In news that’s shocking to no one, the Catholic Church is in the middle of another scandal:
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.
So now we know how much money the Catholic Church thinks a child’s innocence is worth.
Just to be clear: Priests molested children. But instead of reporting them to the police and having them hauled off to jail, the Catholic Church rewarded them.. as long as the offenders didn’t object to leaving the Church.
Because, you know, the priests were the real victims in all of this.
A victims advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent a letter of protest to the current archbishop of Milwaukee on Wednesday asking, “In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”
Even worse is the Church’s admission that this process — laicization — wasn’t new:
So far Dolan hasn’t commented on this.
Experts in the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse say that payouts to dismissed priests are not uncommon. When a man becomes a priest, the church is expected to care for his needs for a lifetime.
On a side note, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League was complaining about another story regarding a molesting priest and offered this explanation for why these types of accusations are unjust (emphasis his):
For the record, almost all priests in the nation — now as well as before — have never had a single charge of sexual molestation made against them. Of those who have, a large share of the accusations have been proven false. Of the guilty, the most common form of abuse was “inappropriate touching” — not rape — and the most common victim was an adolescent. So to feed the perception that it is not unusual to find rapist priests is unconscionable.
What makes this offensive characterization so doubly despicable is that Father James Brennan was initially charged with anally raping his alleged victim, yet at the end of last year the charge was amended to attempted rape.
Ohhhhhh! Inappropriate touching and attempted rape. Got that, everyone? Nothing to see here. He only attempted to anally rape that child. I don’t know what you’re all getting so worked up about.