NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new sex abuse scandal has sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church after a grand jury report found over a thousand children were abused over seven decades by hundreds of “predator priests.”
The allegations are from several dioceses Pennsylvania, but they’ve reverberated around the country. CBS2’s Dick Brennan sat down with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the diocese of New York, to get his reaction to the sweeping findings.
“This is extraordinarily painful, it is embarrassing, it is humiliating, it is nauseating, but we believe in a God that can bring good out of evil,” said Dolan in a one-on-one interview Wednesday.
The grand jury report accuses the Catholic Church of hiding the abuse of some 1,000 children by more than 300 priests over a 70-year period. Dolan called it “a kick in the gut,” afraid that the findings were yet another blow to the integrity of the Church.
“I really worry about a loss to credibility, a loss of trust,” said Dolan. “There’s no use denying it. We can’t sugar coat it, this is disastrous.”
WATCH: Local Man One Of Over 1,000 Victims Of ‘Predator Priests’
Among the victims in Pennsylvania is 48-year-old Shaun Dougherty, who now runs a farm to table restaurant in Long Island City, Queens. He says he’s still traumatized after being sexually abused by a priest and a teacher at his Pennsylvania middle school when he was just ten-years-old.
“I’ve struggled with alcohol, I’ve struggled with drugs, relationships,” said Dougherty. “There are nights I have this restaurant and there are nights I just can’t do it. I can’t put the face on.”
The Church is still reeling from the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a panel substantiated abuse allegations against him. He was formerly the archbishop of Washington D.C. and Newark, and was also once a secretary to Terence Cardinal Cook in New York. The archdiocese has set up a victim’s compensation fund which, to date, has paid out claims to 267 victims-survivors worth over $55 million.
“We have been making such progress, and now to have this come out it’s a reminder on how horrible it was and if people say ‘You know what? I’m cynical and worried that it might still be going on’, I can’t fault them for that,” said Dolan. “I can do my best to say it isn’t, and if anybody knows a case where it is please, please, please tell me. But I’m sure that’s out there, Dick.”
The new bishop of Rockville Centre, John Barres, was mentioned in the report, claiming he did not remove an alleged abuser from the priesthood. The diocese responded, saying the Pennsylvania report has numerous errors in it. Namely, the abuser was removed from the ministry and kept far away from children with the Vatican kept abreast of the relevant facts.