The New York Times editorial called the Cardinal’s actions “shocking” and stated Milwaukee “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority,”citing evidence newly available in 6,000 pages of documents.
The hard hitting editorial states “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, has denied the allegation and described the charges as “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.”
However The Times says the new documents make clear “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.”
“The release of about 6,000 pages of documents provided a grim backstage look at the scandal, graphically detailing the patterns of serial abuse by dozens of priests who were systematically rotated to new assignments as church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority.”
The Times writes that “It is disturbing that the current Milwaukee leader, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said last week that the church underwent an “arc of understanding” across time to come to grips with the scandal — as if the statutory rapes of children were not always a glaring crime in the eyes of society as well as the church itself.
The Times editorial concludes “The documents showed how the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests. Yet the same bureaucracy approved Cardinal Dolan’s $57 million transfer just days after the Wisconsin court allowed victims’ damage suits.”
President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has announced that the Church will not comply with Barack Obama’s administration’s requirement, that most employers should supply health insurance, including birth control.
Dolan said that while the Catholic Church leaders are ready to work toward a resolution with the federal officials, they will press on with challenges to the mandate in legislatures and in court.
The Archbishop of New York did not say whether the bishops would disobey the mandate if the lawsuits fail or church leaders cannot resolve their disagreements with the Department of Health.
Speaking to reporters at a national bishops meeting he said, “The only thing we’re certainly not prepared to do is give in. We’re not violating our consciences.
He added, “I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation.”
Under President Barack Obama’s regulations, houses of worship are exempt, however, religiously affiliated hospitals, charities, and colleges are not.
Earlier this year there had been promises made by the Obama administration that faith-affiliated employers would be excluded. So far these details have not been addressed. Many Catholic hospitals and other religious leaders support Obama’s health care overhaul and so far hammering out these differences seems impossible.
So far many Catholic diocese and charities, including the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, have sued over the health care mandate.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is at the center of this national campaign which they say is bent on preserving religious freedom. The US Department of Health adopted the rule, including birth control in health care, to protect women’s health by allowing them to space their pregnancies.
The Reverend Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, told the Associated Press he believes the Obama administration should make a compromise with the Catholic Church.
He said while many Catholics support gay marriage and controversial issues they would be against anything that disrupts their social work in community among the poor, war refugees and other disadvantaged people.