Cardinal Timothy Dolan has led the charge against same-sex marriage, describing gay and lesbian unions as “unjust,” “immoral,” and unnatural. “This is a very violation of what we consider natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman and we’re really worried as Americans that it’s going to be detrimental to the common good,” Dolan said in a radio interview in June, as New York prepared to legalize marriage equality. “[W]e still worry about the detrimental effect upon society, upon culture, and certainly upon our individual churches.”
But church documents showing that Dolan paid off priests who had been accused of sexually abusing minors suggest that the prominent Catholic leader was willing to overlook these very same religious convictions to help colleagues accused of egregious wrong doing. The documents, obtained by the New York Times, also show that Dolan lied to reporters when he initially dismissed news of the payments as “false, preposterous and unjust”:
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. [...]
But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.
Dolan had described at least one payment to Franklyn Becker — who had been accused of abusing 10 minors — as “an act of charity” to help the priest “pay for health insurance.” This comes to light as Dolan and the Church are expanding their campaign against a government regulation that would increase health insurance coverage of contraception for women.