Archbishop Dolan: More Sexual Abuse Among Teachers Than Priests

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Archbishop Timothy Dolan defended comments he made on his blog that the rate of sexual abuse among New York City public school teachers is higher than that among priests.

In the post dated March 18, Dolan described an encounter with a man at a Denver airport who ripped into the Catholic Church for its history of sexual abuse.

Dolan, in the post, said he responded by telling the stranger that the "rate of sexual abuse among public school teachers is 10 times higher than that of priests."

When asked where the statistics Dolan cited were from, a spokeswoman for the New York Archdiocese cited a NYS Special Commissioner of Investigation report that substantiated 78 abuse cases by teachers in 2009, and 73 such cases last year.

Another 2009 study from John Jay on incidence of priest sexual abuse was also cited.

When asked to respond to the Archbishop's blog post, the Department of Education declined to comment, and the United Federation of Teachers did not respond to WNYC's request for comment.


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Comments [74]

Mila from Philadelphia

This is all part of the anti-Christian movement going on. Atheists and Protestants are rejoicing. Do Protestants know that they have higher percentages? Where is there outrage? Where is their disgust? Do they know that they are not attacked because they are not a central structure. Do they know they are next? Do atheist know what is coming after all the attacks? After Christianity? Don't get me wrong, the clergy that did this was wrong and they are being prosecuted. But it is unfair not to mention those falsely accused, for example. Which btw fat exceeds the accused. But no, the media never shows them. And it is not fair to say that the communist atheist hate front groups don't have a hand on this. Oh those ACLU lawyers are making millions. Bastards!!! Bottom line there is no religion that has done more for kids than the Catholic Church. Whether it with schools, hospitals, orphanages, charity, or abortion. But just a few bad apples, the whole thing is blown out of proportion and the hate is unreal. Look within your own houses and don't throw the first rocks because you are probably just as guilty with higher percentages of abuse. And recognize that the Catholic Church has done more than any other church and atheist organizations to fight this abuse and many others. Shame on all of you!

Aug. 05 2013 02:54 PM
Russell Dee from Washington state

So is Dolan saying it is OK for catholic leaders to sodomize little boys as long as the church leaders do it less than public school teachers? I don't get it. It looks like Cardinal Dolan is trying to smoothe over the child sex abuse by catholic leaders. Ok Cardinal Dolan, public school teachers sexually abuse too many kids but the catholic church abuses too many kids too. One is too many, get it.

Also, usually when I hear about public school chils sex abuse the "child" is in his or her late teens whereas the catholic church sex abuse stories seems to involve more true children in the single digits.

Also, it really pains me to hear a catholic executive officer, Cardinal Dolan, trying to minimize the wrong of the sex abuse by catholic priests. He has been accused of attempting to cover up case(s) of sex abuse by catholic priests and after reading his attempt to both deflect and minimize the child sex abuse by catholic priests it is clear that the accusation against Cardinal Dolan is fair because Cardinal Dolan is out in public trying to minimize and deflect the sex abuse of children by catholic priests.

Feb. 27 2012 03:59 PM
Ted Wilson

The New York City schools don't care about the kids. The school district has has hundreds of thousands of PCB containing and leaking old inefficient fluorescent light fixtures hanging in thousands of classrooms right over the heads of the kids. Any small business oufit of even scant awareness would have replaced such fixtures decades ago, if only to save a lot of electricity much less save the health of their own employees. But public schools in NYC not only don't care, they are wasteful, corrupt and incompetent. The whole school system should be dissolved.

Feb. 21 2012 05:07 PM

Well if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck, so no matter if you put a red cap on his head, Mr. Dolan is still a duck, who shuffled pedophile priests around to do the dirty work of the Catholic Church. I do not acknowledge him as a Cardinal nor a priest! He does not speak for me as a catholic!!!
In fact I am embarrassed by him and this whole process, I guess this his reward for a job well done, PROTECTING THE CHURCH!!!

Feb. 18 2012 10:30 PM
Katie Murphy from Chicago USA

its just anther excuse by the people of the endless and even worse HIDDEN molestation of children all over the world

they knew of the problem for decades if not centuries;

Feb. 04 2012 03:28 PM
Andrew from Missouri

If there was as much concern for children (the victims) as there was hatred for the Catholic Church there would be an investigation into the public school problem as well - but there isn't. The Catholic Church is trying to solve a serious problem but public schools run by Democrats get a free pass.

Don't try to come off as caring about the victims when you have the extremely myopic view of only seeing the Catholic Church as having a problem.

Jul. 06 2011 06:35 PM
ASurvivor from NY

Here is why Dolan's and for that matter the Vatican's 'remorse' is false: right now the Catholic Conference is spending millions to kill legal reform that would give victims due process. I was an altar boy but my abuser wasn't a priest or even Catholic. But the Bishops want to silence me just the same.

May. 06 2011 09:14 AM

Patricia-I understand where you are coming from in that the Church is doing all it can to stop this. It is understandable that sexual abuse of children was looked at much differently in years past in that many believed that child molestors could be cured, so the reaction from the Church is much of the culture of the time, although that doesn't excuse the Church of protecting these guys. But we do need to look at it in context with respect to the culture at the time. My comment to that however is that Christ said, "come out from among them and be seperate." That means that the Church had a responsibility to protect her flock and didn't do it. The Church is suppose to be the moral compass of the world, or so she claims. I think that Christ's admonition of "being as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove" would have gone a long way to stop this in the first place. I am not bashing the Catholic Church in that I am Catholic, but we have to hold our Faith up to greater scrutiny and not make any excuses. We as Christians are to be above reproach and if we fall we have to admit it and not point fingers and say, "they do it too." The victims simply don't care. They have been wounded by those who were suppose to protect them. May God have mercy on them and heal those who were hurt.

