Why we need the Catholic League

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.

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66 Responses to “Why we need the Catholic League”

  1. Mike Jarman says:


  2. Paul Rimmer says:

    Hey, I’m with speaking your mind. So I’ll speak mine.

    Donahue is a blowhard. Worse, he’s a censor.

    Art shouldn’t be stopped because it offends someone. I think ants on the Cross, flies on the Koran, the star of David made of snakes, whatever else you want to put out there, if it’s really trying to provoke and get attention, if it’s original and has its own beauty, it should be allowed.

    I have no respect for his kind of people, and there’s at least one in every group, Catholic, Democrat, Republican, Jews, gays, women, men, dogs and cats (thank you PETA). He fits right in with all the rest of the nuts, and if he and the rest had their way, we wouldn’t be able to say anything interesting at all, without the thought police breaking down our doors.

    Donahue has the right to say whatever he likes. So do I. And I say: Donahue is a hack, he’s bad for education, he’s bad for freedom, don’t trust him around your children.

    Praise the Areopagetica!

  3. marcos says:

    Turning the other cheek is now optional.

  4. Jim Anderson says:

    Yes, we need Bill Donohue and many many more bishops like Archbishop Dolan!

  5. Katherine says:

    Every Catholic Church insults Christ by showing him tortured, weak, powerless and beaten on an instriment of death rather than Christ victorious, living, strong and Divine.

  6. Stephen Taylor says:

    We are told by Christ not to respond. So why is it suddenly okay to respond? What is at stake, the institutional church? Or the commands of Christ?

  7. Alan says:

    Amen to that! Start by donating to the Catholic League. That is what I intend to do.

  8. Andrew Piacente says:

    As a long time member of The Catholic League I consider this article as one of your finest moments so far Your Excellency. These so called “artists,” or most media outlets would not dare do this to Muhammad, Martin Luther King, or joke about the Holocaust.

    It’s open season on Catholics. Why? Because we allow it. Not so The Catholic League. We boycott, we write letters, we fight back. Every single Catholic, esp. men, should be members of this absolutely necessary organization.

    I’ve said this before. There are many of us out here who will stand shoulder to shoulder with a Fulton Sheen type shepherd. Lead us!!!

    May Gos continue to bless you in your work.

    AndyP/Doria2 Yonkers, NY HOSEA 4:6

  9. David says:

    Archbishop, seeing as how Donahue’s “style” is crude, I think it is only fair play if he himself is portrayed in “crude terms”. If he’s allowed to do it, then I don’t see why others should not be allowed.

  10. Maggie Goff says:

    Thank you!!!

  11. Connie Berry says:

    Thank you for keeping the Light on these subjects. I always look forward to your clarity of thought — continue to gather us from across the states dear Archbishop Dolan.

  12. Irene says:

    Not all of us think we need the Catholic League. I think Mr. Donohue is often overly quick to take offense, and I think some of his issues (lighting up the Empire State Building for Mother Theresa’s b-day?) aren’t really priorities in my world. Nor is it really a”League”. Who does he speak for other than himself? I would prefer to see an actual member-based advocacy group of NYC Catholics where, together, we could decide which issues to take up and, together, we could pursue a collective strategy to address them.

  13. I second that AMEN above! God bless Bill Donohue and Archbishop Dolan!

  14. Joe O'Leary says:

    I guess US bishops, who are not in crisis, can afford to be associated with bullies like Donohue; in Europe bishops are more prudent.

  15. Catherine Imperatrice says:

    God Bless The Catholic League and the untiring and inspiring energy and faith of Bill Donohue and his staff!!!!!!

  16. Daniel says:

    Kudos to Dr. Donohue! But his work is greatly leveraged when strong bishops support it. Double kudos to Your Exellency!

