Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Welcome New York AG Investigation Into Abuse and Cover-Up.

Urge Victims, Witnesses, and Whistleblowers to Contact Confidential Hotline

Investigation into How Bishops Have Funded Decades-Long Cover-Up Long Overdue.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is seen in Albany on May 15. Photo Credit: AP/Hans Pennink.

 September 6, 2018 — In response to the news that the New York Attorney General has subpoenaed the eight dioceses of the State of New York in an investigation of the church’s handling of sex abuse allegations, Peter Isely, Founding Member and Spokesperson for Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) released the following statement:


Survivors of clergy sexual abuse in the United States and around the world welcome today’s news that the New York Attorney General has subpoenaed the eight dioceses of the State of New York in an investigation of the church’s handling of sex abuse allegations and whether they were covered up by church officials. ECA urges survivors and anyone with information about sex crimes against children to contact the New York AG’s confidential clergy abuse hotline or online complaint form.


The AG is investigating what may be the most significant and unanswered question of these crimes: how did bishops fund a decades-long cover-up when the only money the church receives is from charitable donations? The many elements of the cover-up have been proven in grand jury investigations, criminal and civil cases, and church bankruptcies for over a decade. These include the systematic concealment and transfer of thousands of child sex offenders, paying off victims to keep silent, warehousing offenders in church operated “retreat and treatment centers” around the U.S. and other countries, moving offenders across state and international boundaries, and secret payments to incentivize clergy child molesters to leave the priesthood and resettle in unsuspecting communities.

Where does the money come from to fund what the Pennsylvania Grand Jury describes as a  “sophisticated” cover-up that “goes all the way to the Vatican”?


Of particular concern is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City. Dolan, before his promotion to New York from Milwaukee, moved tens of millions of dollars into a bogus “cemetery trust” before the Milwaukee archdiocese declared bankruptcy.  In a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger, unearthed in the bankruptcy documents, Dolan wrote that he created the “trust” to prevent U.S. courts from compensating victims.


The Milwaukee bankruptcy documents also show that Dolan paid off some of the most notorious pedophile priests to sign papers so they could leave the priesthood without alerting authorities or communities. Some of these clerics found new work with children and families. Dolan emphatically denied this while he was in Milwaukee. But his public denial was later contradicted by the bankruptcy documents after he left Milwaukee, which showed that Dolan paid off over a dozen such priests.


We look forward to the results of the New York AG’s investigation into Cardinal Dolan and the broader eight dioceses of New York, which we hope will reveal the truth behind this decades-long cover-up.

Ending Clergy Abuse ( is a global justice project of prominent clergy abuse survivor leaders and activists from over 18 countries and 4 continents, who compel the Roman Catholic Church to end clergy abuse, especially child sexual abuse, in order to protect children and to seek justice for victims. – @ENDCLERGYABUSE –