Apr. 27 2011 12:56 AM

Again the behavior of the Catholic clergy who abused in Ireland, Germany, the U.S. is disgusting and morally repugnant. However the Catholic Church is more obvious in the media because it has a centralized structure unlike Protestantism. However the best statistics show that Protestant clergy is guilty of the same crimes and the percentages are just a little higher. Teachers are even higher. The percentage of clergy that do sexually abuse among both Protestants and Catholics are 1-4 percent. Rabbi's who abuse come in at a percentage as high as Protestant clergy. This is not a Catholic problem as this happens in other religions too at just the same percentage or a little higher. The majority of cases in the Catholic Church were technically called ephbophelia (homosexual sex with teen boys) not pedophilia (sex with pre-pubescent children of either sex). The best statistics show that priests in America who sexually abused came out to be about 0.4 percent. Protestant clergy, again were just a bit higher. Just keeping it real.

Apr. 27 2011 12:44 AM

I have looked up the best statistics that I can find on the scandal in the Catholic Church.. To say we need to show forgivenvess is not the point. Priests who abuse children need to be prosecuted and those who protected also should be held accountable. With that being said the Catholic Church is being unfairly targeted by the media in that the statistics in Protestant Churches is a little higher. So let's be honest. Do we have an agenda and are jumping for joy that this has happened within the Church or do we protect children from these pigs no matter where they are?

Apr. 27 2011 12:31 AM

It appears from many of the comments above, that there is more hatred and judgment against the Catholic Church and the priesthood and very little wisdom about the whole scandal. It is obvious that many have lost their faith and/or choose to blind themselves to the truth that the Church and the heirarchy are "TOTALLY" on the right track to complete healing of victims, total transparency, turning themselves inside out to bring justice to those who really abused others. Thank God there are courageous MEN of GOD who will not cower to the abuses heaped upon the Church and priests, many who have been falsely accused by the way, by those who very well may have ISSUES other than justice for victims of abuse. Maybe these issues include not agreeing with the Catholic Church in Her teachings regarding the Sunday obligation to attend Holy Mass, confessing your sins in the Sacrament of Confession, Marriage, chastity, birth control, abortion, celibacy, homosexuality, women priests, etc. Just maybe.

Apr. 06 2011 03:27 PM
Minnesota Values

To Marie from Maryland:

Very eloquently put. Wish I would have said it that way. Neither you or I know Henry, but we both want the best for her. I to hope that she finds healing. God Bless.

Apr. 05 2011 09:21 AM
Marie from Maryland

To henry1968 and her supporters:

I had no intention of bothering to respond to anymore of your posts and I may regret doing something against my better judgment. Not because anything you say could touch me. After all, you are what I said you are and you made my point better than I ever could have by your absurd responses. A response filled with aggression, hate, vindictiveness and anger but no intelligent thought. You are mentally all over the place with emotion out of control and no content worth anything to any reader. I do not believe that you really want to participate in creating a better world. You simply want to rant and vent on anyone you can find upon which to let loose. You are my dear, an abuser; you have become what you say you most hate.
Other respondents have gently and kindly alluded to the fact that you should seek genuine support from people who legitimately want you to heal, but it appears you will not listen to something you don’t want to hear.
You don’t agree with what I said and instead of presenting a good, solid, legitimate argument to the contrary you attacked me. And your attack was filled with nothing but really poor guesses and unsubstantiated retorts. By the way I am from New York City and I can tell you that the people from John Jay have no love for the Catholic Church. I believe that is why they were chosen as impartial evaluators, by the bishops to conduct the study.
You seem to think that if most of the transgressors are homosexuals this somehow discounts or minimizes your experience. This is not the case. My point is, this is the reality and it is being avoided by the press and the bishops because they are cowards, many of whom would like to see the complete dismantlement of the church. They are mustering and encouraging hate from all the various people they can find to go after the church. Never mind the truth (which God expects us to seek by the way), just feed the masses fuel for their emotionalism and hatred and use all that evil to destroy You are a classic example of this kind of manipulation and like most people you have been completely deceived.
Anyone who dissents must be eliminated and the popular method for going about this in these times is by personal attack. Not by fact because if they stuck to fact they would loose, no you go after the dissenter personally. And that is what you have done with me AND you have made false claims about me naturally because you don’t know me or anything about me. Note: If you need everyone to agree with you this means you are not strong in your beliefs. Think about it.
And we are back, you and I, to where we began. I am very sorry to hear you in such pain and I hope for your sake you are able to heal. One never completely recovers from abuse, but more you learn to compensate for the holes left in your emotions. There were some bloggers here who offered you genuine compassion and advice, you might want to go back and read what they said.

Apr. 05 2011 06:25 AM
Minnesota Values

To henry1968:

Wow, there is so much hostility in your words that clearly indicate you are not at peace with God. I hope that you do pray for me. My prayer for you is that you find peace with God and those that have harmed you terribly.

Regarding the statistics, the most authoritative study was done by John Jay College. They had access to all of the information, sordid and otherwise and summarized the information. I recognize these facts do not justify your anger, but they are facts non the less. Just so you know John Jay is no friend of the Catholic Church which is one reason why they were selected.

One last thought in your healing process, please at least consider it, get out of SNAP asap. They are nothing but a professional victim's organization and is not concerned with any actual healing. No resolution will ever satisfy their insatiable desire to hate and sully everyone connected to the Catholic Church. Allow Christ's healing to enter you life and shed SNAP. God Bless.

Apr. 04 2011 12:57 PM

somebody doesn't understand the difference between the number of incidents and the "rate of abuse"

Apr. 03 2011 06:33 PM
Mary Ann

You are right. Some sins are venial and others mortal. Jesus never picked out one mortal sin and said it was worse than another. The 10 Commandments ALL destroy grace in the soul. Crimes against children are mortal like intentional killing, adultery and the like. All are the worst but forgivable. "Take care not to be disturbed or angered at the sin or evil of another, because the devil wishes to destroy many through the fault of one. Spiritually help the one who has sinned as best you can,because it is not the healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick." MT 9:12 Peoples reaction to others sins and crimes often lead them to offend God through their reactions of self- rightousness. Any way you spin it God wants us to be forgiving, kind and merciful. Anything else is not from Him.

Apr. 03 2011 05:46 PM

Jeannie and Mary Ann, Bottom line this is about crimes, not sins, as I said previously. The focus and the conversation need to be about the crimes and how we should deal with criminals. We do not just "forgive" criminals, we hold them accountable legally. An individual victim may forgive his/her abuser, but that is not anyone else's business. It is our business to support those victims in seeking justice.

