Dolan named Cardinal; questions remain about his role in Milwaukee bankruptcy, sex abuse crisis

SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director

CONTACT: 414.429.7259

As anticipated Pope Benedict XVI named Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and former archbishop of Milwaukee, to the position of Cardinal. The move is not a surprise. The archbishop of New York is considered to be the senior Catholic cleric in the United States, and it’s most influential. As cardinal, Dolan will join a small group of clerics who are considered the pope’s top advisors, and he will also be eligible to cast a ballot in the next papal conclave.

Yet, it’s not likely in Rome where Dolan’s actual leadership and record will ever be critically examined, but in more humble surroundings, back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Dolan ran the archdiocese for seven years before going to New York. Dolan’s tenure in Milwaukee eventually resulted in the largest bankruptcy filing by a religious organization in history. The bankruptcy, of course, was the result of the actions of bishops who covered up and transferred child sex offending clerics. Which begs the question: What other corporation on the planet files for bankruptcy because of child molesters?

Dolan, who was promoted by the Pope to New York months prior to the bankruptcy filing, may soon have to explain, under oath in Federal court or deposition, the questionable transfer of millions of dollars that were made before he left, where attorneys for victims of clergy sexual assault have questioned the transfer by Dolan of at least $75 million dollars off the diocese’s books as well as another $55 million into a newly created “cemetery trust” account.

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