Down the Rabbit Hole: NY Times Now Blasts Cardinal Dolan and Church for Actually Getting Rid of Abusive Priests

Laurie Goodstein

Targeting Cardinal Dolan: Laurie Goodstein, New York Times

One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.

So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn't that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein.

In her latest Catholic Church-obsessed piece, Goodstein takes issue with the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee a while back, approved a number of $20,000 settlements to rid the Church of abusive priests in a more time-efficient and expeditious manner – without long, drawn-out canonical or civil proceedings.

The agenda: Attack the Church

Goodstein characterizes these settlements as "payoffs to sexually abusive priests" in an attempt to somehow besmirch Cardinal Dolan. In fact, these were settlement payments designed to save the Church and everyone involved the legal expenses and distraction of engaging in the protracted proceedings necessary to rid the Church of abusive priests.

This isn't the first time that Goodstein, the Times' purported national religion reporter, has shilled for contingency lawyers and loud professional victims' groups, who wish to plant hit pieces on the Catholic Church in America's declining newspaper of record.

Just a couple months ago, Goodstein waxed sympathetic for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) after its national director, David Clohessy, griped that he simply had to obey a court order and finally come clean about his unseemly contacts with contingency lawyers in Missouri. Goodstein crafted a wobbly piece with the predictable premise that the big, bad Catholic Church was bullying an innocent, little victims group.


In her new article, Goodstein uncritically quotes a letter from SNAP to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. After hysterically labelling the settlements as "cash bonuses," the letter asks:

"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?"

Well, SNAP could have easily answered its own question.

Just a few months ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District paid $40,000 to a third-grade teacher accused of committing numerous lewd acts on children in exchange for him not appealing his firing.

Then there was the teacher in New York City who was accused of ogling eighth-grade girls and collected a whopping $100,049-a-year salary without setting foot in a classroom for over a decade.

In fact, such settlements happen in the education profession all the time.

SNAP's venom against the Catholic Church is now beyond the realm of reason or logic. The group endlessly gripes about abusive priests not being removed quickly enough. Then when the Church actually does something to correct this, SNAP complains.

An ongoing obsession

Even when the Catholic Church does something good in the handling of abusive priests, Goodstein and the Times somehow find a way to portray it as something sinister and unseemly.

Meanwhile, the Times continues its obsession with sex abuse in the Catholic Church from decades ago. Why?

As the Times itself summarily reported recently, just in the first three months alone of 2012 in New York City public schools, there were "248 complaints of sexual misconduct involving school employees, a 35 percent increase over the same period last year."

How about the Times finally digging a little deeper into this shocking story happening today right in its own backyard rather than attacking Cardinal Dolan for what he wisely did in Milwaukee years ago?


  1. Chuck Murphy says:

    How much is the Archdiocese willing to pay those who were abused?
    Anything forthcoming to expedite that outrage justly, without condemnation of the abused?
    Cardinal Dolan should not have denied such payments if they happened.

  2. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    A great deal has been written over the years of the abuse scandal about the financial motives of attorneys representing abuse victims suing the Catholic Church.  It would be fair and appropriate for attention to also be directed at those attorneys who earn a great deal of money representing various dioceses and religious orders throughout the country.  In some instances, legal representation by individuals and certain law firms has gone on for many years, way before the scandal broke in Boston in 2002.
    I would think that a considerable amount of legal fees were paid by Catholic dioceses, orders and institutions to their own legal counsel PRIOR to 2002 with respect to the internal processing, management and review of clergy abuse matters.  Who knows how much has been earned by archdiocesan counsel since that time?

    • says:

      Michael Ski wrote: “A great deal has been written over the years of the abuse scandal about the financial motives of attorneys representing abuse victims suing the Catholic Church.”

      Really? Where?

  3. Herman says:

    You can't win with the angry haters. 
    When will the church wake up and learn that?

  4. Mary says:

    "Even when the Catholic Church does something good in the handling of abusive priests, Goodstein and the Times somehow find a way to portray it as something sinister and unseemly."
    That you think Dolan "did something good" here proves YOUR OWN moral bankruptcy:  Dolan endangered thousands more children by keeping these pious perps free from jail, free from deserved public notoriety, and flush with misappropriated "charity" money to travel to child prostitution poverty pits like the Catholic-strangled Philippines.  Pedophile protecting is CRIMINAL and Dolan is doubly criminal for demanding Obama grant his mother-killing cult the "liberty" to keep all women in deadly incubating slavery for his spoiled pet pedophiles.  SNAP is way too nice to the RCC — it completely ignores a zillion worse atrocities like Paul VI's deliberate funding of Nazi Catholic Ustashi Croatian DEATH CAMPS in WWII "to fight abortion" by gutting pregnant Serb "heretics" and their fetuses.  SNAP also won't take on the RCC's Nazi human gineau pig trafficking of kids for Pentagon/big pharma medical experiments.  As a disfigured survivor of Catholic Munchausen by Proxy medical abuse, I'm disappointed SNAP doesn't do a whole lot more.
    How about you stop shilling for your mother-killing, child-raping, Nazi-protecting heresy cult that mocks the Gospels?

