NY Cardinal says he’s child rape scandal “whipping boy,” as church leaders attack victims

Yesterday, The New York Times had two articles about Catholic Bishops and the child rape scandal, which show the continued hypocrisy of the Catholic church. NY’s Cardinal thinks people are being mean, while his fellow church leaders are trying to destroy the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

New York’s Cardinal was in Albany, attempting to put the scandal into the past:

Cardinal Dolan criticized a legislative proposal that would, for a year, drop the statute of limitations for filing civil claims for sexual offenses, allowing for lawsuits by people who say they were abused long ago. The cardinal said he was concerned that a flood of lawsuits over abuse by priests could drain the church of money it is using for charitable purposes.

“I think we bishops have been very contrite in admitting that the church did not handle this well at all in the past,” he said. “But we bristle sometimes in that the church doesn’t get the credit, now being in the vanguard of reform. It does bother us that the church continues to be a whipping boy.”

Hmm. Maybe the church is still “a whipping boy” because the church is still trying to screw over victims — as evidenced by the other article in the NYT:

Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.

The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it “almost certainly” had information relevant to the case.

The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”

As for the NY Cardinal Dolan claiming that the Catholic Church leaders have been “very contrite” about having enabled and protected child rapists for decades – not true.  An editorial in today’s NYT takes church leaders to task for this latest assault on victims:

When the sex-abuse scandal erupted a decade ago, church leaders spoke of reconciliation with the victims. Now, in threatening to expose private files compiled by advocates for abuse survivors, they are giving victims new reason to retreat into fear and secrecy. For the church to target SNAP compounds the horror.

And let’s not forget, just a fews weeks ago Dolan’s predecessor, Cardinal Egan, recanted his 2002 apology for enabling child rapists. He now says the church leadership didn’t do anything wrong.  That’s their definition of “very contrite.”


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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