The image ofthe Catholic Church recently was further battered when documents revealed that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of up to $20,000 each to priests accused of sexual abuse as “motivation” not to contest being defrocked.
The papers, found during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, outline how officials — including Dolan, then the archbishop of Milwaukee — discussed a proposal to offer $20,000 for returning to lay status ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion the process) to priests described as “unassignable” because of sex-abuse allegations. One priest, Franklyn Becker, received $10,000. Becker was accused of abusing at least 10 victims.
Victims of abuse by priests have slammed the revelations, saying that the compensation offered is only $10,000 less than that offered to the victims. “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?” asked the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests in a letter to the current Archbishop of Milwaukee.