Cardinal Timothy Dolan has dismissed reports that he paid off priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The charges were made in a New York Times article last week.

“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.”

Dolan's New York Archdiocese spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, told the New York Post that there was no “payoff” to pedophile priests – only “charity.”

The New York Times does not have a reputation for fair and accurate reporting when it comes to this issue,” Dolan said after Mass on Sunday. “So, to respond to charges like that – that are groundless and scurrilous – in my book it's useless and counterproductive.”

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.”