Leaked Transcript Puts Suspicions of Cardinal Dolan’s Attempts to Block Child Victims Act in the Spotlight

Statement of Attorney Jeff Anderson

(New York, NY) – The spotlight of truth has once again fallen on the duplicitous, self-serving attitudes of New York’s Cardinal Dolan and his undeniable contempt for survivors of clergy sexual abuse seeking accountability. As detailed in coverage of a leaked teleconference transcript from 2017 by Cardinal Dolan’s attorneys released today, attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is the primary administrator and champion of New York Dioceses’ Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs (IRCP) rallied against Child Victims Act (CVA) legislation on behalf of Dolan, claiming, “We are taking care of our own problem.”

The transcript illustrates more than the strategy that goes into an IRCP, it lays bare the selfishness and avarice that brings these kinds of programs to life. Feinberg suggested offering survivors in Buffalo “$10,000 […] maybe $5,000” and that signing releases under an IRCP would eliminate the need for the CVA. We know Dolan had no desire to create a compensation program of any kind, but as the CVA became more of a possibility, he felt pressure to “bite the bullet” and create the program. This is more than being out of touch, this is unconscionably callous and cruel.

These revelations further bring to light what we and thousands of survivors in New York already knew: the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs were a last-ditch effort to halt the Child Victims Act from passing in New York and that Feinberg is the henchman hired to do the dirty deeds on behalf of Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Church in New York. Behind the pledges and promises of “reconciliation and healing” Church leadership and their legal counsel were attempting to flex political influence and maneuvering to get lawmakers to let the Church once again “take care of their own problem.”

Bit by bit, the truth is coming to light. It’s time for accountability in New York.