Posts Tagged ‘Catholic League’

Comments from William A. Donohue, Ph.D

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, commented on the deposition released yesterday by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Here is an excerpt:

In short, there was nothing new—it was another fishing expedition conducted by a man who believes there should be one standard for the Catholic Church, and another for the rest of the world.

Cardinal Dolan was, as always, honest and courageous. I wish I could bill Anderson for the agony of having to read his boring pursuit.

You can read all of his comments here.

Catholic League Reports on SNAP Deposition

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Recently, Catholic League president William A. Donohue, Ph.D. published a report on the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) deposition in Missouri. Here is an excerpt from Donohue’s report:

At the end of 2011, a Missouri judge ordered David Clohessy, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), to be deposed regarding his role in cases of priestly sexual abuse. Clohessy fought the order vigorously, but lost. On January 2, 2012, he was deposed; the deposition was made public only recently [click here]. [NOTE: all pages cited are taken from the deposition.]

Clohessy proved to be uncooperative, refusing to comply with a request for internal documents; he only released a small portion of them. On the stand, he was similarly recalcitrant, refusing to answer many questions. He took refuge in a Missouri law which protects the confidentiality of rape crisis centers. But there are serious reasons to doubt whether SNAP meets the test of a rape crisis center.

Clohessy was asked point blank, “Did you identify yourself as a rape crisis center?” His reply, “I don’t know.” [p. 87.] At another point, he admitted, “I don’t know under the Missouri statutes exactly what constitutes a rape crisis center.” [p. 112.] The lawyers for an accused priest were not impressed. From their questions, and from subsequent statements they’ve made, it is clear that they do not believe that SNAP qualifies as a rape crisis center. They have plenty of reasons for reaching this conclusion.

You can read his whole article and deposition here.

Recent Comments from William Donohue

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I recently came across two statements written by Catholic League president William A. Donohue, Ph.D.

In one statement, he writes about a recent survey that shows a steady growth of the Catholic Church. Here is an excerpt:

The latest findings by the “Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership” project, a collaborative effort with Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, are illuminating. In the last 40 years, the Catholic population has increased by 75 percent; it has grown by 50 percent since 1990. More important, Catholic attendance at Mass is up 15 percent since 2000. And in the last five years, contributions have increased by 14 percent. It is also important to note that there has been a 40 percent increase in Latinos in the Church over the past five years.

You can read the whole statement here.

In another statement, Dr. Donohue comments on the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State and how the new law is affecting our religious rights. Here is an excerpt:

When Cuomo was recently asked about the right of clerks, invoking their religious rights, not to issue marriage licenses to gays, he said, “The law is the law. You enforce the law as is; you don’t get to pick and choose those laws.” (Ironically, this could be read as an indictment of President Obama: he is under oath to enforce federal legislation, yet he manifestly refuses to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.)

Rice is even bolder. She has put clerks on notice: either grant homosexuals marriage licenses or else. In a letter she wrote to municipal clerks, she warned that not complying “may constitute official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor.”

You can read the whole statement here.

Groundless Gossip

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I owe it to all of you — both the Catholic and wider community — to be very clear about the ridiculous and groundless gossip spread about me by a tort lawyer named Jeff Anderson.

You may have heard this man claim that, when I was Archbishop of Milwaukee, I “hid’ $130 million of archdiocesan funds so victims of clergy sexual abuse could not sue for it.

Malarkey! The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has an excellent record of fiscal integrity and transparency.  I worked hard at that, and my successor, Archbishop Listecki, continues to do so.  (By the way, you might also be interested to know that during my years as Archbishop of Milwaukee, and with the generous service of many dedicated people, we established a mediation process that reached settlements with almost 200 victim survivors; that mediation process has been praised by the victim survivors who have participated in the process.)

In my seven years there, the meager resources of the archdiocese were under the vigilance of a sound and respected finance council, composed of prominent and respected business leaders from the financial community; annually we were audited; and each year there was complete, published financial disclosure.  You can find the audited financial statements here.  To claim that, given this rigorous supervision, an archbishop could have “hidden” $130 million, is beyond ridiculous.

I do want you to know that, when I arrived as archbishop, the financials showed that parishes had $70 million of their peoples’ money on deposit with the archdiocese.  This was not archdiocesan money at all, but belonged to parishes.  That’s why the finance council, and our outside professional auditors, advised me that it was inappropriate for the archdiocese to hold money for parishes, and that it should be returned to the parishes to which it belonged anyway.  This was done, and publicly reported in the annual audit.

