Home » US News » Sins of the fathers haunt Catholic Church, says Cardinal Dolan

Sins of the fathers haunt Catholic Church, says Cardinal Dolan


13358743-large(AP) Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Thursday that one of the biggest problems facing the Roman Catholic Church is the number of people who identify as former Catholics, including many who left because of the “sinful” behavior of clergy and other Church members.

Dolan, the former Milwaukee archbishop, made the comments during his first appearance in the city since the archdiocese released the personnel files of 42 priests with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against them in July.

Dolan didn’t explicitly mention abuse, but he acknowledged that some Catholics who left the church because “they have been shocked, saddened and nauseated by the sinful behavior” of some of its members. He said Catholics should not hide from that.

“It’s not a bad idea to fess up to the sinful side of the Church,” Dolan said.

He went on to say that those who love the church do so despite its problems.

“We admit her flaws and we love her all the more because she is Christ on the cross,” Dolan said. [More]





  1. Deacon Bernie says:

    Certainly the priestly abuse crisis and the hierarchial disdain have been convulsive to the people in the pews. However, people leave the church every day because they want to stating as their reason this, that or another thing that has nothing to do with the abuse crisis. While I do know people who told me that they could no longer stay in the Church due to the abuse crisis, there is another, larger group who have not tended their Catholicism who just drift away, and another group who have cited real or imagined slights to justify their action. That drifting started long before we’d even begun to think about the abuse crisis, and is still continuing. The offset is the continuing number of parents who bring their babies for Baptism and the adults who have found their way to Catholicism.
    Again, I do not diminish the abuse crisis and the failure of the bishops but their evil is not the only evil at work.

  2. Siena says:

    So now, pedophilia is not a problem for the bishops to deal with but something for those who have left the church to “get over?” Is he kidding? Typical clerical thinking… I’m special and you’re wrong.Even if I hide the pedophiles and you’ve lost your childhood because of one of them. Yuck!

  3. Catholic Lady says:

    “It’s not a bad idea to fess up to the sinful side of the Church” – Perhaps the Cardinal and all the bishops of the church could fess-up to their involvement in the sinful side of the Church – and then perhaps those who were preditors and those who covered for them could come clean. – Those who love the Catholic Church, love Her inspite of the sins of the fathers however confession of wrong doing, might help to heal some of the victims as well as the Church itself – perhaps then having removed one more EXCUSE for CNO’s to not attend Mass, we will see the pews full to capacity once more…

    • Fr. Mark, OSB says:

      While we all love the Church, the Cardinal and the vast majority of his confreres are missing the point. The frustration and disgust, while very high against the individual men who did these horrible things to children, is NOTHING compared to the disgust we feel against bishops who not only condoned and hid these abhorrent acts, thereby exposing more children to danger, but have walked around like they had no part in any of this! I keep hoping that somewhere in this country a prosecutor decides to file conspiracy charge against a bishop. It also wouldn’t hurt for the Vatican to slap one of these offending characters right out of the Church. Neither Dolan nor anyone else in Church hierarchy will even own up to what angers people in the pews.

      May God bring His justice to these people, and comfort to those who have been hurt by their acts.

      • Recovering Catholic says:

        I’m afraid that these bishops simply think sexual activity with children and/or vulnerable adults is “no big thing.” It’s mind boggling that they just don’t get it!

  4. Florian says:

    Tim Dolan is still unwilling to accept or even acknowledge his personal and alarming lack of accountability for the clergy sex abuse crisis, and the coverup. With Dolan and bishops like him continuing in office — Finn of KCSJ and Myers of Newark are but two other flagrant examples — the hierarchy will never restore the trust of the laity that they have lost.


Leave a Comment