Survivors of clerical abuse in the diocese of Dromore have protested at the announced visit by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to the neighbouring archdiocese of Armagh on August 27th 2023 – for a Mass of thanksgiving for the foundation of St Patrick’s cathedral in Armagh 150 years ago.
According to a report by Sarah Mac Donald in the UK Catholic weekly, the Tablet, a group of survivors of abuse by Fr Malachy Finnegan (who died in 2002) say they are “appalled by the decision of Dr Eamon Martin to invite Timothy Dolan to the Armagh celebratory Mass and the role afforded to him as chief celebrant”.
The Dromore group has raised concerns over Cardinal Dolan because of allegations by a US victim of clerical abuse that Cardinal Dolan has questions to answer in relation to abuse by another priest, with whom the cardinal had earlier served in the US state of Missouri.
The organisation ‘We Are Church Ireland‘ has supported the Dromore group, alleging that Cardinal Dolan ‘has a terrible record in Milwaukee and New York for protecting church financial assets ahead of any concern for survivors of clerical sex abuse.’ WAC has called on Archbishop Eamon Martin to withdraw the invitation to Cardinal Dolan – to ‘confirm that he is first and foremost on the side of survivors’.
As Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan was a member of a group of official church visitators sent to Ireland in the wake of the Ryan and Murphy reports of 2009, on abuse in Catholic-run institutions and the Archdiocese of Dublin. In 2011-12 Archbishop Dolan led a highly critical review of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome – leading to the sacking of members of its staff, followed by a protest from the four Archbishops of Ireland of the time at the alleged ‘prejudice’ of the review. (Cardinal Sean Brady was Armagh’s archbishop then.)