  17. Gay Davis says:

    We need the Catholic League now more than ever and boy do we ever need leaders like Archbishop Dolan and Dr. Donahue…..The Holy Bible teaches us that the Gospel does not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of boldness and there are times when it is simply inappropriate to “turn the other cheek”….Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple for a very good reason, which could well be likened to the disrespect shown His Temple in the present age…..


  18. felice says:

    I defend the right to protect.
    God keep you, Archbishop Dolan.
    NYC thanks God for your service.

  19. Diane K says:

    It may not be considered virtuous to stand up for oneself, but it is a mark of virtue to come to someone else’s defense. Archbishop Dolan not only defends Mr. Donohue against biased intolerance, he is defending the dignity of Our Crucified Lord.

    The same people who call the profaning of things Catholics and Christians consider sacred, will cause an uproar if Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus is sung in a US school or mall. Now, that is a real piece of art that goes back hundreds of years unlike the bigotry and intolerance cloaked as “art” they defend!

  20. Pat says:

    The Catholic League (Donohue) does not defend Catholicism. It defends only the most exclusive, arch-conservative, Catholic points of view. While those views might be largely consistent with the current Church hierarchy it has not always been so. I grew up in a Church that valued acceptance and compassion over judgment and condemnation. A lifelong practicing Catholic, I’ve recently tried to return to the Church after a near year-long sabbatical. I walked out of mass after a pulpit speech condemning health care reform over a very arguable connection to abortion funding without even a mention of those suffering without adequate coverage. Of course abortion is abhorrent but ‘pro-life’ is a sham without AT LEAST equally vocal condemnation of this country’s treatment of the uninsured and those suffering from all forms of social injustice. Catholicism used to be nearly synonymous with social justice. Now it is more synonymous with right-wing demagoguery. The balance is wrong and will likely get worse. What I love about the Church is still there but increasingly difficult to find. I am trying hard to stay but feel more and more as if the Church is pushing me away. For me; the anti-Catholic discrimination is not ‘out there’ — it is within my own Church. Forgive the personal story – but I know I’m not alone in my struggle. Catholics are certainly entitled to take offense and should speak up. I take offense at being marginalized within my own Church for beliefs rooted in the Catholocism I learned to love long ago. I pray the Church will seek a better balance.

  21. Adam says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    I am writing to express my disappointment at your recent blog post in support of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League, especially now that you are the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    Under Mr. Donohue’s leadership, the Catholic League has become one of the most divisive organizations in the United States in general and the Catholic Church in the United States in particular. Mr. Donohue’s combative tone is not representative of Christ’s teachings and not a good example of Catholic values, and his affiliation with polarizing personalities like Glenn Beck is damaging to our church’s public image. Need I remind you that Glenn Beck is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an ecclesial community that espouses truly heretical teachings! I am certain that Mr. Donohue is completely ignorant of those beliefs because he is so blinded by hate.

    While I respect Mr. Donohue’s right to express his opinion, I firmly believe that you as a successor to the Apostles should not give its approval to the Catholic League’s divisive activities. I fear that you as President of the USCCB are doing exactly that in this blog. I struggle each day to try and make people understand that Bill Donohue and the Catholic League DO NOT speak for the Catholic Church in the United States, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does and your blog post is having the effect of aligning the USCCB with the Catholic League. I urge you to retract your comments or risk further damaging the USCCB’s reputation.

    Faithfully yours in Christ,


    PS – to all those who support Bill Donohue & his League I remind them to remember what Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees when he told them that tax collectors and prostitutes were entering the Kingdom of God before them.

  22. John F says:

    Bill Donohue is an extremist who should not be allowed to speak for all Catholics. Granted, some of his positions are consistant with Catholic values, but he totally misrepresents the spirit of Christ’s Beatitudes and I in fact have heard him in agreement with Glen Beck’s diatribe against Catholics who are concerned with Social Justice. You should walk away from this person who does more to hurt the Church than he does to help it.

