Moral Low Ground


Cardinal Timothy Dolan Paid Suspected Pedophile Priests $20,000 to Leave Ministry While He Was Archbishop of Milwaukee

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal, devised and implemented a 2003 plan in which  suspected pedophile priests were paid $20,000 to leave the ministry.

Instead of notifying police, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee effectively “paid off” suspected child sex abusers in order to make them go away.

The Associated Press reports that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed the practice on Wednesday, pressured by the release of a bankruptcy document that mentions a 2003 proposal to pay “unassignable priests” $20,000 to quit the ministry. Dolan, who is now a cardinal and Archbishop of New York, came up with the idea.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, says the $20,000 payments amount to “a payoff” and “bonuses” to criminal child sex abusers. SNAP is calling on the Milwaukee archdiocese to release all records of payments and of its handling of clergy pedophile cases.

“You don’t give a bonus to a man who rapes children,” SNAP Midwest director Peter Isely told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel outside a Milwaukee courthouse on Wednesday. “If they paid them anything it should have been for therapy and counseling.”

But the archdiocese shot back that the payments were a means of convincing suspected pedophiles to leave the church without having to go through the lengthy and costly process of obtaining Vatican approval.

Milwaukee archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf told the Associated Press that the payments were also meant to help  the men make the transition to lay life and to pay for necessities such as health care which would no longer be covered by the church.

In other words, the church cared more about easing the pain of suspected child rapists than it did about achieving justice for their victims.

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