Gratitude to the Catholic League

My thanks to Bill Donohue and the Catholic League for the following press release issued last week.

ARCHBISHOP DOLAN LIBELED BY SNAP

August 4, 2011

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the reaction of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to the news that an elderly New York priest was arrested for a sexual infraction:

A 16-year-old girl started working in a Bronx parish last Saturday and now claims she was inappropriately touched by an 87-year-old priest. She returned to work on Monday, where she now says she was touched the wrong way again. Then she voluntarily decided to go back to work on Tuesday, where she now claims she was wrongly touched for the third time. On Wednesday, the cops show up, with TV cameras rolling, and handcuff the elderly priest—who has never had a single allegation made against him in over 60 years as a priest—treating him as if he were Jack the Ripper.

If this isn’t surreal enough, consider that the phony victims’ group, SNAP, is accusing New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of covering up the alleged misconduct, even though Dolan knew nothing about it. Moreover, when Dolan learned of the arrest, he immediately informed the cleric that he cannot function as a priest and must leave the parish until the matter is settled. So to accuse the New York Archbishop of a cover-up is obscene.

SNAP also says that Archbishop Dolan was guilty of “acting secretively” in a previous case involving Msgr. Wallace Harris. This is libelous: Dolan was the Archbishop of Milwaukee when Harris was suspended. When Cardinal Edward Egan, Dolan’s predecessor, learned of the alleged misconduct by Harris—which supposedly happened 30 years earlier—he notified the D.A.’s office.

According to SNAP’s press release today, these cases also show the Church’s tolerance of pedophilia. But neither of the two cases involved pedophilia: in both instances, the alleged victims were teenagers. The name of the game is to paint priests as child abusers, which is a bold-face lie. It’s time the media turned its cameras on the liars at SNAP.

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16 Responses to “Gratitude to the Catholic League”

  1. I am usually pleased when I see Bill Donohue defend the Catholic Church. But, any defense must be carefully thought out and not contain “soft spots” that can be easily attacked. Specifically in this response, referencing that the alleged offense happened 30 years ago is lessining the strength of the press release. A possible retort would ask if it was less of an offense (puting aside the statue of limitations) because of the 30 years. Also, as the “victims” were teenagers, Bill points out it is not pedophilia. True but the supposed activity is not in any way acceptable. Better not to argue definitions when addressing this matter. But, in any case Bill, keep up the good work!

  2. Irene says:

    Mr. Donohue’s press release does a nice job of blaming the victim: implying the young girl made up the allegations.. “now claims she was involuntarily touched” , “now says she was touched the wrong way again” , “now says she was wrongly touched for the third time”

    And then Donahue characterizes her molester as the victim:” an elderly priest who has never had an allegation against him.”

    Shame, shame on Donahue for his misogynistic “blame the victim” press release and even more shame on you for congratulating him on it!

  3. Mary Lu Callahan says:

    Wow! “Phony victim’s group”? Bill Donohue presents nothing but an angry face of the Church. I am sorry if the media got facts wrong, but perhaps “turn the other cheek” is a more appropriate stance than Donohue’s vitriolic approach, which is frankly embarrassing to many Catholics.

  4. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    The obvious CINO’s (Catholic in Name only) who post here consistantly show their true colors. They are closet anti Catholics and the biggest enemies of the Church in America.

    Thank God for Bill Donohue and The Catholic League. They are the true Crusaders of the faith.

    You will know them by their fruits – Hosea 4:6

  5. Steven Schwalbach says:

    Reading just what Mr Donohue writes, his story seems to have MANY holes. We have to be careful of false abuse claims as well!

  6. Once again, Archbishop Dolan, you chose the wrong path, which places you among the “weeds” rather than the “seeds.” Unlike your colleague in Dublin, Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who admits time after time that the Church got it wrong and gets it wrong when it comes to clergy sexual abuse and focuses on the healing of victims, you, Archbishop Dolan, use the words of the “sultan of hate speech,” Bill Donohue, to defend yourself against that which is defenseless. You have yet to admit that Monsignor Wally Harris was barred from ministry (BY YOU) because of the sexual abuse he heaped on innocent children in Harlem and elsewhere and not because he has health issues. Archbishop Dolan, tell the truth about Msgr. Wally Harris and then, just maybe, we will believe what you have to say about anything. And, please tell us what happened to that money in Milwaukee that was earmarked for victims that allegedly ended up in the cemetery fund. Now that Archbishop Weakland and Bishop Sklba will be deposed in clergy abuse cases in Milwaukee, will your subpoena to appear be far behind?

    And, finally, please do what I asked you to do when you first arrived in NY as Archbishop……sever ties with the Catholic League. It is neither (and never) Catholic nor Christian in its treatment of persons and ideas. It is an embarrassment to the Church. Drop it from the list of Catholic organizations!

    Please, be transparent, honest, and truthful….it will set you free.

  7. drwho13 says:

    “According to SNAP’s press release today, these cases also show the Church’s tolerance of pedophilia. But neither of the two cases involved pedophilia: in both instances, the alleged victims were teenagers.”

    You have to be kidding; ‘teenagers,’ does the word ‘minor’ mean anything to you? Legally speaking there is a distinction, but if it involves a minor teenager it’s still a crime.

    A Church that makes such distinctions is unsuited to be a moral compass for anyone.

