Updated 02/13/2011 03:25 PM
Dolan Calls Allegations Over Missing Milwaukee Funds "Reckless"
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan says he has nothing to hide as allegations recently surfaced that large sums of money at the archdiocese he once headed were kept hidden from alleged sex abuse victims seeking claims. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan may find himself on the hot seat, answering questions about $130 million attorneys say was moved by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to shield it from being paid to victims of priest sex abuse.
Dolan was archbishop there from 2002 to 2009.
Lawyers say $75 million was moved in 2005 and another $55 million in 2007. Attorney Jeff Anderson says he discovered during a bankruptcy hearing last week that both transfers happened after courts opened the door for alleged victims of church sex abuse to pursue their cases.
"It can't be a coincidence. It has to be another attempt to conceal, to hide, to run and to be less than transparent," Anderson said.
After celebrating mass Sunday morning, he called the allegations "reckless" and "irresponsible." He also said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry when he heard them.
"To think that there is 130 million in hidden funds like Dolan's got some off shore account in the Cayman Islands or something? This is just ludicrous," Dolan said.
The archbishop says the finances of the Milwaukee Archdiocese are published every year and in his words, they're as "clean as a whistle."
Dolan says the $55 million is part of the cemetery trust and protected by the state. The other $75 million, he says, belonged to the parishes and was simply returned to them.
"While they say they diverted them to parishes and out of the archdiocese corporation, it really is still under the control of the archbishop. But I think a transfer, and have good reason to believe a transfer was done just to keep these survivors from being able to hold the archdiocese fully accountable," Anderson said.
Upon hearing that the archbishop may be deposed in connection with the case, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests issued a statement saying, "We hope that Dolan will have to answer tough questions under oath about these very disturbing financial maneuvers that clearly seem intended to protect church assets and deny deeply wounded victims healing and justice."
Dolan says he's willing to cooperate with law enforcement officials because he has nothing to hide.
"If any law enforcement agencies want to talk to me, be my guest," he said.
The New York Archdiocese also released a statement defending Dolan, saying, "Archbishop Dolan would welcome the opportunity to cooperate with any law enforcement agency that is investigating the matter. But any suggestion that funds were being hidden is preposterous. It is simply not true."