  23. Deacon Killoren says:

    Do we even know what the artist was getting at? What if the cross on the ground and the ants around it represented how contemporary society has forgotten what Jesus died for, that it is we who have thrown the cross to the crown to be covered with dust and ants. What if instead of an attack on Jesus and the Cross or His Church it was a reminder to all of us that the love Christ poured out on the cross flowed to redeem prostitutes and tax collectors and all sinners. Instead of living Christ’s example of love we symbolically strike Jesus to the ground and scourge him again, make him again suffer at our hands when we are judgmental and cruel to immigrants, to gays and lesbians, to the homeless and hungry, lacking in all compassion and love. Perhaps it is a reminder that we have forgotten what Jesus says in the Gospel: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I see far more mockery of Christ in so called Christians who in their righteousness walk by the poor, the hungry, the lonely, the strange, the sick, the mentally ill, and the sinners who are walking or sitting or begging or lying or dying on our sidewalks ignoring them or even worse cursing them. But what do I know, I’m only a deacon.

  24. Tony de New York says:

    Good 4 da bishop!

  25. Landon Bryce says:

    It’s not an unwritten rule, Archbishop:
    Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

  26. Donal Mahoney says:

    Catholics need Bill Donohue because we have so few bishops like Archbishop Dolan, Now that Burke is in Rome, we have only Olmstead and Bruskewicz and the latter is near retirement. If all of the bishops would politely protest as a group what Donohue must bellow about as a solo, we wouldn’t have so much craziness descending on Catholics. Be thankful we have Donohue. The alternative is silence with an occasional pin dropping from bishops like Dolan.

  27. Tom M says:

    This is wrong, wrong. I understand that we live in an overly secular culture which disrespects faith and especially Caholicism. But Donohue is a terrible voice for the Church.

    Consider the following:

    -In defending the movie The Passion of Christ he remarked, “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, OK? And I’m not afraid to say it.” There should be no place for scapegoating Jews in the Church. Period.

    -On sexual abuse he defended sinful actions of the old Church by saying, among other things, “Employers from every walk of life, in both the U.S. and Europe, have long handled cases of alleged sex abuse by employees as an internal matter. Rarely have employers called the cops, and none was required to do so.” No sir. That is wrong. These were children! There is no such thing as consensual sexual harassment of children!

    -Donohue is overly partisan. President Obama setup a Catholic National Advisory Council. Donohue attacked the board and members repeatedly calling them “dissidents” and saying, Practicing Catholics have every right to be insulted by Obama’s advisory group.” Our faith calls us to participate in civic life fully. Those Catholics are living both their faith and their civic duty.

    Also, according to Wikipedia The Catholic League is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. In 2006, according to its Form 990, its revenue was $16,590,333, and Donohue’s salary and benefits amounted to $343,420. How about sharing some of that $16 million with Catholic Charities?

    Your excellency, your remarks offend me. I will pray for you.

  28. Garrett says:

    “Apparently, Catholics shouldn’t take offense when our sacred objects are depicted disrespectfully in the name of art.”

    I think the importance here is not in taking offense (or not). I think it is key to remember that Our Lord said that we would suffer, as the prophets of old, not for our beliefs but for our belief in Him. And so, it is not that we protest (or keep silent) but that we suffer (in a small way) because of His Love for us, and our Love for Him.

    I am not sure Jesus would have been offended by one of us likening our pain and suffering to His. And I am sure that His Passion was much worse than any number of ants.

    The only harm I see in making sense of His Passion in terms of our own earthly suffering, is that our pain falls infinitely short of His. But I think God is well pleased when we try to understand His Passion, to make connections in our own lives to His time here on earth (however infinitely short we fall of the Truth). After all, Jesus came to earth to remind us that we are called to be His, to suffer (and celebrate) with Him, for the Goodness of His Plan.