  8. Lorenzo-NY says:

    We have come to expect these angry, “Bowery Boys” kind of outbursts from Bill Donahue. No wonder the media loves to trot him out when it needs a psuedo Catholic spokesperson. He never fails to put on a good show, with overblown rhetoric, loudmouth vitriol, inappropriate attacks and insensitive remarks. He does more harm to the Church’s image everytime he opens his trap.
    So no one should be surprised that Bulldog Bill has fired off another volley of insult and mindless defense of the indefensible. But why is the Archdiocese of NY putting Donahue’s press release on its own website under Archbishop Dolan’s picture? Being in league with the League damages whatever efforts the Church makes to convince victims and everyone else that it really cares about them. SNAP is not a “phony victims group.” They are angry and with good reason. Dolan seems to be showing his true colors with his smiling face atop this embarasing but typical Catholic League press release. If Dolan had real compassion for victims of clergy sexual abuse, he would prudently distance himself from “Bush” League Bill (no offense to the former presidenti implied).
    Shame on Donahue goes without saying, but now it’s shame on Dolan as well.
    Dolan calls his blog the “The Gospel in the Digital Age.” It’s his gospel not Jesus’.

  9. Brian Gallagher says:

    Your Excellency,
    By posting Donahue’s remarks and expressing your gratitude for them, you are clearly endorsing them, right? While I, as you certainly do also, presume the innocence of this priest until proven guilty, there are some troubling remarks in the statement you have endorsed:

    “Then she voluntarily decided to go back to work on Tuesday, where she now claims she was wrongly touched for the third time. ” – If you are claiming this is a defense of the priest in question, you have little knowledge of the dynamics of power, fear, and maturity.

    “…the phony victims’ group, SNAP”. Even if SNAP is directed by opportunistic lawyers, where would the victims be without their help? Are you seriously claiming that the Church’s response would be the same without the threat of huge settlements?

    “When Cardinal Edward Egan, Dolan’s predecessor, learned of the alleged misconduct by Harris—which supposedly happened 30 years earlier—he notified the D.A.’s office.” While defending Egan, Donahue can’t help being cynical about the length of time between alleged abuse and public exposure. This is another example of your willful ignorance of the experience of victims, presuming you agree.

    “But neither of the two cases involved pedophilia: in both instances, the alleged victims were teenagers.” PLEASE stop digging the Church into this hole! As a Catholic this hairsplitting on this point by the hierarchy’s staunchest defenders is embarrassing in the extreme. Can you imagine the response you’d get, as a bishop, if you went on TV and tried to make the distinction between child rape and teenager rape??

  10. Andy Tracy says:

    SNAP is not a \phony\ victims group! SNAP and the other victims group \Voice of the Faithful\ are the only two victims group I am aware of and they are lay led which probably gripes Mr. Donohue. God bless them for their hard work and having their hearts in the right place. What’s more…pedophile might not be the correct psychological name for one who sexually abuses teenagers. The ones who abuse teens are called ephebophiles. But it matters little what they are called. They commit the same crimes on children (and teens are children) and the horrible consequences are the same in children of any age. In fact some psychologists maintain teenage boys are the most often sickened by abuse as they are given a reason by the abuse to question their sexual identity. Lay off, Mr. Donohue. Let people who are trying to help society and the church come to grips with these criminals and do their holy work. Andy Tracy

  11. JeannieGuzman says:

    If it were not for SNAP, and the bravery of its members, thousands of cases of Priest Pedophilia and Ephibophilia wouldn’t have been brought to the publics attention in not only the USA but in foreign countries, as well. The Criminal Coverups of Abuse by not so sainted, bishops, archbishops and Cardinals, including members of the Vatican, have been PROVEN to be systemic and universal! To call SNAP, “A Phony Victims’ Group,” just shows how much the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Bill Donohue, are in denial regarding the damage that Clerical Pedophiles have done to thousands of victims as well as to the credibility of the Catholic Church. It was NOT easy for early members of SNAP to come forward with their allegations of abuse, because the Catholic Church intimidated them (and often their families) on every level possible. Was this “Christ-like behavior?” I think not, but neither are acts of Pedophilia and institutional, Criminal Coverups!

  12. susan says:

    The young girl did the right thing and reported it to the police. If it’s a false claim he’ll have his day in court as well as she. “Phony victims group” ? If only there was not a need for groups like Snap or Bishops Accountability. They should be receiving Dolan’s graditude.

  13. Paul J Racine says:

    While Mr Donahue’s response is not on the level of a legal brief, it is a welcome counter balance to the media’s implied guilt of any priest or bishop accused of wrong doing. A response by the Church with anything other than a “mea culpa”, is often portrayed by the media as arrogant and heartless.

    I am grateful to Mr Donohue for pointing out examples of the excesses and inaccuracies of the media.

  14. Steven Schwalbach says:

    I meant HER story has many holes…oops…sorry..correction from earlier comment

  15. Maria says:

    Your Excellency:

    SNAP and the Voice of the Faithful will stop at nothing in their efforts to destroy the Church. An eighty-seven year old man? Please, a man of this age, even if guilty as charged, would more than likely be guilty of nothing more than what is known as ‘disinhibition” in the elderly. Disinhibition is associated with various forms of dementia and very, very common. Talk to any medical professional who works in a nursing home. Have we lost all common sense?

    You are a bright light in the darkness, Bishop Dolan. We stand with you. Oh, and God Bless Bill Donohue and the Catholic League!

  16. Janet says:

    I learned of this post on another blog. Amazing! The archbishop of New York is condoning this verbal attack against a 16-year-old girl who has already suffered the trauma of assault. Not so amazing, perhaps, considering the church’s usual nasty attitude toward victims of clergy abuse, but surprising that you’re condoning Donahue’s press release so openly.

    Shaking my head. Sick, sick, sick.