Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Jeffrey Anderson’s latest accusations against New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan:

Anderson is a liar and the media are giving him a free ride. Anderson says he possesses a “smoking gun” that shows that when Archbishop Dolan led the Milwaukee archdiocese before coming to New York, he and the Vatican worked in concert to “keep secrets and avoid scandal” in their handling of an abusive priest, Franklyn Becker. If lying were a crime, Anderson would be imprisoned.

Instead of focusing on Dolan’s predecessor, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, the disgraced darling of dissident Catholics who left office after revelations of a homosexual affair and ripping off the Catholic Church of close to a half-million dollars, Anderson and his army of Catholic-bashing lawyers have deliberately twisted the meaning of the word “scandal,” as understood in ecclesiastical parlance, to indict an innocent man, Archbishop Dolan.

Unlike Weakland, Dolan moved with dispatch to get Becker out of ministry. In his letter of May 27, 2003 to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now the pope), he said that all efforts to rehabilitate Becker were a failure, and that “it is clear that he will never be able to assume public ministry” (Becker had just been arrested in California for crimes he allegedly committed in the 1970s). Furthermore, Dolan said that if the California trial goes forward, it “makes the potential for true scandal very real.”

The term “scandal” in the Catholic lexicon is very specific: it is defined as “a word or action evil in itself, which occasions another spiritual ruin.” In other words, once the public finds out more about Becker, his misconduct will give scandal to the Church by causing the faithful to question their faith. For that reason, and for his past record, Dolan said he wanted him out of the priesthood. Anderson knows his way around Catholic circles and knows full well what Dolan meant, yet he chose the more conventional understanding of the word “scandal” to condemn him. To read what Dolan actually said, click here. He even recommended against Becker slipping away on a technicality! Dolan is a hero—he’s the one who moved to get Becker kicked out of the priesthood. There is no “smoking gun,” but there is a stench coming from Anderson and his lackeys.
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