    So, ants crawling on the body of our Lord, is it any worse than the fact that He is nailed to that tree by our sins? There is nothing we could do to His figure on the cross that would be more painful or humiliating than what he has already allowed. Perhaps one of the small sins, scourged into His flesh, is the depicting of His cross with ants. Protest or turn the other cheek; only, never forget that He bore that, and ALL our sins.

    In the end, I don’t think we should be silent; but being combative (on any side of an issue) is against the Gospels; Jesus teaches us to Love as He Loves us. And “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” So, I will aspire to be a maker of Peace, as I follow the Prince of Peace.

    I wish you each His Peace & all the Goodness He intends.

  29. Nicholas Clifford says:

    Like many other Catholics, I am very upset by your recent apologia (in your blog) for the Catholic League, and Mr. Donohue, who is behind it. I know that there are many who are trying to make a good thing for themselves out of the unfortunate polarization that disfigures our Church (to say nothing of the secular analog that disfigures our nation).

    Mr. Donohue, I’m afraid, seems to be one of those people, and it hurts all of us who are Catholic to have many people think that he and his allies speak for the Catholic Church. Of course they do not, but I’m afraid that your blog post makes it sound as if they do. Surely that’s true only if one believes that divisiveness is somehow a “Catholic” value.

    I would urge you to withdraw the statements in your blog that make it sound as if you — and indeed the USCCB — are in fact aligning themselves with him. Our Church, not only in this country, but in the world at large, has suffered enough from the kind of mentality that Mr. Donohue represents, and there is no call to make things worse by patting him on the head and telling him that he’s a good boy.

    One final comment on your comment about a Crucifixion in which (apparently) the body of Our Lord was covered with ants. Is this really derogatory of Catholicism? or is it an attempt by an artist to link the suffering of Jesus with the suffering of humanity? I wonder whether, in your education for the priesthood, you were ever made aware of the Isenheim Altarpiece, painted by Mathis Gruenewald for the church in Colmar. Certainly most would it is Gruenwald’s masterpiece, and one of the masterpieces of late Renaissance religious art. In it, the crucified Jesus is covered with sores, clearly the result of some terrible skin disease. Most people take this as a sign of compassion; Mr. Donohue, presumably, would like the paining removed (and perhaps burnt). I hope you would not agree with him; and even if you would, I would hope that the USCCB would take a more Christian view.

  30. Theresa says:

    Your Excellency,

    Have you viewed the video that was condemned by the Catholic League? It is a harsh and angry piece, an agonized piece. It cries out, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” It is not anti-Christian or anti-Catholic. It is a cry of the soul, from a heart and body tormented, to the God who died in filth for the sake of sinners AND to the pharisees, robed prelates, and self-appointed moral arbiters who judge themselves sinless, while branding other men and women “unclean, unclean.”

    I beg of you, do not endorse the man who ignorantly condemns such a work. Do not encourage the forces of anti-Catholicism to equate the American Catholic bishops with a poor, misled layman who doesn’t know any better than to associate with the likes of Glen Beck. Do not encourage the faithful to mistake the money-making machine that is Donohue’s organization for an arm of our Holy Church. Do not, yourself, mistake self-promoting, self-serving demagoguery with true zeal for the Lord.

    Sincerely yours in Christ.

  31. Clancy Michaels says:

    Many non-Catholics find the Catholic depiction of Christ’s dying body on the crucifix to be outrageous too.

  32. Mary says:

    You really walked into it this time Archbishop Dolan when you praised Bill Donahue. I personally love him because he does not bow to political correctness over truth. Interesting though how the comments here are so polarized; they reveal a rupture, a big ideological sinkhole, on how we want our Catholicism served up. At one table are the progressive voices (liberal/Democrat), those who insist on political solutions to the world’s brokenness; at another, those of us (me included), who need to download the ten commandments every once in a while, when we get wobbly, and generally lean on the Baltimore Catechism we memorized as kids, to inform our faith and guide our choices. We may meet at the altar rail on Sunday but we are quite divided otherwise. And the elephant in the room is always abortion. Are you very aware, somewhat aware, completely surprised by the split as seen in the comments? I’d really love to know what you think.

