Bill Donahue is at it again, or should I say still at it. Cardinal Dolan’s top troll is once again disfiguring the truth to tell the sad tale of the wealthiest and most influential institution the world has ever seen being mistreated by the greedy and unscrupulous survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Abuse that was known about, and to this day is being kept hidden by the elite hierarchy of the rich and powerful Roman Catholic Church, protecting themselves rather than our children.
Dr. Donahue’s Catholic League website is his preferred platform for fact-distorting attack pieces where he is “Protecting and Defending the Catholic Church” as if an organization with unprecedented wealth and power would need him as their champion. He is such a brave warrior on the church’s behalf that he won’t even allow comments or responses to his rants on his own website, yet always invites his readers to follow a link and leave opinions for whatever his current target happens to be. The mark of a truly courageous man.
One of his favorite targets of late is the Child Victims Act (“CVA”). As Dr. Donahue would have us believe, it is extremely unfair that the Catholic Church would be held accountable for destroying the lives of countless children over (let’s just say) the past 75 years or so. The argument seems to be that because the church has used its influence for decades to get away with shielding sexual predators and providing them with an endless parade of new hunting grounds, they should not be held responsible for it now. After all, they weren’t the only ones doing it, they have promised to never do it again and are doing a much better job of policing themselves than ever before.
His latest piece on the CVA takes a different form than usual. It is written to appear more scholarly, in a whitepaper-ish format, complete with cited references. Anyone bothering to look at these references, however, will see their self-endorsing circular nature. Most of them either refer to his own previous writing or are cherrypicked from his fellow church apologists to agree with his chosen conclusions.
He claims the Church supports justice for victims as long as it doesn’t encroach upon the rights of the accused. Fair enough. But then he goes on to define the “rights” of the accused as their not having to defend themselves. Never does he mention that the burden of proof is on the accuser, not on the accused. Nor does he acknowledge that prosecuting a case without sufficient evidence is very difficult, whereas defending against one is relatively easy.
Dr. Donahue again brings up the long-discreditedclaim that sex abuse lawsuits would mean the end of Catholic charity, which has not been true anywhere, mainly because the local, state, and federal governments support Catholic Charities to the tune of 70-80 percent. And of course, he does not mention that settlements are covered by the insurance for clergy abuse that the Archdiocese has had for decades. And the flood of false allegations which opponents of the CVA predict, have not materialized anywhere that similar legislative reforms have been enacted.
In one state where a window like that proposed by the CVA became law, more than 400 currently active sexual predators were identified who would have otherwise been able to continue to prey on vulnerable children in the shadows, while no false claims made it to trial. Since the Catholic Church is responsible for less than 10% of the sexual abuse of minors, how does promoting their own interests reconcile with blocking justice for the other 90% plus of victims? How is this selfish and self-protective conduct befitting of any religious organization, much less the single most powerful one ever built?
Dr. Donahue and those he “defends” need to remember that morality, good works and charity did not begin with the creation of the Catholic Church, nor were they spread by the Holy Roman Empire. It always was and will continue to be the other way around. The principles of right over might, sharing with those less fortunate and seeking forgiveness for one’s transgressions are what we should be defending, not the power and glory of the men who would have us believe it all depends on them.
Concerning the defense of what is right, Dr. Donahue, you are out of your league!