Archbishop of New York Faces Scrutiny for Handling of Sex Abuse Case in St. Louis

May 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm
Archbishop Dolan
Archbishop Dolan
Timothy Dolan was a bishop in St. Louis in the early 2000s before being named archbishop of Milwaukee and from there moving on to serve as the current archbishop of New York.

A year into his tenure in the Big Apple the archbishop has been generaly well-received, though questions persist about his stance on priests accused of sexual abuse.

During his time in St. Louis, Dolan headed the archdiocese's committee looking into complaints of sexual misconduct by priests. As the New York Times reported yesterday, Dolan removed eight priests accused of abusing parishioners in the St. Louis region. But in one curious case Dolan went to bat for a priest who then filed a civil suit against his accuser.

That priest is now the pastor of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in De Soto. His accuser, meanwhile, wishes he never went to Dolan with his complaint.

As the Times recounts, the case began in 2002 when Arthur Andreas called Dolan to say that he'd been abused by Rev. Alexander R. Anderson at St. Joseph's Home for Boys in the 1980s. Anderson maintained his innocence and Dolan believed him. Anderson then requested -- and obtained -- permission from St. Louis' then archbishop Justin Rigali to sue Andreas for defamation. The church would pay all of Anderson's legal fees.

Andreas then ended up counter-suing Anderson. The case was later settled with the Catholic church admitting no wrong and agreeing to pay $22,000 for counseling that Andreas had received from the alleged abuse at the hands of Anderson. Other complaints have since surfaced about Anderson that have been dropped or dismissed.

In the meantime, Andreas says wished he had not gone to Dolan with his complaint.

"I would have never made the call if I knew that they would take something so painful to me and put it on everyone's breakfast table," Arthur Andreas tells the Times.