After years of listening to the Catholic Church sing their Deny, Deny, Deny song, this week a box of files was released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee that shows that back in 2007, anti-gay Cardinal Timothy 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 pedophile priests who were demanding compensation.
Let’s get that queer: Dolan asked the Vatican for permission to hide money in case monies were awarded victims of child rapists.
Still Cardinal Timmy, now the archbishop of New York, denied that he tried to hide funds, and, again, reiterated his denial in a statement just this week that these were “old and discredited attacks.” But, the files contain the actual letter, written by Dolan in 2007, 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 sickest part of all this mess, besides the fact that the Catholic Church harbored sexual predators, aided and abetted pedophiles, hid funds to avoid costly payouts in civil suits brought by the victims, is that Timmy Dolan played himself as part of the solution to this, um, problem. As the scandal grew, and continues to grow, Dolan expressed his personal outrage at the harm done to children; he apologized; he pledged to help the church and the victims heal.
Then he asked for permission to hide $57 million. I guess he wasn’t lying when he said he wanted to help the church; and, perhaps, help himself, since now he is Archbishop Dolan.
Victims of pedophile priests are now calling for a federal investigation into the actions of then-Cardinal Dolan and his predecessors; Dolan, perhaps to deflect criticism, says he welcomes the release of the documents.
The current archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki—who planned to release the documents before a judicial hearing—did release a letter he wrote, warning Catholics in his archdiocese that the documents could shake their faith: “Prepare to be shocked. There are some graphic descriptions about the behavior of some of these priest offenders.”
Such as the fact that the files contain documents from the personnel files of 42 clergy offenders with “substantiated” allegations, going back 80 years. Such as, the Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who is believed to have molested some 200 boys during his 25 years of teaching; and Sigfried Widera, who faced 42 counts of child abuse in Wisconsin and California. Murphy died in 1998, and Father Widera committed suicide in Mexico in 2003.
In that letter to his flock, Archbishop Listecki said the documents showed that 22 priests were “reassigned to parish work after concerns about their behavior were known to the archdiocese,” and that 8 of those “reoffended after being reassigned.”
The release of these new documents comes from a case filed in bankruptcy court between the Milwaukee Archdiocese and 575 men and women who have filed claims against it alleging that priests or other church employees had sexually abused them.
The archdiocese of Milwaukee, saying it was the best way to compensate the victims and resolve the controversy, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, becoming the eighth Catholic diocese in the United States to do so. Negotiations between the two sides in Milwaukee broke down once the church began arguing that some 400 of the 575 cases are invalid.
In January, the archdiocese said it had spent about $9 million in legal and other fees in the bankruptcy process and was going broke.
Going broke? What about the money that Dolan hid away? What does that say about The Church and their stance on pedophile priests?
It says the same old thing, that the Catholic Church, and men like Dolan, is only out to protect the Church and not the children.
If in any other part of society, you came across an organization that harbored men who raped children, and then the organization moved those men to other jobs where they raped again, and the leaders of that organization began hiding money in fear of monetary judgments against them, we’d all be raising quite a ruckus.
So, why is that the Catholic Church gets to hide rapists and money and no one, notably the members of the Church, are demanding answers?