Timothy Dolan

And about that Al Smith Dinner, where Clinton and Trump sat on either side of Cardinal Timothy Dolan – let’s remember who and what Timothy Dolan is. Let’s revisit that blog post he wrote in March 2010, complaining in a very Donald Trump way about how unfair the New York Times is to the poor victimized underdog the Catholic church

Fridays of Lent are days of special sacrifice anyway, so I guess maybe the anguish caused by that day’s headline in our city’s newspaper should have been accepted as an invitation to further penance.

You’re familiar with the crescendo of recent stories on the sad and disturbing case of a German priest accused in 1979 of the vicious crime and sin of sexually abusing minor boys.  When these hideous allegations came to the attention of this priest’s archbishop, a man by the name of Joseph Ratzinger — who now happens to be the bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI — he rightly removed the priest and ordered him to report for residential assessment and therapy.

Interesting – Dolan just said the priest was accused of a serious crime against children, yet he goes on to say Ratzinger “rightly” neglected to inform the police.

The shock of the original abuse is intensified because, tragically, upon his release from treatment, the priest was reassigned to parish work, although not by Archbishop Ratzinger.  Horribly, as often was the case, the Reverend Peter Hullerman went on to abuse teenagers again.

Because of the criminal refusal of the church to report the abuse and to stop the priest from working with people in future. It wasn’t “tragically,” it was criminally. The church protected itself at the expense of children in its parish. Yet Dolan sees fit to complain about the reporting by the Times.

So Friday’s headline, only the most recent, stings us again:  “Doctor Asserts Church Ignored Abuse Warnings,” as the psychiatrist who treated the criminal, Dr. Werner Huth, blames the Church for not heeding his recommendations.

What adds to our anger over the nauseating abuse and the awful misjudgment in reassigning such a dangerous man, though, is the glaring fact that we never see similar headlines that would actually be “news”:  How about these, for example?

—    “Doctor Asserts He Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since Dr. Huth admits in the article that he, in fact, told the archdiocese the abusing priest could be reassigned under certain restrictions, a prescription today recognized as terribly wrong;

—    “Doctor Asserts Public Schools Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since the data of Dr. Carol Shakeshaft concludes that the number of cases of abuse of minors by teachers, coaches, counsellors, and staff in government schools is much, much worse than by priests;

—    “Doctor Asserts Judges (or Police, Lawyers,District Attorneys, Therapists, Parole Officers) Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since we now know the sober fact that no one in the healing and law enforcement professions knew back then the depth of the scourge of abuse, or the now-taken-for-granted conclusion that abusers of young people can never safely work closely with them again.

What causes us Catholics to bristle is not only the latest revelations of sickening sexual abuse by priests, and blindness on the part of some who wrongly reassigned them — such stories, unending though they appear to be, are fair enough, — butalsothat the sexual abuse of minors is presented as a tragedy unique to the Church alone.

That, of course, is malarkey.  Because, as we now sadly realize, nobody, nowhere, no time, no way, no how knew the extent, depth, or horror of this scourge, nor how to adequately address it.

Bollocks. They didn’t try to find out, they covered it up as much as they possibly could, they protected their institution and themselves at the expense of the victims.

And that’s the man who was sitting in all his cardinal finery between Clinton and Trump last night.


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