Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who opposes gay marriage on the grounds it's “immoral,” paid off priests accused of sexually abusing minors to encourage them to leave the priesthood, The New York Times reported.

“Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee,” the paper wrote.

Documents unearthed by the Times reveal that the “archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.”

When first confronted by reporters with the allegations, Dolan dismissed the charges as “false, preposterous and unjust.”

The 62-year-old Dolan, as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has led Catholic opposition to gay marriage laws in the United States. He also vociferously opposed passage of New York's gay marriage law, describing gay unions as “immoral” and a “violation of what we consider natural law.”