  33. Lisa Graas says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Dolan. I’d like to say that I listen to all of the voices out there. It’s true that, in a sense, Catholics in America are divided, but we are not really divided. We are united in the Sacraments. The Sacraments are what give us our unity in Christ. Let’s have debates! Debates are good. Even loud debates are better than no debates at all. It is true that some have a different style than others. Michael Voris recently pointed out that St. Athanasius literally punched Arias for heresy. We can debate whether or not he was right to do it, but the fact is that he is still a great saint of the Church, despite the act. We must hold together…and the fact is that we will hold together provided that we keep close to the Sacraments. Everything else is ‘extra’. Also, may I add that I am an adult convert…and I would have converted far sooner had there been more Catholics shouting from the rooftops like Bill Donohue and Michael Voris. I don’t always agree with them, but if anyone thinks they are not good for the Church, I would say they are quite wrong.

    God bless you, Archbishop Dolan.

  34. Enrique says:

    I wonder if those who defend the painting would also do so if it were depicting, in this manner and in public, a dearly beloved person in their lives. What if it were of your deceased mother or father?

  35. Marg says:

    We need the Catholic League? I couldn’t disagree with you more. Even if you agree with Mr. Donahue on this one issue, I hope you clarify and say there are things where you cannot as a leader of the church align yourself with him (he is the Catholic League). At your recent meeting, the USCCB made clear that you are the “teachers”. So teacher, why are you telling us that the Catholic League represents Catholics well when Mr. Donahue agreed with Glen Beck as he spoke against the Catholic Church and commanded his viewers to “run” from churches that teach Social Justice. Are you telling us that you agree that we should run from Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic churches who preach social justice? I was very disappointed when other Christian leaders spoke out against this proclamation by Glen Beck but not a peep from the Bishops. What I have learned today is that our leaders are telling us to be offended by art but not a Mormon who calls our churches teachings into question. Mr. Donahue is not a spokesman for me and I hope not for my church. Please reconsider.

  36. Irene says:

    Catholics United has expressed disappointment at Archbishop Dolan’s alignmnet with Mr. Donohue.

    Catholics United say this “For those who don’t know, the Catholic League is a conservative organization run by Bill Donohue, arguably the most divisive figure in the U.S. Catholic community. Under Donohue’s leadership, the group has spent its time waging war against progressive values, and attacking elected officials and candidates who support social justice. Bill Donohue is a good friend of Glenn Beck. In fact, when Beck insulted Catholic teaching by advising his viewers to stop going to churches that talk about social justice, Donohue actually defended him.”

    Catholics United a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.

    As a faithful Catholic and a member of the Archdiocese of NY, I am disappointed that our Archbishop, our public spokesperson, has chosen to align himself with this man and his organization.

  37. JBTrevor says:

    Well, if good can ever come from a distasteful act (the Smithsonians display), this is it. The uninspiring piece that Donahue criticized is just that: uninspiring junk. That anyone would look at this piece an obtain any inner appreciation of it or defend it speaks volumes of their inability to ever see what beauty there is in life…how wretched a life that must be & to realize the wretchedness of it? Divine!

  38. Terrence J. O'Toole says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    I want to join the voices who have expressed disappointment with your endorsement of William Donohue and the Catholic League. I’m from St. Louis, admired you much when you were here and was delighted to see you elevated to your current position. But, I am very grieved to see you join the ranks of that strident band of right-wing Catholic prelates who, in my opinion, are, first, conservative ideologues and only second (and a very distant second) shepards concerned about their flocks.

  39. Barb Finnegan says:

    Amen to what you said, Your Excellency! And thank God for people like you and Bill Donohue!