Most sexual abusers do not seek forgiveness from society or their victims, as they do not admit their crimes.

Please remember that your religious beliefs are just that, YOUR believes. Please do not be so arrogant to assume you know what is the best spiritual path for others. Do not assume you know the "truth," as we each hold our own spiritual truths.

Those who are "attacking God's priests" are simply stating that we will not allow anyone, priest or not, to rape kids. "God's priests" are human just like the rest of us. They are not special. Treating them as superior beings is part of what led to this clergy abuse men.

Apr. 03 2011 05:12 PM

Mary Ann, Not all sins are equal.
Raping a child can hardly be compared to the small mistakes decent humans may make in their daily lives. We may all do wrong, we do not all sexually abuse kids. Those who abuse children, and those who protect those abusers, do deserve to have "fingers pointed at them" and justice demanded. We are talking about crimes, not just sins (and not everyone believes in the concept of original sin). We have a justice system and a moral code in this country which states that child abuse is a very serious crime and that the perpetrators need to be punished. We need to hold each other accountable. Saying "we are all sinners" is too easy.

Apr. 03 2011 04:54 PM
Mary Ann

Nothing trumps M E R C Y! It is at the heart of Gods' law. We live on the planet with 6 Billion people ALL afflicted with original sin and all in need of savior. For some reason we sinners have such an easy time pointing fingers. Hate the sin but love the sinner. This is a true test of being a follower of Christ.

Apr. 03 2011 02:54 PM
Jeannie from USA

Bottomline, this is about s i n . All adults need to be vigilant toward protection of children. Period. Let's take a deep breath. I pray for the lifetime of suffering being endured by innocents and pray for those of us who find sin so attractive as to commit it for personal pleasure at someone' expense and it couldn't hurt anyone to revive that old, beautiful custom of tapping one's heart while repeating, 'mea culpa', souls are at risk after all, aren't they?

Apr. 03 2011 12:46 PM
Mary Ann

It's not that showing the low % of priest-abuse compared to public school teachers makes it ok, it does show that the liberal press is not one bit interested in these "boring" stories. All they care about is controversey and discrediting priests. That gets attention and sells. But in the end, there is accountability to all of those attacking Gods' priests. Even in the worst cases of priest sexual abuse, when their is sorrow to God, there is forgiveness. Remember the thief hanging beside Christ? "this day you will be with me in paradise", Jesus said. If the fact that it bothers you that God forgives and brings "sinners" to heaven when there is contrition, your soul is presently in great peril. One who wishes a soul in hell most likely will find themselves there if they die in this hateful state. Say the Lords prayer and really pay attention to what you are saying. Then you will understand. You will be forgiven only to the degree that you forgive others!

Apr. 03 2011 12:35 PM

Mary Ann from phila pa: your source for the 1.7% figure? Cases adjudicated in Rome?

That is a notoriously inadequate measure, both in the developed and developing world. Revelations in Europe in the last year jumped beyond imagination with some hot lines so overpowered with new contacts that the lines broke down.

Survivors in Latin America, Asia and Africa have never had opportunity to report abuse that exists in countries where there is no legal discovery to obtain secret church files. Your information is grossly deficient and lack of knowledge simply scary. Ever learned about the terror endured by victims from those continents?

I assure you, no one is counting there. Check and search by country.

The public school analogy is a red herring to minimize, deflect, and evade, instead of acknowledge the church's culpability for its own felonious endangerment of children. Try telling your confessor sometime, "others are worse".

Jesus weeps at all abuse, as do I. But I am not going to ignore rationalizations by Dolan for his own personal or political satisfaction.

Apr. 02 2011 11:15 PM

Marie from Maryland: Thank you so much for putting me in my place. Obviously you know more than I when it comes to clergy abuse and sexuality.

Thank you for instructing me on the correct way to debate, as I am clearly unable to do so as beautifully as you are.

It is refreshing to learn from someone such as yourself who is so skilled in their ability to distort facts, make assumptions, and express prejudice with such confidence.

Apr. 02 2011 10:44 PM

Minnesota Values:

I have not made up facts regarding clergy abuse. You are incorrectly attributing statements to me, or you are misinterpreting my comments. I never said, or implied, that all or most priests are abusers.

It is absolutely untrue that 1/2 of 1% of priests have been credibly accused. Most studies put the figure between
4-7%. A recent report puts the number at 10%.

But, again, the main point is not about the number of perpetrator priests. The point is the wide-spread protection of those abusers by the hierarchy.

I never said that good priests do not exist. I know and respect some of those men. I also personally know several priests who abused kids.

It is my observation that very few priests have actively and publicly supported victims. Very few have demanded accountability from their leaders. That troubles me. Many of these "good" men of whom you speak are far too silent.

Switching gears, I did not ask for your advice regarding my healing. You do not know me and my relationship with God, or with the priest who raped me. You are apparently assuming that I am not at peace. Incorrect. My life is joyful, rich, and serene.

Hugging and thanking random priests has not been, and will not be, a part of my healing process. Suggesting I do so indicates clearly that you lack understanding of the experience of clergy abuse survivors. For you to advise me to "think about" how much priests should be appreciated is incredibly presumptious and disturbing. Just as you are praying for me, I am praying for you. I am praying that you will stop minimizing this crisis in your church because the church needs members who can face the truth and take productive action. I will pray that you never again tell someone who was raped by a priest to hug priests and forgive their attacker, as that suggestion serves no useful purpose and only makes the victims feel that many Catholics just do not get it.

