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Dolan Questioned For Hours About Sex Abuse By Priests

Cardinal Timothy Dolan with reporters - Feb. 11, 2013 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan with reporters – Feb. 11, 2013 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Timothy Cardinal Dolan was questioned Wednesday in a deposition about child sex abuse by priests.

The New York Times reported the New York archbishop was questioned for hours by attorneys representing hundreds of people who said they were sexually abused by priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Dolan was the archbishop there for seven years until moving to New York in 2009.

The attorneys were trying to determine whether Dolan tried to stand in the way of lawsuits against the archdiocese and priests when he was Milwaukee archbishop, and whether he kept church assets from people who said they were sex abuse victims, the newspaper reported.

New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling released a statement to CBS 2’s Tony Aiello about the deposition.

“Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors, during the time he was privileged to serve as Archbishop of Milwaukee,” the statement said. “He has indicated over the past two years that he was eager to cooperate in whatever way he could, and he was looking forward to talking about the good work and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims.”

Also set to be deposed this week was Roger Cardinal Mahoney, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, the newspaper reported.

Mahony has been plagued in a scandal recently, after thousands of pages of evidence showed he participated in a cover-up of priest sex abuse in his diocese. The evidence indicated that Mahony and an aide maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control, and keep parishioners oblivious, CBS News reported.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez has relieved Mahony of his remaining public duties, but he is not expected to face criminal charges, CBS News reported.

Dolan testified for the deposition the week before he was set to go to Rome for the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

Since Benedict XVI made Dolan a cardinal one year ago some have touted him as a potential papal successor.

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