In the course of a long diatribe against Rolling Stone for publishing an article on the seamy sex scandal currently unfolding in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the Catholic League's Bill Donohue takes time to side swipe Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and Chris Matthews of MSNBC for their previous coverage of church scandals.

He also crosses the line attacking one of the victims of the child sexual abuse.

The Rolling Stone article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely is a well researched honest assessment of one of the most damaging scandals to hit the Catholic Church in the US.

It concerns the shenanigans in Philadelphia where pedophile priests were moved around different parishes in order to protect the archdiocese against sexual abuse claims.

It is especially notable in one respect of course that the the monsignor who allegedly did most of the covering-up is named in the indictment. That is the first time that the alleged diocesan enabler of abuse has been fingered.

Monsignor William Lynn has already admitted he lied in grand jury testimony he gave when covering up for priests when victims families questioned him.

In other words he is guilty as charged.

Donohue as usual ignores the cover-up and employs his favorite McCarthyite tactic of smearing those who uncovered the horrific crimes.

But he goes further and smears the victim too.

He writes "Those who want to stick it to the Catholic Church like to offer a graphic depiction of the alleged sex acts that priests reportedly engaged in with their victims. Catholics like Maureen Dowd and Chris Matthews have played this card with precision, but they are no match for Erdely.

"She treats the Rolling Stone readers to some of the most salacious renderings imaginable, drawing from the grand jury testimony of "Billy," a man who claims he was worked over by two priests and one lay teacher, beginning when he was 10.

Billy of course gets smeared in the following paragraphs as well. I won't even dignify what Donahue wrote by reprinting it.

It is time for the church,who are clearly approving of Donohue's attacks to rein him in.

He is doing their cause no justice smearing victims and launching vicious attacks on journalists who are doing their job uncovering corruption and abuse in the Catholic Church.

One can understand the church defending its position but when its main mouth piece is smearing child victims of clerical sex abuse it is surely time to put a stop to it.

The church does not need inquisitors like Donohue and his poison pen.

It needs men like Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who confronts the allegations heads on, responds with generosity and genuine compassion for victims and tries to move on.

The American church could learn much from him.