Cardinal Timothy Dolan believes that the “sinful” behavior of some clergy and other high-ranking officials has caused some of the faithful to declare themselves former members of the Catholic Church. But New York’s cardinal thinks that owning up to the “sinful side of the Church” is a positive step, and likens the Church’s problems to the crucifixtion.

The Associated Press reports that Dolan made his remarks on Sept. 5, when he was in town to deliver the archdiocese’s annual Pallium Lecture. Dolan, the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, started the tradition when he served in the city from 2002 to 2009.

In July, the Milwaukee archdiocese release the personnel files of 42 priests who were the subject of substantiated child abuse claims. While the cardinal did not specifically the abuse claims, he acknowledged that some Catholics have left because they were “shocked, saddened and nauseated by the sinful behavior” by the behavior of some of the church’s officials.

Dolan feels that exposing the criminal behavior is an important obligation for Church officials.

“It’s not a bad idea to ‘fess up to the sinful side of the Church,” he said. He said that those who love the Church continue to do so in spite of its problems.

“We admit her flaws and love her all the more because she is Christ on the cross,” he said.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan.Catholic News Agency