Documents released yesterday show that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York authorized payments, some as much as $20,000, to priests who sexually abused children as a means of encouraging them to leave the ministry. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) announced the findings after discovering them in the minutes of a Milwaukee archdiocese finance council meeting held in March 2003. The archdiocese called the payments "signing bonuses."
In a press release, SNAP wrote "We know, incontrovertibly, that while Dolan was claiming to heal the Milwaukee Church of the sexual abuse scandal he was instead running a shadow operation to pay off priests who had raped, sexually assaulted or abused children so that they could quietly take this money and disappear into the community unprosecuted, undetected, and unrepentant."
According to the meeting minutes, priests were offered the payouts if they agreed to undergo laicization, "the process of turning an ordained priest into a lay person." Priests were offered $10,000 at the start of the process and another $10,000 at the end. They were also given $1,250 in monthly pension benefits and health insurance until they found new jobs.
Media Resources: Reuters 5/31/12; NPR 5/31/12; SNAP Press Release 5/31/12; New York Times 5/30/12
7/30/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Rules In Favor Of Mississippi's Last Clinic - Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic will remain open after a the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against HB 1390, the Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals.
Had the court not upheld the lower federal's court's injunction, HB 1390 would have shuttered Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the state's only comprehensive reproductive health center. . . .