    • Mike says:

      It should be noted that even had Dolan reported every wayward priest to the police, virtually none of them would have been arrested, charged or tried based on the criminal statute of limitations. Even in states that have eliminated the SOL for criminal cases, the laws cannot be applied retroactively, so these men still could not be tried.
      Not sure what exactly you would like SNAP or the Catholic Church to do with respect to the Nazis and WWII. That's really not part of their mission. I think what you should do is get some fellow survivors together and establish an organization to help those like yourself. Clohessy and his associates have their hands full helping victims of priest abuse despite claiming to also care about abuse by others, such as Orthodox Jews or public school teachers.

  5. Patrick says:

    Thanks for alerting to the latest Times' outrage.

  6. John Doe says:

    If Cardinal Dolan had figured out such a wonderful, "fast and economical way to [remove sexually abusive priests by paying them $20,000]", why did he deny doing so and in fact call the allegation “false, preposterous and unjust?"

  7. Amos says:

    So, what's unusual about this? Democrats do it all the time, only, they call it Stimulus!

  8. Dan says:

    When will all of the liberal whiners realize that their kiddies are safer with the Church than in almost any other place? In many cases, the kiddies are safer ANYWHERE but their OWN HOMES! Catholic haters are a bunch of liberal zealots who will never see the forest for the trees. When I was a 12 year old boy I witnessed the gang rape of a black child by four black youths & one white youth of similar age while the "night watchman" SLEPT!!! I ended the torture by reporting the abuse to my counselor. This nonsense occured in a well-known public children's shelter in Pittsburgh, PA. Most of those kids were from abusive , crime-riddled homes. My crime was that my father was a chaser and my mother had mental problems. The decision was made to "protect me" from my parents!!! Please don't tell me about the Great Society created at the hands of secular worldlings. I have had enough of simpletons and ambulance chasers like the SNAP miscreants trying to dismantle the Church.   

    • Don't mix your audiences. Clergy sex abuse victims, who exposed these documents, are not (as a group) a bunch of "liberal whiners." In fact, I know victims who have worked in the White House under the Bush I administration, some who have been influential figures in the Republican and Libertarian parties, and some who are still very conservative Catholics. 
      I am not trying to dismantle the church. Nor am I a miscreant. I just want justice and transparency. I also believe that the public sector should also be held to the same standards as the Catholic Church. But that requires money, political power, influence and connections that SNAP does not have. The American Catholic Church itself doesn't have the money to expose sex abuse in governmental organizations. How can we, a group with the operating budget smaller than the average parish?
      As a volunteer for the organization, I can say that we would be more than happy to accept any volunteers with the power and influence to expose sex abuse in ANY institutional setting. 
      Joelle Casteix
      SNAP Western Regional Director

  9. Fitasafiddle says:

    Mr. Pierre continuously points out the sex abusers in the teaching profession – a profession which is known for it's general integrity in publicly identifying sex abusers- in order to point out  anti Catholic bashers in the media.  Cardinal Dolan, while distributing  funds to pedophile priests so that they can slip away into communites of children without any public disclosure, and then lying about it with such self aggrandizement, is the true Catholic basher whom Mr. Pierre should be concerned about.
    Men, calling themselves bishops and cardinals, who oversee the raping of tens of thousands of children ( and hiding the criminal child raping clerics,Mr. Pierre, )  are not what we call  doing the work of the Lord.  Calling Dolan's deceitul shenanigans in Milwaukee "wise"  is a telling statement regarding Mr. Pierre's state of mind.

  10. Gabe says:

    The author is missing the point here.  The real problem, beside the fact that Cardinal Dolan LIED about paying off these priests, is that they nw have been unleashed on an unsuspecting public that has no knowledge of their sexually predatory acts and proclivities.  SNAP has NOT asked that priests simply be laicized, but that they be reported to the PROPER autorities and suffer the consequences of their crimes.  Victims know that simply laicizing these priests simply allows them to continue sexually abusing innocent chkldren and vulnerable adults without the benefit of a collar.   What Dolan did was NOT wise, it was misguided at best and intensely harmful at most.

  11. Fr Jim Smith says:

    The next area for complaints will be the living status of removed priests. Right now, many snap types are complaining that the Church gives a charity payment to removed priests (often $600 per month, not even one hour for a consultation with many lawyers). When the bishops cave in and stop paying, they will no longer know where the removed priests are living. Remember: To get the check, the priest has to tell the bishop where he lives. Once these priests are no longer traceable,.snap will be crying about runaway priests disappearing into society.
    Snap will never be satisfied, so why try.

