Cardinal Dolan: Catholic Church ‘Has Become an Example of What to Do’ in Handling Sex Abuse Scandal

By Melanie Arter | March 11, 2014 | 12:47 PM EDT

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

( – Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Catholics are “grateful” that the church “has become an example of what to do” in the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal.

“‘We're rather grateful that our church, which was an example of what not to do in the past, in the last 12, 13, 14 years has become an example of what to do, and why does the church keep being picked on?’ I was glad the Pope said that. I think he's right on target,” Dolan said about the way Catholic people view the church’s recent handling of the sex abuse scandal.

In an interview with Corriere della Sera published last week, Pope Francis defended the Roman Catholic Church, saying “no one has done more” to investigate claims of sexual abuse by priests, but the church is the only one being attacked, according to a March 5 BBC report.

This comes in the wake of a UN report last month criticizing the church for its handling of sex abuse allegations. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the Vatican to remove all pedophiles from its ranks, “report them to the law enforcement and open the church’s archives” so church officials who covered up the crimes can be held to account, The New York Times reported on Feb. 5.

“The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” the report concluded.

“Does the church have to do more?” “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked Dolan in an interview that aired on Sunday.

“The church will always have to do more as humanity has to do more. And we're a part of humanity here. But boy, I was cheering the Pope on when he said that. You'll find, David, look, I'm with the people a lot. Catholic people, there are three things that really tick them off about the sex abuse crisis,” Dolan said.

“First of all, that a priest that would dare claim to be an agent of god would act in such a nauseating, hideous manner. There's number one. Number two, that bishops would have not reacted with the rigor and the scrupulous action that was necessary. There's the second. But thirdly, Catholic people say, ‘But why is it the church alone that is being kicked around? This is a societal problem, a cultural problem. It afflicts families, every institution, every religion,’” Dolan added.