So much for “hidden funds.”  Far from inappropriate, this decision was virtuous, open, and in accord with the clear directives of the professionals on our finance council and outside auditors.

The archdiocese of Milwaukee has issued an enlightening statement speculating that this lawyer’s reckless charges also included “hiding” the “cemetery fund,” which, of course, by state law, is scrupulously protected, and cannot be touched or transferred by anybody.

So, these silly charges are baloney.  Unfortunately, this man got the attention he wanted and has come to expect from the news, tarnishing the good name of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and of me.  Some of our priests reported that people at Sunday Mass asked them “Why did Archbishop Dolan hide those funds?”

Lord knows I’ve made mistakes, but “hiding” $130 million is hardly one of them!

P.S. The Catholic League issued a statement on this matter today.  You can read it here.

Why we need the Catholic League

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

It almost seems to be an unspoken rule that Christians, and Catholics in particular, are not supposed to respond to criticism, insults, and slights towards their faith with anything more than a smile. Certainly we shouldn’t actually say anything.  For some reason, this is not expected of our other religious neighbors – Jews and Muslims – or of any other group, such as blacks or gays.

If you doubt this to be true just take a look at the reaction inspired by Catholic League president William Donohue’s now widely covered statement on an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” features a video that includes the image of  ants crawling all over  the body of Jesus on the cross. Dr. Donohue wrote a letter asking the members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to re-consider funding the Smithsonian; the federal government funds the Smithsonian Institution while exhibits are funded privately.

Dr. Donohue, for daring to articulate that this use of an image of the crucified Christ was offensive,  was denounced as a “blowhard,” “a self-appointed censor,” “right wing publicity mill,” a “bully,”  “American Taliban” and one who “immediately and opportunistically seized” on the occasion for some kind of self-promotion, among other things.

Apparently, Catholics shouldn’t take offense when our  sacred objects are depicted disrespectfully in the name of art. And we certainly shouldn’t let anyone know we are offended if we are.

Bill Donohue hardly needs me to defend him.  He’s well-able to do it himself, and has a lot of experience doing so.  But, he’s stood up for a lot of us before, and I am glad to express my encouragement for the work he does.  Some may take occasional issue with his style.  Fair enough, and he’s open to such criticism. Some might even discuss whether the image is offensive.  However, no one should doubt the high value and necessity of his efforts, or dismiss him in crude terms.  Even the recent high-volume critiques of his stand on this controversy exhibit nasty anti-catholic canards.  Keep at it, Bill!  We need you!

Our duty to defend our faith is grounded in the true understanding of freedom: the ability to do what we ought to do, not simply what we want to do. Popular opinion may demand that Catholics suffer in silence, or more, embrace an insult as a work of art, but that doesn’t mean that we should, no matter how many in public and private expect us to do so.  That is why I appreciate Dr. Donohue and the work done by The Catholic League.  I look forward to the day when the work done by the Catholic League is no longer necessary. Sadly, as recent events have proven once again, that day still seems far in the future.

Response from William A. Donohue, Ph.D

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I came across this fine article written by William A. Donohue, Ph.D. of the Catholic League. Mr. Donohue responds to a CNN documentary on the Pope recently aired.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We learn from CNN host Gary Tuchman that “For decades, before he became pope, Joseph Ratzinger was a high-ranking Vatican official who, more than anyone else beside Pope John Paul, could have taken decisive action to stem the sexual abuse crisis.” Similarly, author David Gibson says the pope “always took the stalling tactic.”

It is simply not true that Ratzinger was in charge of this issue “for decades.” In fact, he wasn’t given the authority to police the sexual abuse problem until 2001. What is truly astonishing is that Tuchman concedes as much later in the program. After he notes that “By 2001, the sexual abuse crisis was beginning to engulf the Catholic Church,” he says, “The pope gave Cardinal Ratzinger and the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) the power to cut through the bureaucracy and handle all sexual abuse cases directly.”

In other words, Tuchman was incorrect the first time when he said that “for decades” Ratzinger “could have taken decisive action.” He couldn’t have been in charge “for decades” if he wasn’t given police powers until 2001 (he became pope in 2005).

Nowhere in the program is there any evidence that the pope was guilty of obstruction of justice. This is a serious charge—the most serious made in the course of the documentary. Yet to throw this out, without ever producing evidence to substantiate it, is malicious. It won’t cut it to say that he was “perhaps” guilty of obstruction. CNN intentionally planted this seed and never explicitly addressed the subject of obstruction of justice again.”

You can read the rest of the article here.