My friends:

The Catholic Church's "defenders of the fake" have begun their expected counterattack to those pesky critics who still don't believe -- despite Pope Benedict sending them a letter -- that the Church's leadership (if that's the right word) is serious about putting pedophile priests behind bars along with the conspiratorial clergy who covered up their heinous crimes.

In my adopted hometown of New York City, the Church's defensive lineup was especially pathetic, and even comical.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, leader of some of the city's Catholics, used his Palm Sunday performance to compare Benedict to Jesus Christ, a hysterical analogy that may in fact become blasphemous if the Pope is found to have been complicit in cover-ups himself.

The best comment on this absurd remark came from a commenter on IrishCentral's Facebook page: "The Pope is like Jesus Christ as much as Britney Spears is like the Virgin Mary."

As an IrishCentral blogger, I'm obviously biased, but I found it absolutely remarkable to see the unanmity of opinion on several articles about the Church scandal, as well as its critics and defenders. The sheer number of comments was astounding, and barely one had anything but criticism and rage to vent at the Church hierarchy and those who think the Pope made everything better with a letter.

But as it turns out, Dolan was just a warm-up act for the star comedian, Catholic League president Bill Donohue. Of course, this "league" isn't exactly the NFL; the staff list begins and ends with Donohue, who can devote all his time to it now that he's divorced (Oops! A cheap shot! Sorry!).

Donohue donated several thousand dollars to the newspaper he considers to be the pen of the anti-Christ, The New York Times, to run an ad declaring that gay people and homosexuality -- not child abuse and certainly not any cover-up -- was the real problem.

Donohue is a gifted writer -- of fiction, and this pathetic attempt to shift the blame and find a scapegoat was the work of a veteran actor. It's a classic Donohue move, but it's like a re-run you've seen a few times too often.

The "reviews" on the IrishCentral Facebook page in this case are so severe I can only repeat a few without racing to the confessional: "Complete moron." "Total b---wipe." "Stupid man." "Eejit." "Jaysus, what a f---ing gobshite."

Donohue must have thought he had a sure winner by blaming it on gays. The priests were men, right? Most of the victims were boys, right? There ya go! Fags, right?

Wrong, and everybody saw through it like glass.

As I said in my last blog, pedophilia is a dangerous mental illness that is arguably one of the most-studied in psychiatry. While no truly effective therapy or medication exists to deal with it at present, it is well-established that almost all pedophiles are heterosexual. They are sexually attracted almost exclusively to children, not to adult members of their own sex or the opposite sex. Most were not sexually abused as children -- another common myth.

Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Dr. Frederick Berlin, who runs a treatment program for offenders, says it's flawed to assume that men who molest young boys are gay, and are attracted to adult men.

Interestingly, he defines attraction to children as a separate "orientation" of its own.

As pedophilia relates to priests, psychotherapist Dr. A.W. Richard Sipe argues that the sexual deprivation that occurs in the priesthood could lead a sick individual to turn to children, and that boys are more accessible to priests and other male authority figures than girls. The same is true of prison rape, where male and female offenders are segregated.

Needless to say, Donohue is not a doctor -- although he may need one, for his thinking is delusional and his passion uncontrollable. Facts are facts for most people, but sadly and pathetically, not for him. I'm sure he considers generations of scientific studies of pedophilia to be the work of pedophiles, or socialists, or whomever else is handy as a scapegoat.

People's comments on this comedy act may have given me a brief smile, but there's nothing at all funny, really. Terrible, unspeakable crimes have been committed, with God's most-innocent the helpless victims. They were abused, beaten or raped by a clergy entrusted with their care. Almost as bad, their crimes were routinely covered up by the Church hierarchy -- perhaps even by Benedict -- and the perpetrators were left to prey on others. Church officials swore victims to secrecy and blamed them for their own abuse in acts of psychological torture. The Church used its self-made throne in society to hold police and political leaders at bay.

Until now, thank God.

The day of reckoning has arrived at last, and Our Heavenly Father has opened the dark skies to let His Light pour in. No one can escape God's Final Judgment, and let us pray that those who abused His Dear Children by vile act or vile cover-up, will not escape earthly judgment as well.

God bless you all!

-- Father Tim