Cardinal Dolan Addresses Catholic Church Abuse Scandals
By Tamar Lapin
New York Post
September 4, 2018
Timothy Cardinal Dolan on Tuesday addressed the sexual-abuse and coverup scandals rocking the Catholic Church — saying even he’s at a loss.
|Timothy Cardinal Dolan|
“When people say to me you know, we’re angry, we’re confused, bewildered, frustrated, I think they might expect me to be on the defensive, and I’ll say, ‘Nice to meet you. So am I.’ We’re all in this together,” the New York archbishop told Father Dave Dwyer on “The Catholic Show” on Sirius XM.
“There’s almost a solidarity in the sorrow,” he added.
The controversies that have arisen this summer — including the ouster of former Washington Archbishop Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, the bombshell Pennsylvania grand-jury report and an archbishop’s skewering letter calling for Pope Francis to resign — are not leaving anyone unscathed, Dolan said.
“No sin is isolated to the single act. It affects, it keeps affecting people, there’s not a person in the church that’s not been affected by this,” he said. The scandals are of an “oil spill nature,” he added — touching everyone from the Catholic people “walking into the factory or the classroom or the office” and feeling embarrassed to the priest who “can’t shake the feeling” that his parishioners are wondering whether he’s a predator.
Even Dolan’s own mother of almost 90 called him to say she’d skipped lunch at her nursing home in shame.
“I’m ashamed to go to the dining room,” he said she told him. “I’m so embarrassed to be a Catholic. I don’t know what to say to anybody.”
Every time he wanted to comment on the crises, Dolan said, “a new scandal erupted.”
After the grand-jury report was released last month — finding that more than 300 priests preyed on more than 1,000 children for decades in Pennsylvania — Dolan issued a statement apologizing for the pain the victims felt.
In June, he announced that the New York Archdiocese had found “credible” allegations that McCarrick sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the 1970s — but didn’t comment further.
But he hasn’t commented on Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s letter accusing Pope Francis of covering up claims of sexual abuse.
Moving forward, Dolan said he thinks the church is on the right track — touting the review board process, put in place in 2002, that looked into the sexual abuse allegations against McCarrick in July.
According to the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” the archdiocese is responsible for reporting allegations to law enforcement, have the matter looked into by their investigators and passing it along to the Archdiocesan Review Board.
Dolan said he trusts the process so much that when the review board handed him a report finding the allegations against McCarrick credible and substantiated, he didn’t even read it before sending it to the Holy See.
“If the DA, the independent investigators and my review board have found this substantiated that’s all I need to know,” he said.
“If this teaches us anything, our faith is not in the pope, our faith is not in cardinals, our faith is not in bishops, our faith is not in priests … our faith is in Jesus,” Dolan said on the radio show.