Bill Donahue Decides To Save The Catholic Church By Attacking Their Rape Victims

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Disrespect toward the Catholic Church is whatever Bill Donohue decides it is (he was last heard from attacking Madonna's Super Bowl half-time show), and now he's decided to go after SNAP, the survivors' group for victims molested first by priests, and then by their local dioceses and their crack legal teams. I'm glad I live in Philadelphia, where the local D.A. had the cojones to take on the church and bring criminal charges. In fact, I'd like some enterprising local reporter to ask our new archbishop what he thinks about this statement in light of Bill's latest crusade:

“The Catholic League has the courage to speak up candidly and forcefully for the Church when circumstances call for fighting the good fight. The League should be on every Catholic’s short list of essential organizations to support.”

— Most Rev. Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

As to the Catholic League, well, sometimes I suspect they have more board members than actual rank and file members (and what moderate board members they are!): Wingers like Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez, Alan Keyes, the far-right Democrat Michael Novak and Kate O'Beirne, just to name a few. Diversity all the way from A to B!

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, believes that the Catholic church has gone too easy on the survivors of sex abuse by clergy, and has vowed to fight them “one by one,” says a post at the blog Right Wing Watch.

In an interview with Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times, Donohue says that in the past the church “has been too quick to write a check” to individuals who report being victimized by pedophile priests. He believes that the church should fight each case “one by one,” ostensibly to save money “in the long run.”

He said that Catholic bishops should “toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough” in the fight against victims of sex abuse. “We don’t need altar boys.”

I can't use the words I'd like to use to describe this big bully, but you can rest assured that he's got at least some of the famously rigid and conservative church hierarchy behind him. So now the American church's cardinals and archbishops have to make a choice: More toxic PR fallout from allowing Donahue to attack people who were raped as children, or try to hold onto the cash? Hmm.

Currently Donohue is backing the efforts of lawyers defending two Missouri priests accused of multiple counts of child molestation. Attorneys for the priests have issued subpoenas to the victims’ advocacy group the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), seeking “more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists,” according to the New York Times article.

SNAP is not involved in the Missouri case, but Donohue believes that the attacks are warranted because, in his words, “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic church.” The subpoenas, thanks to their exhaustiveness, are calculated to distract, bankrupt and embarrass the organization.

SNAP’s national director David Clohessy has been deposed in the Missouri case, but is resisting the subpoenas, saying they’re not just a fishing expedition, but a “fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition,” whose real mission is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.

Anyone can play that game, Bill. Sure there's nothing in your own life you wouldn't want to see exposed in public? After all, the process of discovery works both ways. I mean, you describe yourself as a former college professor, but it really sounds more like you were a mere adjunct—in other words, a part-timer. Your only college job was at a small Catholic school that was so unsuccessful, they had to affiliate with the sketchy for-profit Art Institute to stay afloat.

By the way, Bill, why do you only attack pro-choice Catholics when they're Democrats?

I see you also collect wingnut welfare as a "scholar" at the Heritage Foundation. You also served for twenty years on the board of the National Association of Scholars, a non-profit organization in the United States that opposes multiculturalism and affirmative action and seeks to counter what it considers a "liberal bias" in academia. It's funded by the usual suspects: the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. More wingnut welfare! Nice work if you can get it:

Washington, DC – Controversial Catholic League president William Donohue – whose work has now gained the support of the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – earned a salary of $342,500 in 2009, with an additional $56,656 in fringe benefits. According to annual IRS Form 990 filings, the organization spent more than $2.6 million in 2009, despite the fact that its program work constitutes little more than the issuing of inflammatory press releases.

[...] The IRS filings list other examples of lavish spending. The organization shells out $335,914 for its midtown Manhattan office space, and compensates vice president Bernadette Brady to the tune of $203,727. An additional $57,826 is spent on office equipment.

As organizations go, the Catholic League is a “non-profit” in name only. In 2009 it pocketed $943,516 in excess revenue, down from $1.35 million in 2008. As of the most recent filings, the Catholic League reported $26.2 million in net assets.

Goodness, Bill, when was the last time you held a real job? You know, out in the free market?

And what about that divorce, Bill? Why only two children? Anything you want to share before you're deposed?

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