Apr. 02 2011 10:32 PM
Marie from Maryland

To henry1968: Years ago honest people who enjoyed intellectual discourse would laugh at people who sank to the level of personal attacks in an attempt to gain the upper hand in an argument. It was a well known communist tactic used to disguise not having a good rebuttal.
Thinking people who enjoyed a lively debate would not only laugh at those who tried to use this deception but certainly would never again take them seriously. Why bother to listen to someone who can't make a good argument and has to resort to personal attacks? Lowering ones self that far was considered intellectually lazy, dishonest and exposed a high level of ineptitude and cowardice.
Today, in this country it is sadly an accepted maneuver. Fortunately, there still exist thousands of people in this land who are astute enough to smell a phony when dishonesty raises its ugly head. Underhanded tactics are considered intellectually dishonest.
I stand by what I said and I know it is accurate. Referring to my opinion as "self serving" only makes those of us who know better laugh out loud. One wonders if you understand the meaning of self-serving. How could this debate possibly alter my life?
I am getting old and will not live much longer and I can tell you I have really had enough of this phony political correctness and all the other phony affectations our misguided population has agreed to ascribe to. The discernibly visceral hate that exudes from people who cannot tolerate a difference of opinion is astounding. Not once did I even imply that what was done to children (which legally includes teen agers) was not abhorrent. That was not my point.
If anyone would bother to check history they would find just exactly what homosexual control over a whole society or a small one produces. Why aren’t there homosexual societies large and small in existence throughout the world and throughout history? You will not find any lasting more than two generations because they do not work for many, many reasons.; reasons too numerous to count the most obvious being that God does not allow practices which go against His natural order to last for long.
My father said if you want to understand a situation reduce it down to its lowest common denominator. Well, 80% teen aged boys versus 20% everybody else (that is adult females, teenaged females, little girls and little boys) equals a preference for teen aged boys. If you do some research you will find that sexual interest in teen aged boys is almost nonexistent in heterosexual men.
As for your lack of comprehension on the difference between pedophile and pederast priests reflecting upon the church and the implication therein, I seriously doubt simplifying my point will assist your enlightenment.

Apr. 02 2011 10:00 PM
Mary Ann from phila,pa

For those attacking Arch. Dolan. If it was really just about protecting children, and not about attacking priests, you would be VERY concerned about the statistics in our PUBLIC schools. Statistically 1.7 percent of catholic Priests have been found guilty of child abuse world-wide. Compare this to other christian denominations, which are 4 and 5 times higher and I think you will see that underneath all of the controversy is anti-catholicism at a fever pitch! As Christ himself said,"They have hated me and they will hate you".

Apr. 02 2011 10:52 AM
Joel Fago

Archbishop Dolan said in a national TV interview that a coverup can be worse than the sin. While comparing sexual abuse by priests to that of teachers is not a coverup, it does try to make priests look less evil than teachers.
Who said that comparison is the work of the devil?

Apr. 02 2011 08:01 AM
Joe from Cape Cod

Did any of you actually read the blog post? I'm afraid if you didn't, you missed the point. It really wasn't a denial or minimization of pedophilia by priests. It really wasn't about pointing to another wrong as in teachers do it, even parents do it.

The story is about feeling helpless to this man's feeling that, because there are bad priests, all priests are bad. Archbishop Dolan refutes that notion and offers simple explanations as to why some people might engage in that specious logic.

It's really a simple story with a simple point, well made. Read the blog.

Apr. 02 2011 07:38 AM
truth be known

Dolan was placed as the head of the NY Archdiocese for one reason, he is the ultimate master of spin, misinformation and deception...all delivered with a smile and delightful personality.

It is an absolute disgrace these men want to deflect attention from their own wrong doings by blaming teachers. Get real! There are 31 times more public school teachers than catholic clergy in this country...the fact is sexual abuse perpetrated by a priest is far more likely than that perpetrated by a teacher. Who is far more likely to cover up that offense, the school principle, or your bishop? ...without a doubt your bishop and his top lieutenants.

Far all of you who think this is about homosexual men in the priesthood...think again. As approximately 40% of priests in ministry identify themselves as homosexual...(not to you of course, but to other priests who have conducted studies). Although the sexual abuse of a young boy by an older man always appears to be a homosexual act, that abuse is about power, not about homosexuality...or every homosexual man would be abusing children...which we know is absolutely not the case. For those who say these problems began in the seminary (very likely in many cases), remember these bishops not only attended these same seminaries but later became the individual who oversaw them and knew about the sexually permissive climate that existed in these seminaries...why didn't they take action then?

The real problem here is the well documented institutional, condoning and cover-up of child abuse by men in the church's upper ranks.

Their desire, at any and all cost (the one exception, telling the whole truth), was to protect the reputation and the institution of the church over the right of any child to be safe from a sexual predator priest. Yes, victims are still treated as some collateral damage in the name of all the "other" good deeds these men do in the name of the church.

Catholics should be outraged by the failed policies, responses and/or action taken to right these egregious wrongs! Blaming others does NOTHING to stop the abuse of children which the church allows to continue to this day.

Apr. 02 2011 07:28 AM
Ann from New England

Dolan's figures are confusing. New York state reports about 218,000 public school teachers in the state. With 78 abuse cases, that comes to .04% of teachers.

Comparing abuse by priests to public school teachers is a misleading numbers game. There are 41,000 diocesan and religious order priests in the US.

There are 3.2 million public school teachers nationwide. One would expect far more teachers to be involved than priests.

This comparison also overlooks important distinctions. Rarely is a public school teacher regarded as a God-like figure as priests certainly have been. The secrecy the church maintains by refusing to release documents to the public is a battle that goes to the US Supreme Court, and still bishops find creative ways to circumvent court orders.

Public agencies have far superior accountability to the public over Catholic dioceses: in budgetary matters, in reporting crimes, in making documents available, for example.

Dolan needs to stop whining about discrimination, stop minimizing by saying "we are not the only ones," and face squarely his own and the church's culpability for criminally endangering children.

If he's all for disclosure, why doesn't he post the names of all credibly accused priests on the archdiocesan website?

Apr. 02 2011 02:07 AM
ciao from Alaska

I'm very glad that Archbishop Dolan spoke his mind in public.
Jumping on him and start blaming him and attacking him is just immature.
If the truth is ever known,-you'll notice the United Federation of Teachers and the Dept. of Ed. failed to respond-it will be quite a shocker for Americans to find out that teachers and their enablers, hid the stats and transferred the teacher abusers to other schools.
Inside the school system, teachers who abuse children are well known by other teachers.
Some of these comments are so narrow minded. Google it.
I applaud Archbishop Dolan and I am proud he is in his very important position as head of the Bishops in this country. You go Archbishop!!
Go to: and for 2010 article on teacher abuse and cover up and 2000 cases in one year filed in court and those dismissed or settled out of court.

