Bill Donohue has finally mounted a defense of his BFF Cardinal Dolan, the burden of which is that it is phony to attack the guy for "inducing suspected miscreant priests to exit the priesthood while he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee" because his critics aren't really interested in how to handle sex abusers. If they were, quoth Donohue, they would also be criticizing all those examples of child-abusing government employees who are receiving their pensions.
Problem is, Dolan himself has repeatedly and vociferously denied that he did any such inducing, contrary to official admissions out of the Milwaukee archdiocese plus newly available documentary evidence. Which prompts the Church Lady in me to wonder who's inducing His Eminence to issue such denials. Could it be...Satan?
Whoever, there is a good case to be made that laicizing child-abusing priests is a bad idea that mostly serves the interest of an institutional church that doesn't want to be responsible for them anymore, i.e. subject to lawsuits for acts they commit after being defrocked. Better to keep them within the fold so as to be able to insure that they are assigned to places where they can be kept under control. Of course, there's also a case to be made that it's important for a church to be seen to be ridding itself of such bad actors, whose very continued existence as priests could be a cause of scandal.
Whether the Dolan regime in Milwaukee saw it that way is not, however, clear. According to one of the newly released status reports on Franklyn Becker, the laicized priest who we know received a $10,000 payment, Becker complained to an archdiocesan official that he was having trouble finding a job because a potential employer could go on the internet and find out about his past. "It probably even says that he has been laicized," the official, Deacon David L. Zimrich, reports him as saying. "I told him I knew the archdiocese wasn't advertising that he had been laicized and unless he told people I didn't think it was out there on the internet." Well, wasn't that special?
Later that year, Becker was seen going into a boys' locker room in the town where he lives and taking a look around.