Cardinal Timoty Dolan authorized payments to pedophile priests of up to $20,000 to get them to leave the priesthood when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee new documents have revealed.
Dolan had once described that allegation as “false,preposterous and unjust” but the archdiocese has now admitted that it occurred.
Milwaukee Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said in an email, “In 2002, the Church affirmed that priest offenders should no longer be functioning as priests in any capacity and having someone seek laicization voluntarily is faster and less expensive and it made sense to try and move these men out of the priesthood as quickly as possible."
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) yesterday stated New York’s Cardinal Dolan was heavily involved in the plan to “pay off” known pedophile priests in a bid to have them leave the priesthood.
The victims group is calling on the current Archbishop, Jerome Edward Listecki, to reveal all the payouts, the cost of sex offenders, and all Finance Council minutes. They are referring to these documents as the “Dolan Papers”.
Milwaukee’s local news station, TMJ2, reports that the archdiocese has confirmed that it paid pedophile priests to leave the Church.
SNAP officially made their accusation on the steps of the Federal Courthouse in Milwaukee, on Wednesday. They cited the minutes from a March 2003 Milwaukee Archdiocese Finance council meeting. The minutes show there was a discussion about “unassignable priests” receiving full salary.
Dolan was the Archbishop of the diocese at the time.
During the meeting, Dolan and Milwaukee auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba discussed using the Church’s funds to pay off known pedophiles with $20,000 to leave the priesthood, setting up “restorative justice” to prevent victims receiving compensation, and moving millions of dollars from the archdiocese into a new “trust” before the Archdiocese declared bankruptcy.
SNAP alleges that Dolan deliberately mislead victims about the Church’s prior knowledge of abusive priests.