Apr. 02 2011 12:41 AM
ciao from Alaska

I'm very glad that Archbishop Dolan spoke his mind in public.
Jumping on him and start blaming him and attacking him is just immature.
If the truth is ever known,-you'll notice the United Federation of Teachers and the DEA failed to respond-it will be quite a shocker for Americans to find out that teachers and their enablers, hid the stats and transferred the teacher abusers to other schools.
Inside the school system, teachers who abuse children are well known by other teachers.
Some of these comments are so narrow minded.
I applaud Archbishop Dolan and I am proud he is in his very important position as head of the Bishops in this country. You go Archbishop!!

Apr. 02 2011 12:23 AM
Minnesota Values

To henry1968: I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. That must be terrible and very difficult burden to carry. I will pray for you and ask my friends to pray for you. As difficult as that has been for you, that still does not give you the right to make up charges that are not true about the Catholic Church. I can sympathize with your situation, but you simply cannot change facts to suite your needs. My advice is to find a way, some way, to forgive your attacker and make your peace with God.

Regarding the stats on John Jay, they are hardly a ally of the Catholic Church. In fact their study is considered to be the most authoritative by everyone, well, almost everyone. Keep in mind that less than 1/2 of 1% of priests have been accused of anything. Another way to look at is that 99.5% of priests haven't been accused of anything. Think about that. Most priests that I know are hard working men who love to serve the lord and they are constantly harassed by people running them into the ground for something they had nothing to do with. Next time you see a priest, stop, give them a hug and tell them how much you appreciate what they do. God Bless

Apr. 01 2011 10:58 PM

Ok! enough is enough please, it isn't just the CATHOLIC priests. Unfortunatly, the sexual abuse with minors happens everywhere. But lets just focus on Catholic priests here and continue to bring down the Catholic Church. The scandal needs to be put to rest. It's sad to see everyone losing their faith.

Apr. 01 2011 10:24 PM

Andy, it is easy to answer your question, this cleric (Dolan) is lying AND he is ignorant.

Apr. 01 2011 10:13 PM

To Minnesota Values & Marie from Maryland: The John Jay report is not the only report on clergy abuse. And those statistics are outdated. I know for a fact that many women were abused by priests. Most recent studies put the figure at 30%. The media tends to focus on the males. I am one of these women, having been raped by a priest at age 10. I know personally know dozens of women who were abused by priests. Talk to the 5000 women in SNAP, each one will tell you of being abused by a priest. Many priests abused both boys and girls. And many women have not come forward (and many men have not come forward either). The numbers of those abused by priests is much larger than the general public knows. Those are the facts, my friends.

And, what difference does it make if the kids abused were pre-teen or in their early teens? Sexual abuse is sexual abuse, a crime is a crime. A priest raping a 14-year-old is just as horrific as a priest raping an 8-year-old. Who cares what one calls it (pedophile vs, pedarast). The label matters not one bit. It does not "sound worse" to say that a priest abused a child than to say a priest abused a teen-ager. Priests abused kids, bishops covered up. To focus on the gender of the kids or the perpetrator is a useless exercise. It is all evil, it is all immoral, it is all shameful.
To focus on the label (pederast) serves only to minimize and deflect from the real issue and to promote an anti-gay agenda. And that takes absolutely NO courage, despite Marie's self-serving assertion that it does.

You can find aticles regarding girls abused by priests on the SNAP website as well as on

Apr. 01 2011 10:07 PM

Yeaaaaaah! Archbishop Dolan, telling it like it is. A real man of God. Thank you Archbishop Dolan. God bless and keep you.

Apr. 01 2011 09:33 PM
Bill in MO from Missouri

I actually read the original article from Omaha.Com. I am getting the picture that the writer of this article did not or cherry picked it so badly as to miss the entire point of the article which was the unfairness of the entirety of Catholic priests being judged as if all priests were molesters (96% aren't). He pointed out that teachers, minsters, scout leaders, fathers, uncles, cousins, male friends, etc are just as likely if not more statistically to molest. It is a fair point. In the article he does NOT excuse the behavior of these priests and their enablers ( he condemns it). But I know this will not dissuade one who hates the Catholic Church from taking their potshots. However, as many comments here prove, when someone is already gunning for you, you don't give them ammunition. The writer of this article should be ashamed of the gross misrepresentation she gave in this article.

Apr. 01 2011 07:37 PM
Bill in MO from Missouri

I actually read the original article from Omaha.Com. I am getting the picture that the writer of this article did not or cherry picked it so badly as to miss the entire point of the article which was the unfairness of the entirety of Catholic priests being judged as if all priests were molesters (96% aren't). He pointed out that teachers, minsters, scout leaders, fathers, uncles, cousins, male friends, etc are just as likely if not more statistically to molest. It is a fair point. In the article he does NOT excuse the behavior of these priests and their enablers ( he condemns it). But I know this will not dissuade one who hates the Catholic Church from taking their potshots. However, as many comments here prove, when someone is already gunning for you, you don't give them ammunition. The writer of this article should be ashamed of the gross misrepresentation she gave in this article.

Apr. 01 2011 07:36 PM
drwho13 from Mass

Marie from Maryland said, "The stories that have been coming out of seminaries in this country for the last thirty years would curl your hair. It is almost impossible to gain entrance into some seminaries unless you ARE a homosexuals."

You are correct; I was a seminarian in the 90's, and got bounced out due to the allegation I was homophobic. I never gave then any trouble, just didn't take part in the campy behavior. I was glad to go. Got married and never looked back!

If they removed every homosexual in the Church, that House of Cards would fall over night!

Apr. 01 2011 07:21 PM
Ben from Brooklyn

This would be like my getting arrested for stealing and then saying that "LOOK THERE'S SOMEONE STEALING EVEN MORE!"

If Catholic Priests are abusing children, that is wrong. Period. If the Catholic Church is covering up that abuse, then it is wrong. Period.

When statements like this are made, it just shows how far the church remains from taking responsibility for their actions and doing the right thing.

