Sins of the Fathers
ChrisOLeary.com > Sins of the Fathers > Cardinal Timothy Dolan

As I write this, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is putting himself forth as a reformer; as one of the few bishops who is willing and able to do what it takes to address the Catholic church's sexual abuse crisis.

As one of the good guys.

And it's working.

Dolan is being heralded for his leadership.

Which terrifies me, given what I know about the real Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

  1. Cardinal Dolan knew of -- he SAW with his own eyes -- Fr. LeRoy Valentine's inappropriate behavior with boys at the Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. And he did nothing. He just turned a blind eye to what Fr. Valentine was doing to us.
  2. Cardinal Dolan Gaslighted me in early March 2002, when I went to him for help, telling me nothing happened.
  3. When Fr. Valentine resigned a couple weeks later due to multiple allegations -- something I was unaware of until 2018 -- Cardinal Dolan never contacted me to let me know that Fr. Valentine had resigned and that my memories might indeed mean something.
  4. As I learned in May 2011, and as was confirmed by Bishop Rick Stika in 2018, Cardinal Dolan hid the existence of my conversations with him, and my conversation with a woman who I believe was Nancy Brown, from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I assume he did so in an effort to protect himself and to hide his involvement in the scandal of Fr. Valentine.

In sum, Cardinal Dolan isn't part of the solution.

He's part of the problem.

If the Catholic church is to -- actually and finally, and for once -- address the sexual abuse crisis, Cardinal Dolan and the other bishops like him MUST NOT be allowed to influence, much less make and implement, church policy on abuse going forward.

Otherwise, it will be Dallas 2002 all over again.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

I've known Timothy Cardinal Dolan since I was in the 3rd grade at The Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights, MO, a suburb of St. Louis.

In fact, my first memory of a priest is of then Father Dolan talking to us about the story told in Mark 8:22-26 about Jesus healing a blind man in two steps. I remember this lesson because Fr. Dolan had two of us act out the lesson, and he chose me to play the role of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, that favorite memory of mine has been tainted by Bishop and then Cardinal Dolan's actions first in 1977 when I was an altar boy and then when I went to him for help in 2002.

1977

In April 2018, I was contacted by another survivor who told me a story that was very similar to my own memories.

Hello Chris my name is R_____, I graduated from Immacolata in 198_, was a alter boy and had to get “hair cuts” from Fr. Valentine in his bedroom, so I unfortunately know too. What angers me as much is several times leaving Valentines bedroom, fr. Timothy Dolan, now Cardinal Dolan lived in the room next door & would be standing right there & never did anything.

The parallels of his story with mine include Fr. Valentine's fixation/obsession with our hair and the presence -- and inaction -- of then Father and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

2002

In March of 2002, the New York Times published a piece that laid out a series of allegations against Fr. Leroy Valentine. As part of the response to that piece, then-Bishop now Cardinal Timothy Dolan was asked by Archbishop Justin Rigali to lead an investigation and determine if there were other incidents and victims of Fr. Valentine. As part of that effort, through the media the archdiocese asked people who had any information about Fr. Valentine to come forward.

I was one of the people who did so.

In March of 2002, I contacted the archdiocese due to my having been close to Fr. Valentine.

I was one of his favorites.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan called me back and introduced himself as "Tim Dolan" since we knew each other from his time at Immacolata. He came to Immacolata I believe right out of the seminary and while I was in 3rd and 4th grade.

In fact, one of my memories from my school days involves a lesson Cardinal Dolan taught us during a 3rd grade religion class.

I told Cardinal Dolan about a number of memories I had about interactions I had with Fr. Valentine, interactions that were good memories at the time. I asked him if he thought there was anything to what I had told him, and he said no. I then asked him for his opinion of the allegations against Fr. Valentine that had been made by others. He told me, in no uncertain terms, and I quote...

I know Fr. Valentine well.
We were at the seminary together.
We lived and worked together at Immacolata.
I know Leroy Valentine didn't do any of the things he's being accused of.
I know he would never do anything to hurt a child.

In other words, nothing happened.

Cardinal Dolan then said...

However, if you still want to talk to someone, I can arrange something.

I took Cardinal Dolan up on his offer and talked to an older female psychologist who had an office in Clayton.

After I told her the same story I told Cardinal Dolan, she told me that I was misinterpreting Fr. Valentine's intentions.

That he was just overly-enthusiastic.

That nothing happened.

Proving It

How do I prove I talked to Cardinal Timothy Dolan if, as Bishop Rick Stika said, Dolan removed any trace of my conversations with him and Nancy Brown?

First, there's this August 20, 2018 tweet by @BishopStika.

"your report preceded me and resurfaced after I left and I was no longer in St. Louis."
Bishop Rick Stika
August 20, 2018 14:37pm

I also have in my possession a document that shows that Dolan was being notified by "Genevieve" whenever people called the hotline ArchStL had set up. The bigger piece of proof is what's NOT there.

While Cardinal Dolan covered his tracks, in my May 2011 meeting with a Review Team, I informed them of my conversations with Cardinal Dolan and Nancy Brown.

However, that information didn't make it into the matrix ArchStL produced in January 2014 under court order.

Gaslighting

As I discuss in my piece on Gaslighting, the strangest thing about my interactions with Cardinal Dolan is that the Archdiocese of St. Louis -- or at least the Investigatory Team I met with -- has no record of them.

