A few day’s ago, the New York Times reported that documents unveiled in Milwaukee diocese bankruptcy proceedings revealed that then Timothy ArchBishop Dolan, now Cardinal in New York had, while he was the ArchBishop in Milwaukee, approved payments of $20,000 each to priests accused of molesting kids.  The payments were made in conjunction with the priests’ agreements to quietly leave the priesthood.

Once this became public, the Cardinal and his protectors put out the story that these payments were simply “charity,” given that the priests were about to lose their livelihood, and the Cardinal accused the New York Times of . . . inviting people to draw inappropriate conclusions.  The suggestion these payments were “payoffs,” the good Cardinal said, were “false, preposterous and unjust.”

Now the Cardinal has hit back at the New York Times via the New York Post.  The Post reports (h/t Atrios) that Dolan denies first that there are currently any such payments being made to accused priests in New York, and that any payments made in Milwaukee were strictly charity.

Joseph Zwilling, Dolan’s New York Archdiocese spokesman, told The Post last week that there was no “payoff” to pedophile priests — only “charity.

Okay, how do those various statements fit together?

Yesterday, Dolan denied that similar payments were being made in the New York Archdiocese, which includes about 400 parishes in Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, and seven suburban counties.

“No, thank God. Cardinal Egan did a splendid job — that’s all taken care of,” said Dolan, referring to his predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan.

Dolan didn’t say whether similar payments to abusive Archdiocese of New York priests were made in the past.

So, to sum up, when the Bishops forced accused priests to leave the priesthood in Milwaukee, they’d be without resources and so were reasonable candidates to receive the ArchBishop’s charity.  But thank goodness, when priests were forced out in New York, they didn’t need charity, or maybe they did but don’t now, because “Cardinal Egan did a splendid job — that’s all taken care of.”  Huh.

Apparently, the need for charity begins and ends in Milwaukee, and you don’t need it (any more) in New York. Thank God that’s clear.