I can't believe the Republicans are trying to make certain not a penny of Federal money goes to Planned Parenthood because some Republicans oppose abortion. And yet they won't make certain that not a penny of my tax money goes to faith-based initiatives supporting the Catholic Church when they are covering up the raping of little boys and girls. (Which is illegal, whereas abortions are legal.)

Exactly what does the Catholic Church bring in in faith-based initiatives from the US government anyway?

Apr. 01 2011 06:52 PM
Marie from Maryland

At least some people are getting it right. If 80% of the victims were male teenagers when they were abused the wrong label has been ascribed.
It's much more sensational and politically safer to call the men who abused those teenagers pedophiles but the fact is they are pederasts. Adult male attraction to adolescent boys is pederasty. Look it up. And guess who goes after teenaged boys? You got it; homosexuals.
People are afraid to call it what it is because they are afraid of the homosexual lobby AND it sounds worse to be abusing really little children so it is an easy way to attack the church.
The homosexuals never should have been admitted into the seminaries to begin with, there used to be a prohabition against such laxity; God only knows what the rule is now.
The stories that have been comming out of seminaries in this country for the last thirty years would curl your hair. It is almost impossible to gain entrance into some seminaries unless you ARE a homosexual.
The sooner the laity musters some courage and calls this situation what it really is the sooner it will be corrected.

Apr. 01 2011 06:49 PM

To dude! Fitting name ...Dude. If you knew what "dude" is you wouldn't place it near your name. Fitting however, since your opinion on Dolan is just plain "dude".

God Bless and Heal the victims of all injustices.

And...oh ya..God help the Dude.

Apr. 01 2011 06:24 PM
Minnesota Values

To henry1968: Sally from Texas is correct. According to the John Jay report a few years ago, 81 percent, [of victims nationwide since 1950] were male.’ It also said that, according to the study, ‘almost 80 percent are post-pubescent.’ My conclusion? ‘It’s homosexuals.’ These are the facts, and you can look them up. Please don't accuse the Priesthood of something that is not true.

Apr. 01 2011 05:13 PM

To Sally from Texas: Priests did not abuse because they were homosexual.
They abused kids because they are pedophiles and sexual perpetrators.

And, how would you explain all the girls who were abused by priests? Half of SNAP's 10,000 members are female. Most studies show that 30% of those abused by Catholic priests are female.

And do you explain the cover-up and protecting of abusers on homosexuality too?

It is not about sexual orientation, it is about sexual abuse. Homosexuals have a much lower rate of abusing, BTW, than do heterosexuals.

You're right, I wouldn't believe the figures you would list. Because if they say homosexuality is related to pedophelia, they are wrong.

Apr. 01 2011 04:53 PM
Mary from Sunnyside NY

Unbelievable that Dolan would say something so STUPID as a strategy to excuse the RCatholic Churches' child abuse scandal.

Apr. 01 2011 04:43 PM
Pitt Cairn from Not in church anymore

If a priest molests, it has been shown that the act is often covered up, and the priest is moved from parish to parish and continues to prey on kids.

If a teacher molests, they are arrested and paraded in front of the public, with the event in the papers and on TV, and they end up in jail.

Do you really think that the statistics for the Church reflect reality?

Apr. 01 2011 04:28 PM
Sally from Texas

No matter how much proof or evidence the Catholic Church can show, there are some people who want to believe it is doctoring the figures or just plain lying. Priests didn't abuse young boys because they were unable to marry, they abused because they were homosexuals and thought the Catholic Church would be the perfect vehicle for them. They infiltrated the Church when there was no system of checks and balances for that particular deviancy. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourselves since you wouldn't believe the stats I could give you.

Apr. 01 2011 03:57 PM

Yeaaaah! Archbishop Dolan, telling it like it is, a real man. God bless you and keep you.

Apr. 01 2011 03:02 PM
Cradle Catholic from California USA

We need MEN to be in management of the Church. Enough men-boys that whine and cast blame in every other direction but at themselves.

The first way to ensure MEN (responsible, godly, grown-up men) will be in church leadership is to stop the man-made practice of mandatory celibacy for priests.

There is sanctifying grace and maturity that comes in godly and covenantal marriage. Clergy is being denied that grace and the growth that comes with it, resulting in silly statements like THIS one.

I'm sure the Archbishop is about as good a cleric/leader as these men come - but he's still a man-boy, he's not a MAN.

No women priests - as it is NOT in Scripture nor in universal church Tradition. But married priests, bishops and even popes are in both Scripture and in Tradition.

St. Patrick was the grandson of a priest and the son of a deacon. If St. Peter wanted to enter the seminary today, he would be refused in the Latin rite, because he was MARRIED, as were most of the other apostles - See: 1 Corinthians 9:5.

Apr. 01 2011 02:50 PM
Let Go Let Peace Come In from Plymouth Meeting, PA

The Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation is a nonprofit with a mission to help heal and support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse worldwide. We are seeking adult survivors who would be willing to post a childhood photo and caption, their story, or their creative expressions to our website By uniting survivors from across the globe we can help provide a stronger and more powerful voice to those survivors who have not yet found the courage to speak out. Together we can; together we should; together we NEED to stand up and be counted. Please visit our site for more details on how you can send us your submissions. Remember, you are not alone!

Apr. 01 2011 02:18 PM
Frank Lotz from Fort Lee NJ

If the Church is sincere in protecting children, it would have not promoted
Cardinal Law to his lofty job in Rome.
Anyone just has to read his depositions
to see he knew about the moving of problem priests from parish to parish.

Apr. 01 2011 02:18 PM
Andy B. from NYC

OK - now here are the numbers. The Catholic Church's own study found that four percent of priests nationwide over fifty years have been accused of sex crimes:

Have 40 percent of teachers been accused of sex crimes - or is this cleric lying, or just ignorant?

Apr. 01 2011 01:50 PM
Elizabeth from An insane country

So Dolan has jumped on the bandwagon following Wallstreet and US Politicians scapegoating teachers to DEFLECT ATTENTION from THEIR DESPICABLE BEHAVIOR.