When I met with the Investigatory Team on May 9, 2011 and told them of my prior conversations with Cardinal Dolan and a psychologist, they acted like they had no idea what I was talking about.

The fact of my interactions with Cardinal Dolan also never made it into the Matrix the Archdiocese of St. Louis released in January 2014 as a result of a lawsuit. I find that surprising because, since nothing happened, why wouldn't the Archdiocese want to include me in the Matrix if only to say, "See. Here's (yet) another unsubstantiated allegation."

There's also the matter of the Archdiocese of St. Louis failing to comply with a court order.

Or does it feel it's above law?

Or is it that the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and the Catholic Church, doesn't want people to know about Cardinal Timothy Dolan's direct connection to the sexual abuse scandal?

Why The Secrecy?

One of the things that caused the scandal to go on as long as it did was that Church's habit of secrecy. What I can tell is that, as of May 9, 2011, secrecy was still a problem. Cardinal Timothy Dolan had conversations with me that never made it into my file or The Matrix.

Why?

You have to wonder if Cardinal Dolan wanted to cover up his direct, and to my knowledge previously unknown or at least un-mentioned, connection to the sexual abuse scandal.

Timeline

2002 March 2

New York Times piece runs and discusses claims by 3 Scorfina brothers by Fr. LeRoy Valentine.

2002 Early March

In response, I call Jennifer Joyce (prosecutor) office as long with ArchStL. A day or so later, Cardinal Timothy Dolan calls me back. He tells me nothing happened. That my memories don't mean anything.

2002 March

Per the matrix ArchStL produced per court order in 2014, someone else comes forward with an allegation that Fr. Valentine abused them in 1983.

This allegation may be the one discussed in this book and that was made on or before March 6, 2002 (see the attached cite).

https://books.google.com/books…

Curiously this report is recorded as having been made to Nancy Brown and not Cardinal Dolan. However, I believe Dolan was still running ArchStL's abuse response efforts at that time. Nancy Brown was portrayed to me by Dolan as someone who helps ArchStL with these kinds of situations. And Dolan was the one who called me back after I left a message.

2002 Mid March

Cardinal Dolan sets up a meeting with a woman who I believe was Nancy Brown. She tells me I was just "misinterpreting" the actions of Fr. Valentine. Since both Cardinal Dolan and Nancy Brown told me nothing happened, I just went on with my life, thinking I had judged a bullet.

2002 End of March

This is the one that REALLY hurts. At the end of March 2002, maybe over a weekend, a meeting was held between some ArchStL officials and Fr. Valentine. As a result, Fr. Valentine resigns.

At no point subsequent to this meeting was I contacted by ArchStL. There was no "I know we said nothing happened but someone else came forward so maybe something happened. Let's help you." That didn't happen. Nothing. And I didn't know to object because I had put it behind me.

Cardinal Dolan wasn't NAMED archbishop of Milwaukee until June 25, 2002 and wasn't INSTALLED until August 28, 2002. So it's safe to assume that, as of the end of March 2002, Cardinal Dolan was still in charge of ArchStL's response to the abuse crisis and Bishop Stika hadn't yet taken over for Dolan. It seems Stika had taken over by early May 2002.

2002 March 6

On page 271 of "No Longer on Pedestals" Carol A. Kuhnert writes...

A March 6, 2002, memo to Bishop Dolan at his archdiocesan office revealed a woman had called on behalf of her husband, stating, "He has a problem with a priest and was told to call you. He was told to call before 4:00 p.m., which is impossible for him... He's not home from work before 4:30 or 4:45 p.m!" The woman asked "that you please call her husband... after 4:30." Notations were made on the memo in pen that indicated he'd called the woman's husband and had submitted a report.

Why was this report recorded in the matrix as having been made to Nancy Brown?

Involved

What do I mean when I say Timothy Cardinal Dolan is involved in my story?

He went to Immacolata after graduating from the seminary, and I remember him giving us a lesson when I was in 3rd grade.

When Fr. LeRoy Valentine came to Immacolata in 1977, it was quickly obvious that there was something off about him.

That he was REALLY interested in the altar boys.

And would, on occasion, bring them up to his room.

Which was right next to Cardinal Dolan's room.

While I don't remember this, I know of at least one other person who has told me Fr. Dolan knew and saw Fr. Valentine bring him up to his room.

In my case, my main memory of Cardinal Dolan is from 2002 when he was an auxiliary bishop and handled allegations of abuse by priests.

I called the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Cardinal Dolan called me back. While he listened to what I had to say and immediately told me nothing happened, he did arrange for me to see a psychologist who I believe was Nancy Brown. She told me the same thing; that I was just "misinterpreting" his actions.

What's weird is...

  1. Fr. Valentine resigned at the end of March 2002 due to multiple allegations, presumably including mine. However, I was never contacted by Cardinal Dolan with an offer to help me.

  2. Cardinal Dolan erased all evidence of our conversations from the file of Fr. Valentine.

  3. I notified ArchStL of my conversations with Cardinal Dolan during a May 2011 meeting, but my allegations STILL didn't make it into the matrix ArchStL produced under court order in January 2014.

It's almost as if Cardinal Dolan and then ArchStL were trying to hide my existence from the world.

about | contact | copyright | sitemap