    • Mary says:

      Women could end pedophilia in a few years with a global birth strike.  The RCC with its centuries of genocide, gendercide of mid-wives and older women, and child-raping deserves no new members, no government tax breaks and no diplomatic immunity for its crime sprees.

    • Julie says:

      Father Jim, You are so right. Mary, you are taking the dialogue into the ridiculous. Let's keep with reality.

    • Mary says:

      The RCC will never be satisfied until pedophilia is legalized for all priests and all complaining victims and their parents get arrested and fined instead.

  12. Publion says:

    I don't know where this 'tens of thousands of rapes' bit comes from but it's not in any research I've been able to locate. Perhaps somebody could provide the supporting links that establish the accuracy of that assertion.
    Given the fact that the proper authorities may not be able to make a case against the priests against whom allegations were made I'm not sure that Abp. Dolan so clearly made a bad call on this. Look at the current  Philadelphia case, where the DA took years to build the case and it is in deep trouble and certainly isn't an open-and-shut, clear-cut affair.
    The priests in question here are still perfectly open to police investigation – they simply won't be priests (and thus won't be able to be conducting ministry and being around potential victims under the rubric of being priests). I'm sure that the settlements did not – indeed, legally could not be binding if they did – include any stipulation that the priest in question would not be prosecuted or investigated by police.
    So I can't see what the problem is here. Abp. Dolan avoided the long canonical process of a contested-laicization and got the priests out of priestly identity and/or ministry. The police are perfectly welcome to investigate them and any allegations by persons reporting themselves as victims can quickly and easily be reported to the police as early as yesterday afternoon or tomorrow morning by picking up the phone.

  13. Publion says:

    I’m also a little perplexed about the attorney-fees matter.
    The Church may well have had to pay sizable fees to attorneys to study and make recommendations about allegation-matters and lawsuits and cases. But that is only in response to the lawsuits shrewdly brought against the dioceses by the various tort-attorneys working for contingency fees. And if the total settlement payouts to date amount to hundreds of millions (I don’t have a reliable figure for this but from what I can glean this figure is in the ballpark) then the contingency fees – if 30 percent – are substantially remunerative indeed.
    So to compare the Church’s attorney fees and the contingency fees raked in by the various tort-attorneys is to compare apples and oranges.
    Unless, of course, one wishes to imagine that the Church attorneys are actually in collusion with the tort attorneys in order to ensure that attorneys on both sides continue to rake in fees. In other words, that the Church attorneys are colluding for the purpose of creating fees for themselves, like – oh, say – the contingency attorneys and the advocacy groups work to get allegants for the lawsuits and then the attorneys kick-back some of their contingency pot to the advocacy or victim organizations in some form or another.

  14. Rondre says:

    Wow talk about bias reporting! Expected more from mediareports.

  15. George Mason says:

    Goodstein is clearly an anti-Catholic bigot with an agenda.  Rather than look to old news one would think a reporter would be interested in the recent news NY city public school teachers abusing students who are being paid full salaries and the unions who protect them or the Orthodox rabbis who abuse kids who are are protected by the DA!

  16. irishsmile says:

    The New York Times is rabidly anti-Catholic!!!

  17. Cassy says:

    The Times is the anti-Catholic paper of record for sure.

    • Mary says:

      Telling the truth about RCC crimes is hardly Catholic-bashing.  That anyone here defends RCC abuse of women and children is insulting to Jesus.

  18. granny says:

    More children are molested in public schools every year than by Catholic priests and that has been happening as long as the abuse has been in the church.  If you are attracted to children, where better to be than in a position of trust and authority like a school?  Stop being blinded, this is a WORLD wide problem that occurs in EVERY area where adults interact with children. 
    While all of the abuse is tragic and should be strongly punished, MOST of the reported abuse was between homosexual priests and adolecent males not little children.   The church failed and admits that it failed by being too accepting, too charitable.  Instead of refusing young homosexual applicants, they were accepted into the seminaries which is like letting a fox in the henhouse… stupid to expect anything other than a disaster. 
    Go back and read the history of the early 20's, read about Kinsey who was about as sick as you can get.  Read about the inflitration of the church by Bella Dobbs…  and if you really want to understand what has happened read both  Pascendi dominici gregis and Humanae Vitae… talk about propetic ! 

  19. Wôkwses says:

    There is the matter of no report to the police, and the turning loose of men who are almost inevitably going to look for some other occupation that offers an excuse for ready access to minor children. The incurable nature of pedophilia was known by the time in question, even if notoriety was a concern. That the Statute of Llmitations might have run as to some past events, does not excuse failure to protect the outside world from new events.

  20. Julie says:

    As someone who works in the news media, I am dismayed to have seen over and over again what a useful idiot Laurie Goodstein has been for SNAP.


  1. [...] appalled by Cardinal Dolan’s actions, but I can tell you one group that definitely doesn’t: The site was originally founded in 2004 by Dave F. Pierre, Jr. and, in its own words, “has since [...]