Apr. 01 2011 01:48 PM
Don Riley from California

Disingenuous. 80,000 teachers committed 73 acts of abuse. 2,554 priests (archdioceses of NY and B'klyn) committed 7 acts of abuse. There are 31X more teachers than priests. It seems that priests are about 3X more likely to abuse than public school teachers. Those odds diminish if you include all religious. Those odds increase if you factor in the likelihood of an abuse reported to the church then being reported to the police. The odds diminish again if you factor in the likelihood of priestly serial abusers. Dolan's messing with the numbers.

Apr. 01 2011 01:42 PM
Bill from MO from Missouri

I do not think Dolan is saying there shouldn't be outrage against the Church and priest/bishops who abused or covered up abuse; I do think he is saying the outrage is rather selective in that the outrage is not the same for non-Catholic entities (Prot churches, schools); if this were a rightful outrage against the crimes committed against children placed in the hands of 'caring' adults (priests, teachers, ministers, etc) then one would expect an equal outrage at the other entities and those who cover up those crimes. The unequal (and sometimes non-existent) outrage can logically lead to there being other criteria other than the abuse of minors in play. AS this country has a long sordid history of anti-Catholicism throughout its history, it is not a stretch to say the unequal outrage does have elements in some sectors of anti-Catholicism.

Apr. 01 2011 01:42 PM
Dietrich Buxtehude from Port Washington,NY

With all due respect, this affable, jolly, hail fellow well met priest is a very dangerous and cunning political animal. He jumps on the "'let's blame the teachers" bandwagon that is so popular with the religious right and the Tea Baggers. It is a cynical attempt to divert attention from the ghastly history of pedophilia in the Catholic church which has cost the church many millions of dollars and ruined so many lives. He may escape accountability on earth but a reckoning will be certain when he stands before Jesus...

Apr. 01 2011 01:40 PM

J.C. Taos & Sean,

Perhaps the Department of Education & Teachers Federation declined to comment because Dolan's comments did not merit a response. They probably did not want to dignify his comment by wasting time on it. Dolan is serving no productive purpose by saying "we are not the only ones," as I mentioned previously. We all know that others abuse, move on from that point and deal with the crisis in your own church. If you are so concerned about abuse by teachers, do something to change that issue, while you also address the issue in your own church.

And it not "anti-Catholic" to shine a light on Catholic clergy abuse. It is anti-child-abuse and it is anti-hypocrisy. You are not the victims. The abused kids are the victims. It is unattractive to whine about being picked on. What would Jesus do? I doubt he would take your approach.

The appropriate response by Dolan would have been:
"Yes, children have been sexually abused by Catholic priests for decades. Yes, many of our church leaders enabled this abuse. We are ashamed, mortified, sickened and disgusted that we as an institution allowed this to happen and covered this up for so long. We will do everything in our power to be transparent in the future. We will release requested documents to legal authorities. We will never blame victims. We will never blame the messenger, ie the media. We will never blame society. We will hold all priest abusers and their enablers accountable. We will immediately defrock Cardinal Bernard Law and any other Bishop/Cardinal who was involved. We will get rid of our highly-paid PR people. We will work cooperatively with victims' lawyers. We will not premptively declare bankruptcy in order to avoid making settlements with the abused. AND, we will never point fingers at others who also abuse kids as our main priority is fixing the problem in OUR organization first. We understand that we have earned this negative reputation. While some may incorrectly associate all priests with abuse, that is not our primary concern right now. We need to keep our focus on protecting kids and supporting victims. We will not waste our energy being angry and defensive regarding those who mistrust all priests, as that is not helpful. Those of us who have done nothing wrong will hold fast to that fact and will use our passion to expose the criminals among us. Trying to change what the public thinks of us should is not productive right now. Perhaps later, when all children are safe with priests, and all our clergy criminals are defrocked and jailed, we will turn our attention to rebuilding our rebutation. We thank the media for keeping us honest. We thank the victims for coming forward."

Apr. 01 2011 12:52 PM
Ernie from Newark, NJ

This is not about abortion. This is not about attacking teachers. This about a global network of child molesters and the hundreds of thousands of victims. Can you imagine Stalin saying "Hitler killed more that me!" Even if such a statement was true; it would not condon the acts.

Apr. 01 2011 12:28 PM
Sean from Waterford, MI

Anti-Catholicism on parade. Catholic priests are less likely to sexually abuse children than any Protestant denomination, yet we hear little or nothing about these cases concerning Protestant Pastors. People hate the Catholic Church because She upholds the teachings of Christ. Why don't we hear about the many Protestant denominations who condone the KILLING of children through abortion! That truely is evil. Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice and the vitriol here is just one more example.

Apr. 01 2011 11:29 AM
J. C. Tzos

To all you dunderheads belittling the Archbishop's comments, tell me why the following:

"When asked to respond to the Archbishop's blog post, the Department of Education declined to comment, and the United Federation of Teachers did not respond to WNYC's request for comment."

If he were wrong, the liberal press, the liberal tv news stations, and the Department of Education (DOE) and United Federation of Teachers (UFOT) would not only have responded, it would be front page, above the fold, in the newspapers, news alert on all the liberal tv newscasts, and the DOE and UFOT but probably would have sued him for slander. How come that hasn't happened?

Wake up and use your heads!

J. C. Tzos

Apr. 01 2011 11:26 AM

James: There are most likely many more cases of clergy abuse than you stated between 2004-2009. As a victim of abuse by a priest yourself, you must know that the majority of victims do not come forward for decades, if at all. Therefore we can logically conclude that victims will be reporting the abuse for decades to come.

While viewing child porn is utterly wrong and sick, one cannot compare viewing child porn to sexually abusing/raping children. (Of course, the children portrayed are being abused and damaged, but that it not my point.) I am speaking of the action of the adults. When Catholics say "we all sin" regarding abuse by priests, it appears to me that they are minimizing and excusing the abuse. We all may sin (if one believes in that religious concept), but most of us don't sexually abuse kids. Most of us don't value child abusers over innocent children they way the church has.

When Catholics, including Dolan, start comparing statistics, it is again a way of defensively deflecting and minimizing. Dolan needs to focus on the problem in HIS organization. Start cleaning up your own house first before pointing fingers.

