Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shame on Bill Donohue and His Ad in the NY Times

Bill Donohue of The Catholic Life League is the worst kind of bully.

Many years ago, he and I appeared on a national television program together. He was intimidating, condescending, and offensive. He's one of the few people I won't appear in the media with because of how he has treated me.

Yesterday, he published a full page ad in the New York Times titled "Going for the Vatican Jugular."

It said in part, "The Times continues to editorialize about the 'pedophilia crisis' when all along it's been a homosexual crisis." He writes that "homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, [but] most of the molesters have been gay." He goes on to say that the NYT is covering this story because of "abortion, gay marriage, and women's ordination."

I'm guessing you just felt as outraged as I did reading those words. No, Mr. Donahue, it's a crisis because Roman Catholic priests around the world sexually abused children and youth -- and then the hierarchy covered it up, moved those priests to different parishes where they would abuse again, and failed to take action. The sexual orientation of those priests is irrelevant and unknown to anyone but themselves. What is known is that they abused their power, violated their moral commitments, and scarred their victims for life. What is known is that Church officials turned their back on these young people rather than act to end the violence against them. What is known from this ad, Mr. Donohue, is that you are using this crisis to support your own homophobia and anti-gay stances.

What is also clear is that you don't extend your concern to the survivors. Mr. Donohue's ad yesterday NEVER ONCE mentioned the victims of the priests who abused them, except for a snarky line about an organization of survivors. It is inconceivable to me that The Catholic League should cast blame on the NYT for covering this story rather than showing ANY compassion or concern for the thousands of people who priests have violated. Shame on you, Mr. Donohue.

But don't bullies always blame the victim?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill Donohue is a horrible person.

Suzie said...

Bill Donohue is the Fred Phelps of Catholicism!

Desmond Ravenstone said...

I wonder how much of Donahue's behavior and rhetoric is rooted in an all-too-simple conception that "being faithful" means defending an institution and its leaders without question.

And I wonder what he would think of the mature and eloquent faith of author (and former priest) James Carroll. I get the sense when reading his works that he is still bolstered by the values of Catholic Christianity, while also being compassionate critical of the institutional church.