    I for one am tired of ‘Catholic bashing’ and seeing the Faith being trashed in the media. And I am tired of Catholics just ‘rolling over and playing dead’ whenever the Church is mocked and insulted. And I’m just tired of always having to ‘turn the other cheek’ all the time. It gets to the point when you run out of cheeks to turn!

    This wouldn’t be tolerated by Jews, Moslems, blacks, or [I dare say it] homosexuals. If there was any kind of mockery, bashing, or insulting, they’d be all over the six o’clock news-and then some!

    Heck, Our Lord Himself got angry and threw the moneychangers out of the Temple!

    I’m glad that we have someone like Bill Donohue and someplace like the Catholic League to stand up and say, ‘We’re mad as ‘you-know-what’ and we’re not going to take it anymore!’ ! And Thank God for shepherds like Cardinal Burke [yay that he finally got his red hat!], Bishops Olmstead, Finn, and Bruskiewitz, and you, Archbishop Dolan! You stand up for the flock when it’s threatened by the wolves! And of course, LONG LIVE OUR HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI!

    Barb from Upstate NY

  40. Right on, Bishop Dolan!

  41. Brian Cook says:

    With all due respect and humility, Arcbishop Dolan, the issue that people have with Donohue is not that he sometimes stands against true defamation of Mother Church. I have read many critical articles that give convincing evidence for their claims. He has a serious reputation as a shouter who dismisses or maligns his opponents in the crudest terms. He has a reputation for manufacturing controversies for the Right. He has been called an Archie Bunker–and I presume that the critics who call him that are aware that Bunker is anti-Catholic.

    I have sent him many messages over the “Feedback” section of the Catholic League’s website. I have repeatedly invited him to ask himself why he has the reputation that he does. Yes, we do need a Catholic League, but I have serious doubts that we need a Bill Donohue.

  42. Adriano says:

    To KAtherine, Obviously you complain about the Catholic Church has pictures of Christ being beaten and nailed to a Cross and the Church doesn’t show him to be “Divine”.

    No offense don’t we have to carry our own crosses first before the ressurection. Whats the good of Jesus being Risen if there is no Cross? Whats the point of being victorious if there is no suffering?

    I just find it funny that so called Many CAtholics think that Mr. Donahue is some kind of “Right wing” Archconservative boogey man.

    The Catholic Church is compassionate and merciful but what is wrong defending our Faith? And what is the obsession with Glenn Beck?

    I thought those so called “Progressive Catholics” love to outreach with our Non-Christian Brothers and Sisters. Adam seems to have a problem with Glenn Beck and find it hypocritical of Liberal Catholics to love outreach or ecumenism but its different with Glenn Beck?

    Archbishop Dolan, You have a lot to handle to reform the Catholic Chuch in New York

  43. Brian Cook says:

    P.S. The articles to which you linked raise some very serious criticisms of Donohue the kinds that I’ve tried to show to him.

  44. Robert Stewart says:

    Why is the newly elected president of the USCCB signaling approval of demagogues, people who arouse emotions, passion, and prejudices?

    Donahue is a demagogue, as is his friend Glen Beck, who Donahue supports. They arouse emotions, passions, and prejudice and do not advance rational discourse and civility.

    The Archbishop’s support needs to be reconsidered. He certainly does not articulate the sentiments of this cradle Catholic of 71 years.

  45. Larry says:

    These posts illustrate the fact that we now have two parallel Catholic Churches in the United States. The one consists of American cradle Catholics, educated in the latter third of the 20th Century, who were denied their just due by defective religious education, leaving them without a thorough catechetical grounding in the 2,000-year heritage of the Catholic faith. They now go through life believing that the practice of the faith consists in going to mass on Sunday, receiving communion and keeping a smile on their faces the other days of the week. By now accustomed to viewing the secular culture with warm affirmation, they cannot help but be horrified when the other Catholic Church asserts itself. That other Church consists largely of grey-haired American cradle Catholics and younger immigrants from Catholic countries, both brought up in tune with our full heritage, both knowing that not everyone who says, or even shouts, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that does the will of the father shall. And that will is taught to us through St. Peter (the Holy Father) and the Apostles (the bishops). This Catholic Church knows that love of others does not consist in confirming them in sin and self-destruction, but calling them to repentance (as did the Lord.) This Catholic Church knows that our way in life is a battle, against the world, the devil and our own weakness. Your excellence, you and Mr. Donohue have your work cut out for you–and not just with the non-Catholic society.

