Cardinal Dolan Refuses to Remove Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Eight Children

By Joseph H. Saunders
Legal Examiner blog
June 26, 2019

For the second time in six month’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, refuses to remove a priest accused of sexual abuse.  The latest incident involves Monsignor John Paddack, stationed at Church of Notre Dame on W. 114th St. in Manhattan.

The priest has been accused of sexual abuse by eight different individuals and the Archdiocese, and specifically Cardinal Dolan, has known about the allegations since 2012 but has stubbornly refused to take action.

Five accusers leveled abuse allegations against Paddack in March, with one former student at Cardinal Hayes High School recalling how he went to the priest for counseling over suicidal feelings. Rafael Mendoza said Paddack instead asked him to strip naked and examined him with a stethoscope.

The abuse occurred when Mendoza was a freshman in 1996.

“He would take me to his office and he would tell me to remove my shirt, unbuckle my pants. I can remember the coldness of the knob of the stethoscope while he’s checking my heartbeat and all around my chest and slowly going down to my genitals,” Mendoza said. “Just seeing his face turn bloodshot red while doing this, I go back now and think he was getting something out of this.”

Paddack also worked at St. Joseph By the Sea on Staten Island and the Church of the Incarnation in Manhattan.

According to Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, this is the second time in the past year that Cardinal Dolan kept the vulnerable in harm’s way. Just six months ago it was revealed that Fr. Donald Timone, himself twice-accused of abuse, was able to stay on the job even though Catholic officials paid one of his victims a six figure settlement.

Cardinal Dolan has spoken publicly about his concern for survivors of sexual abuse by priests but his actions belie his words.  When the NY state legislature was considering helping survivors by enacting statute of limitations reform, the Cardinal had his lobbyists spending money and fighting vigorously against the measure.  Fortunately, this year, the legislation finally passed and NY sex abuse survivors can now hold the Archdiocese of New York and other dioceses in NY accountable for aiding and abetting abusive priests.

What makes Dolan’s refusal to remove these priests from ministry is his arrogant flaunting of the bishops Dallas Charter which clearly states that such priests should be removed from ministry.  It’s a Charter which he said he supports and helped create when the bishops met that summer in Texas.

Dolan’s history of protecting abusive priests as well as the church’s assets is long and worth noting.  In 2013, a NY Times opinion piece related, “Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has denied shielding the funds as an “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.” But newly released court documents make it clear that he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.

Saying one thing and doing the opposite is hypocrisy, plain and simple.  Dolan has received his reward by scratching and clawing his way to power in the Catholic Church.  Now, it’s time he receives some justice for what he has done to survivors of sexual abuse.


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