Audacious Tim Dolan

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests


Audacious is a word I don’t use often. But it leapt to mind this morning when I read that a child molesting cleric at a New York archdiocesan parish is being ousted from ministry.

“Audacious” is the best way I can describe Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s letter to the flock at Church of the Holy Name of Mary parish in Croton-on-Hudson.

Here’s how the dictionary defines “audacious” – “extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless” or “recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen.”

Both definitions fit Dolan’s actions in the troubling case of Deacon Al Mazza.

In a letter to parishioners, Dolan claims he suspended Mazza months ago. But we see

–no evidence that this was done,

–no evidence that anyone was notified, and

–Mazza’s name in the parish bulletin three times in the last month, and

–Mazza’s name on the parish website even now.

That’s pretty audacious, isn’t it? To claim you ousted a credibly accused child molester without giving any proof it? And in the face of proof that suggests he hasn’t been ousted at all?

Let’s assume that Dolan did, in fact, suspend Mazza months ago. A simple internet search shows that if this happened, it was done with little or no public notice. That’s pretty audacious too: to claim (as Dolan has, time and time again) to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes while suspending a credibly accused cleric very quietly.

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