Cardinal Dolan-When the Facts Don’t Support You, Attack the Messengers

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wasn’t silent for long. As news spread concerning his decision to pay priests accused of the sexual abuse of minors to leave the priesthood, Dolan was uncharacteristically silent, at least for a few days. When he spoke this past Sunday after services, he was full of fire and brimstone. Unfortunately, the recipients of his attack, were the same old messengers-the NY Times and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. He even went so far as to say,”SNAP has no credibility whatsoever.” Of course, that’s what public figures seem to do when the facts don’t support their version of reality. It may remind some of Richard Nixon’s infamous line to the press after losing the the California gubernatorial election in 1962 when he said in total self-pity “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
The reality is such a tactic didn’t work for Nixon in 1962 and most likely won’t work for Dolan in 2012. The public doesn’t like self-centered self-pity, especially when they’re dead wrong. Dolan could have said he made a grave mistake. He could have said such funds should have gone to the survivors of the abuse. But sadly, he chose the Nixonian road. Who knows maybe Dolan looked at history (he does have an advanced degree in the field) and said to himself, “Nixon was elected six years later, what the hell.” Who know what he was thinking. What we do know is that Dolan was caught doing something that further injures the survivors of sexual abuse. The NY Times and SNAP were reporting facts, nothing more than what they should be doing.