. They also want Dolan to release his recent testimony in Milwaukee Federal Court where he was questioned under oath last week about his handling of abusive clerics.
New York Catholic parents and the public, the group says, need to know from Dolan who the clergy are in the archdiocese who have harmed children, where they are being kept, who is supervising them, what pastoral assignments they were placed in, and the specific criminal acts they committed.
Victims are also concerned about the increasingly disturbing questions being raised about Dolan’s management of abusers in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before he came to New York in 2010.
Last week, Dolan was required to appear and testify under oath in a deposition for the Milwaukee Federal Bankruptcy Court concerning a pattern and practice of fraud in concealing or transferring known priest abusers in Milwaukee. 570 victims of clerical abuse have filed cases in Milwaukee.
During the deposition, sealed under a protective order requested by the church, Dolan was likely questioned about a secret policy, which he publically denied in 2007, of paying off Milwaukee priest pedophiles “signing bonuses” to complete Vatican paperwork and quietly leave the priesthood. But internal church documents filed in court, show that Dolan himself devised and authorized the practice in 2003, just after arriving in Milwaukee. Most of the abusive priests Dolan paid off have settled in new and unsuspecting communities, some finding employment working with children.
Dolan was also questioned under oath about his questionable financial management of the archdiocese, having taken tens of millions of dollars off the books before the church filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Dolan often claims he was forthcoming with Catholics and the public in Milwaukee by placing in 2004 a list of abusive priests on a church website. But Federal Judge Susan V. Kelley has now twice ruled that Dolan’s list was not proper public notification.
Dolan now claims that the New York archdiocese has only 49 abusive clerics, which is four times lower than the national average for all other US dioceses. For example, the Boston Archdiocese has reported 367 abusive clerics, Los Angeles 261, and Philadelphia 171.
More plausible, the dangerous undercount by Dolan of priest sex offenders is due to New York State’s archaic and predator friendly laws. New York lawmakers, who in recent years have attempted to reform the state’s child sex abuse statutes, have met with consistent opposition from Dolan.
Mary Caplan, New York SNAP leader (917-439-4187, [email protected])
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (414-429-7259, [email protected])
Barbara Blaine, SNAP President (312.399.4747, [email protected])
David Clohessy, SNAP Director (314.566.9790, [email protected])