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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/4/13

Happy 4th, Cardinal Dolan! And Thanks For All The Fireworks! Your Pants On Fire Lit Up The Sky!

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Hot as Hell, isn't it Your Eminence?
Hot as Hell, isn't it Your Eminence?
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New York Times:

      "Files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday reveal that in 2007, Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan, then the archbishop there, requested permission from the Vatican to move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation."

"These are old and discredited attacks"

Cardinal Dolan simply must learn to lie better than that, because one letter in the latest disclosure was not in the original accusatory documents in 2012:

       "However, the files contain a 2007 letter to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, "I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability." The Vatican approved the request in five weeks, the files show."

The deposition that Dolan himself submitted to the public (media) on Monday is now under new scrutiny: if Dolan lied about not protecting funds from liability, what else could he have lied about? Certainly the new letter casts a shadow of doubt on Dolan's rambling, confusing statement about payouts to child molesters willing to leave the priesthood:

       "I would not call that a practice. I would not deny that that was done on occasion, but I would not call that a payoff or a settlement. But I would not deny that that was done, the fact that you mentioned. Was it a payoff, was it a settlement, was it an impetus, I wouldn't say that, nor would I saw was it a normal practice, but it was done."

Added to the incriminating letter, are some thousands of very descriptive instances of abuse for which the current archbishop, Jerome Listecki, warned parishioners: "Prepare to be shocked." The cardinal's protestations of "old and discredited attacks" may not be able to withstand a totally contradictory letter to the Vatican (approved by Benedict as then-Cardinal Ratzinger) and sexually graphic child abuse.

Awaiting The Entrance Of Francis I

Since his election last April, the successor of Benedict has given the impression of a firm stance against child abuse within the Church ... but little else. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has waited for actions to speak louder than words.

       "In a statement, the Vatican said the pontiff ordered the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to "act decisively as far as cases of sexual abuse are concerned, promoting, above all, measures to protect minors, help for those who have suffered such violence in the past (and) the necessary procedures against those who are guilty."

But SNAP is still waiting. In handing the situation over to the CDF (the old Inquisition and Ratzinger's old stomping grounds), Francis, the mild-mannered and ascetic Jesuit, invites cover-ups. The CDF deals primarily with heresies and erroneous teachings, not child abuse and legal conundrums. And it is not a very public (transparent) arm of the Church. Of course, there are nearly 540 known victims represented by SNAP in Dolan's former Milwaukee Archdiocese and the international numbers are staggering, but Francis' CDF has yet to address the situation head-on. Perhaps he feels that the Vatican's new demeanor of social justice will overshadow anything the CDF does in dealing with abusers and victims.

Whither Dolan?

Cardinal Timothy Dolan's fate in light of the newly revealed letter to the Vatican remains in limbo, although it does make clear that Dolan lied about any attempt to shield funds from the growing debts of litigation, settlements and pending suits. After all, what part of "improved protection" don't you understand, your Eminence?      

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books éČ" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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