ARCHBISHOP DOLAN LIBELED BY SNAP
Catalyst September Issue 2011
In August a story broke about an elderly priest in New York who was arrested for a sexual infraction. In predictable fashion the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) reacted by libeling New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
When a 16-year-old girl began working in a Bronx parish on a recent Saturday, she claimed she was inappropriately touched by an 87-year-old priest. However, she returned to work on the following Monday, where she said she was touched the wrong way again. Then she decided to go back to work on Tuesday, and claimed that she was wrongly touched for a third time. On Wednesday, the cops showed up, with TV cameras rolling, and handcuffed the elderly priest—who never had a single allegation made against him in over 60 years as a priest—treating him as if he were Jack the Ripper.
If this isn’t surreal enough, consider that the phony victims’ group, SNAP, accused Archbishop Dolan of covering up the alleged misconduct, even though Dolan knew nothing about it. Moreover, when Dolan learned of the arrest, he immediately informed the cleric that he cannot function as a priest and must leave the parish until the matter is settled. So to accuse the New York Archbishop of a cover-up was obscene.
SNAP also stated that Archbishop Dolan was guilty of “acting secretively” in a previous case involving Msgr. Wallace Harris. This was patently libelous: Dolan was the Archbishop of Milwaukee when Harris was suspended. When Cardinal Edward Egan, Dolan’s predecessor, learned of the alleged misconduct by Harris—which supposedly happened 30 years earlier—he notified the D.A.’s office.
According to a SNAP press release, these cases also demonstrate the Church’s tolerance of pedophilia. But neither of the two cases involved pedophilia: in both instances, the alleged victims were teenagers. The name of the game is to paint priests as child abusers, which is a bold-face lie. It’s time the media turned its cameras on the liars at SNAP.