  46. Rea Howarth says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    I think you wrote your blog piece by focusing on just one element of the artwork, which was taken out of context by those who wish to make a name for themselves. Please think hard about accepting as “truth”, information that may be incomplete and pushed by individuals or organizations with an ax to grind.

    It is a pity that we all live such hurried lives that it’s difficult to separate truth from fiction as we are deluged with information, spilled out in ways that often excite the basest of passions.

    In my experience of following Mr. Donohue’s positions on issues, I find him often in error, finding enemies of Catholicism where none exist–precisely because he relies upon intellectual laziness to excite responses and, more importantly for him, donations.

    I congratulate you upon your selection as the chief spokesperson for the US Bishops Conference. I hope you will find it more blessing than curse.


    Rea Howarth

  47. Patrick says:

    It is a sad, sad day when the RCC in the USA allows someone like Bill Donohue to be our version of the ADL. He is an extremist and a rock-thrower. I pray nightly that he be called soon to his heavenly reward. He is not helping American Catholics. In fact, his views, his meagre credentials, his manner and the battles he picks (and those he overlooks) are a great disservice to us all.

    Bishop, I am SO disappointed in you.


  48. William K. Broker says:

    While I know you are early into your new job, I can’t believe you’ve come out in support of Mr. Donohue and his self-styled Catholic League. I cringe every time I see something controversial about Catholics or the Church and see the press turning to Mr. Donohue to give what appears to be the position of American Catholics on the particular issue. He consistently takes positions that reflect a politically conservative bent, and that’s just not where the Church is.

    Of particular concern is his approval of Glenn Beck’s suggestion Christians, including Catholics, avoid churches where the social justtice gospel is taught. He hemmed and hawed a littel, but he was right there with hin on that. If it is a message Mr. Donohue likes, it then becomes sufficiently Catholic as he clothes it in the seeming official guise of the Catholic League.

    One issue I see we Catholics need to face is that we are called by Jesus and our Chruch to a radical response to the culture in which we live. We should oppose abortion, mercy-killing and the denigration of Christian marriage and the family. But we also need to work for justice, an end to war and capital punishment, safety for immigrants and respect for the diginity of every human person.

    And on the “art” exhibit he took issue with, come on. There are much more important things to worry about. I don’t like it, but I’d rather see Mr. Donohue reflecting on the implications for the poor of the recent tax bill that swirled through Congress while he was over inspecting “objectionable art.”

    Mr. Donohue espouses those issues with which the political right is comfortable, and avoids those it eschews. If you are throwing your lot with Mr. Donohue, your leadership wiill be sadly damaged. And that is not what we need in our
    American Church leadership right now.

  49. Brian says:

    The issue is not the “issue.” The issue is Bill Donohue and his selective, partisan, uncharitable methods and uninformed point of view. Bill Donohue embarrasses me.

    Yes, informed and charitable defense of our rights as Catholics in this country are important. But, I thought that was part of the bishops’ job description. Jesus did not teach us to be doormats, but he also did not teach us to be obnoxious blowhards.

  50. John M. Conroy says:

    Who is \Dr.\ Donohue? How many members does his League have have? Who funds it? What is the source of his authority to speak on behalf of \Catholics\?This is information that should be shared before we start subscribing to his fulminations. It’s known as transparency, something we Catholics are not particularly good at.

    John M. Conroy