Thursday, January 12, 2012

Archbishop Dolan Bashes Church Rape Victims (Comment)

The Catholic Church — which is the world’s single largest anti-gay hate group — recently announced that it will “elevate” Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the office of Cardinal within the worldwide corporation. 

In multiple, under-discussed ways, Dolan owes his rise within the hate group to anti-gay bigotry.

For example, he became Archbishop of Milwaukee after Archbishop Weakland was discovered having an unspecified encounter with a younger male and paid out $450,000 to avoid a lawsuit. 

Dolan’s reception in Milwaukee got a lift from the scandal — the notion being — we can celebrate this new one, and cover up whatever the last one did (Weakland apparently stole that $450,000 from the Church).

Weakland — be it noted in passing — as Archbishop, in 1984, responded to Catholic school teachers that were reporting sex abuse by local priests by saying “any libellous material found in your letter will be scrutinized carefully by our lawyers.”

In August, 2011 in the Bronx, Father Jaime Duenas was arrested on allegations that he had repeatedly sexually abused a 16-year-old girl working in the Church.

When a victims’ advocacy group tried to urge additional victims — if any — to come forward, it was met with hostility by church-goers loyal to Duenas. 

Meanwhile, according to prosecutors, in his cell before his arraignment, the Catholic Church’s Father Duenas said, “She didn’t protest to getting a massage. She was wearing short skirts.”

As if it were not bad enough that Duenas tried to blame the victim, Archbishop Dolan piled on in attempting to discredit her. 

On the Archbishop’s Blog — with a photo of Dolan smiling, and a headline of “Gratitude to the Catholic League” — Dolan published a press release from the Catholic League’s notorious political gay basher Bill Donahue.

Donahue wrote that the apparent victim had reported to work three days running as the abuse was occurring and “now says” that she was abused.  

He repeats the pattern several times, to emphasize his point that the girl went to work but “now says” that she was abused. What is wrong with his statements? They are the kind of thing that institutional sexual abusers and their administrative protectors use to intimidate other victims out of coming forward. 

“Nobody will believe you,” is one of the sex abuser’s preferred lines, according to abuse experts.

Under the photo of Dolan’s smiling face, on Dolan’s blog, Donahue goes on to call the Survivors  Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) a “phony victims’ group.”

Anybody with knowledge of the situation knows that minus SNAP, the Catholic Church would have done the equivalent of saying that all Church child rape victims “didn’t protest to getting a massage” and had been “wearing short skirts.” 

In recent weeks, Donahue has said that Church child rape victims “don’t want to move on, and that’s because they have too much invested in maintaining their victim status.”

How is that for empathy? 

How is that for providing forms of oversight that the Church would rather not provide, in order to prevent additional child rape crimes and cover-ups within the Church?

As Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan successfully fought proposed legislation that would have lifted the statute of limitations for the prosecution of child rape crimes. New York legislators have proposed lifting the statute of limitations on child rape. 

But a staffer for Senator Thomas Duane told me that if I thought Dolan fought hard against marriage equality, I should know that that is nothing compared to how hard he fights against lifting the statute of limitations for the prosecution of child rapes.

I have repeatedly contacted Archbishop Dolan’s office, asking why Dolan opposes the proposed legislation to lift the statute of limitations on the prosecution of child rape, but have never gotten an answer. 

When I reach a live person in the Archbishop’s office and pose the question directly to them, they tell me that so-and-so will get back to me with a response.

They take my phone number and e-mail address, but I never hear back. 

I also have left voice mails about this question for the Archdiocese’s Office of Communications, but never received the courtesy of a reply.

This is the world-wide organization that says homosexuality is a “sin” and that marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilization.

When Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno was alleged once to have covered up sexual abuse of young people, he was immediately fired from the job he had held for decades. 

At least in part for successfully shielding Catholic Church resources against claims from Church sex abuse victims, Archbishop Dolan has been “elevated” to Cardinal.

What is wrong with this picture?

1 comment:

PatO said...

Well written and reported.

However, Archbishop Dolan should be given credit for his tenacious efforts in the fight against hunger.

His own, that is.

He must eat 5 or 6 meals a day, and countless snacks in between. He's always making fat jokes on TV, giving the example to the rest of the Catholic congregation that being rich and fat is funny and likable. Disgusting.