And those who say "we're not the only ones," are missing the main point regarding the Catholic church abuse situation. It's about the cover-up. It's about the fact that church leaders systimatically protected and enabled the abusers for decades, if not centuries. It is about the fact that they did nothing to stop it until the got "caught" and the media began covering the crimes. If I were Catholic, I would be thanking the media for exposing the truth about this crisis in my church, so that I could take appropriate action. Stop blaming the messenger. The crisis is not a perceived bias against your church, the crisis is the abuse, the cover-up, the continued refusal by the hierarchy to take complete responsibility and hold the guilty accountable. How many enabling Bishops have been held accountable? Why is Cardinal Law allowed to hold a respected position in Rome? Why are not all the "good" priests standing with victims, loudly and publicly demanding justice, transparency and accountability?

Talking about abuse in other institutions may make Dolan and other Catholics feel vindicated or superior, but it serves no useful purpose.

And, finally, there is NO evidence of a wide-spread cover-up of abuse by teachers around the world (as there has been in the church). Superintendents don't typically protect teachers who abuse. They don't quietly transfer the abusing teachers to another school, along with good recommendations. They don't blame the media if the media covers the story. They don't blame the victims. If the victims sue, they don't call them greedy and imply that most of the charges are false. And they report the abuse to the police. No comparision to the church leaders' behavior.

Apr. 01 2011 11:17 AM

Aside for saying that everyone else is doing it, therefore, we are not all that bad, I do not expect public school teachers to behave more ethically than priests. After all priests have studied Christian Ethics, made solemn vows of agreement with Catholic moral teachings, been ordained with all the graces flowing from the hands of apostolic predecessors. Priests read the holy offices everyday and confect the Eucharist. I expect them to keep a higher standard of behavior! And, I expect the bishops to discipline them if they do not. And I expect the bishops to put the safety of children first. The record shows that the bishops have failed. If the teachers in NY are molesting children at a high rate, then the people of NY can do something about it.

Apr. 01 2011 11:07 AM
Gabe, CA from Carlsbad, cA

Dolan needs to get over himself. His comments make me wonder why he feels the desperate need to so forcefully defend his church. Is it because he knows she has committed grievous wrongs? It doesn't matter how much sexual abuse has taken place in the Catholic church compared to the amount in the schools. What matters is the handling of those abuses, and it has been shown that the Catholic church is not ready or else, not able, to police itself. It has allowed this to continue - and still allows it to continue, no matter what smoke screen Dolan may attempt to put up to cover it up.

Apr. 01 2011 10:52 AM

Laurie and Michael are correct. Despite the fact that the Catholic Church has made a dramatic turnaround in this area with maybe 24 cases nationwide that occured between 2004 and 2009 (not including those accused at that time due to earlier abuse), people continue to use this to pour out their hatred on the Church. This despite their own lack of concern over their own mortal sin or as Laurie says the unconscionable viewing of pornography including child porn in our country. If the total number of cases in 2010 for the NY archdiocese is 7 vs 73 for NY public schools, I think continual focus on the Church and the lack of concern over the child abuse by teachers in public schools is plain evidence of bias. And I say this as an abuse victim of a priest.

Apr. 01 2011 10:42 AM

Archbishop Dolan is absolutely correct . . . and those who belittle his statement are simply either entrenched in their self-deception/delusion or just anti-catholic haters . . . or both. to those i can say "wake up yourselves!

Apr. 01 2011 09:59 AM

People who use this abuse issue to pour out their hatred over the Catholic church need to look at their own motivations for their acrid blanket hatred. Bishop Donan is right. The abuse rate is far less in the Catholic church than in the public milieu. Cultural corruption seeped into the church via the lack of vigilance in the quality men accepted into seminaries. That has been changed. I wonder how many of you who spew out your hatred really care about the mass problem of child porn in America mostly created and spread by your average family man, most of whom are fathers??? I don't hear the howls of outrage about that.

Apr. 01 2011 09:38 AM

Dolan enabled and covered-up for abusive priests/monks in Wisconsin and now wants to blame the NY teachers for the same crimes he enabled. Dolan, you are scraping the bottom of a barrel in a boat with a huge hole in it's keel.

Apr. 01 2011 08:51 AM
drwho13 from Springfield , MA

dudefromhudsonco, you are spot on! This is specious reasoning of the highest order. Such statements indicate desperation on the part of Dolan (and the entire Church.) The Church has reached the bottom of the barrel in terms of creditably; they are drowning men reaching for straws.

The Church has something which the schools do not, namely, a worldwide plan, and the ability to conspire to conceal child sexual abuse. It comes from the very top; nothing of this magnitude happens without the Pope knowing about it.

US Catholics, as well a Catholics in other first world countries have become too educate regarding that workings of the Church to give Dolan’s, or Church reasoning any credibility. We are NO LONGER SHEEP; WAKE-UP CARDINAL! If you don't understand that, and change, the Church will continue to lose credibility, and become increasing irrelevant. Respond to us on our level, or don’t respond at all. Leave that up to us, and we’ll see you in Civil court.

Following his recent appearance on 60 Minutes, someone referred to him as an over-blown vacuum cleaner salesman. I agree; it's disgusting!

Apr. 01 2011 08:32 AM
CER1940 from Tennessee

They led me to believe believe that priests were special people, God like because of ordination. Dolan is saying they are no better than the average person and yet they will not let the lay person assist in leading the church.

Apr. 01 2011 08:29 AM
CER1940 from Tennessee

When I went to Catholic Schools, they would have told me that just becuse others sinned was not an excuse for me to sin. I guess standards have changed.
I also think Dolan would have difficulty providing factual comparisons that support his claims.

Apr. 01 2011 08:26 AM

80% of those were teachers at Catholic schools.

Apr. 01 2011 07:40 AM
Indignantone from Peekskill, NY

He is really grasping for straws now. Pathetic indeed. he disgraces the Church with such specious reasoning.

Apr. 01 2011 07:38 AM

what a wretched apologist. what is his point ? what a deluded, and vulgar sense of morality. to compare priest abuse, to teachers or any other institution is insane. this is the specious reasoning, of a spoiled child. and this man purports to be a spiritual leader. how utterly sad, disgusting, and pathetic...

Apr. 01 2011 12:32 AM

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