Bill Donohue is at it again. Today he took out a quarter page ad in The New York Times to defend the Church and Pope Benedict from the seemingly endless glut of sexual abuse stories rocking the Church around the world.
For Donohue, the real scandal doesn't appear to be the abuse, though; it seems to be what he calls a sustained press campaign against the church. If that's true then the abuse was not the problem, the rape, the shaming, the enforced silence; only the revelation of it.
Donohue, the leader of the Catholic League, an organization fellow Irish American Kathy Griffin called “one man in a room in front of a computer,” is switching the goalposts in his effort to defend the Catholic Church from the international, decades long sex abuse crisis it did little or nothing to prevent.
Donohue wants us to ignore or overlook the decades of inexcusable inaction and cover-up’s within the Church’s hierarchy and instead place the blame at the feet of what he calls homosexual clergy, who he says were the instigators of the abuse.
But how is all this the fault of homosexuals exactly? The most shocking abuse case that came to light here recently involved the abuse of 200 preteen deaf boys by an adult man (who was protected, for 30 years, from facing the legal consequences).
In practically every case examined here in the last year the abuse has involved an adult authority figure manipulating the youth, fear and vulnerability of the abused. Consent was never a factor. Where is Donohue getting his figures from? Why does no one else have access to them?
It’s no more honest to pin the abuse of children on homosexual priests than it is to pin it on heterosexual priests. When adults are sexually abusing children it’s called pedophilia. It beggars belief that anyone still needs to have that pointed out at this stage.
Donohue’s says the majority of cases of sex abuse involve post-pubescent boys, as if the fact that many of them had just reached puberty changes anything. None of the victims were adults. If you fail to grasp that then you simply can’t understand what happened to them.
I can appreciate that Donohue wants to protect the Church from the scandals that have engulfed it. But indiscriminately scapegoating others in the hope of concealing the Church’s wider culpability is proof that the Catholic League has learned precisely nothing from the crisis.