by David Fortwengler
Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic League. He claims the purpose of his organization is to “safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever they are threatened.”
This report exposes the real motives of those involved with the Catholic League. They are an agenda-driven professional victims group that uses malicious and irrational assaults to smear anyone they feel is not speaking for the best interests of the Catholic Church. Period.
Over the past decade Donohue has repeatedly used his high-decibel speaking voice to dismiss truths about the church sex abuse scandal by denying and misrepresenting the facts, disrespecting the law, ignoring the message, and by calling the messengers Anti-Catholic.
The Catholic League creates their own version of events to minimize decades of gross institutional negligence and thousands of sexual assaults against children as simply the result of bias and prejudice against the Church. Donohue has gone so far as to call for a “Catholic revolt” against “the selective pursuit of priests, and the wholesale denial of their due process rights.” Never mind that there is no selective pursuit of catholic priests or denial of their due process rights, to justify his $400,000 a year salary it is a revolt Donohue is all to willing to lead.
Perhaps no single statement of Donohue’s exemplifies his ten years of pompous mendacity regarding the catholic scandal as the one issued today. Here it is in it’s entirety.
BISHOP FINN DESERVES BETTER
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the controversy over Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn:
The Catholic League will have a lot to say about Bishop Finn and his accusers over the next few weeks. For now, we want to make it clear that we stand by him without reservation. Why? Not because he is a bishop, but because nothing he did deserves the kind of mad reaction against him that is emanating from many quarters. In a short time, we will lay out the details of our support for him. But for now, keep in mind the following:
Many strange photos (crotch-focused) of young girls, fully clothed, were found on the laptop of a priest last December; one showed a girl naked. Though Bishop Finn never saw it, he was told of it. The result? The picture was described to a police officer the next day, and an attorney for the Diocese was shown the photo. It was determined that the photo, while disturbing, did not constitute child pornography. The priest learns that they’re on to him; he attempts suicide; he almost dies; he recovers; he is sent for treatment; he is not considered to be a pedophile, but is said to be suffering from depression; he is then placed in a spot away from children; he is subjected to restrictions. After violating the restrictions, the cops are called; more damaging photos are then found.
This account is quite different from what is being bandied about in the media. To take one example, there is an editorial in today’s New York Times saying that Bishop Finn “knew of the photos last December but did not turn them over to the police until May.” This makes it sound as if Finn knew about hundreds of photos of child pornography and he did nothing about it. In fact, there was one photo, that was not sexual in nature, that was found. Moreover, a police officer and an attorney were notified immediately. Later, after the priest proved to be recalcitrant, the police were contacted.
As I said, we will have a lot more to say about this issue. Stay tuned.”
My Response-The Facts
The “mad reaction” against Finn is a criminal indictment for failing to report suspected child abuse, something Finn is required to do under law, and what he has repeatedly promised he would do. Donohue’s support for Finn, without reservation, is based on his convoluted interpretation of the facts. Donohue claims Finn, after consultation with the diocesan attorney and a police officer was told Ratigan’s portfolio did not constitute child pornography. The fact is that the police officer was not consulted in an official police capacity and was not shown or told about everything that was known by the diocese. He was informally consulted as a lay member of the diocese review board. We do not know what the attorney was told.
The fact is that Ratigan’s computer contained an image of a young minor child’s naked vagina taken by Ratigan! We do not know what testimony and evidence was presented to the grand jury which indicted Finn and the diocese, but how could a reasonable person not consider that photo suspicion of child abuse? The technician that discovered the photos on Ratigan’s computer was sufficiently concerned to turn them over to the diocese, and Finn himself was suspicious enough he felt the need to get two other opinions. To me, that in and of itself, shows Finn broke the law by failing to notify authorities and turning over the evidence in his possession.
As evidence of a “mad reaction” against Finn, Donohue complains a NY Times article stated, “Finn knew of the photos last December but did not turn them over to the police until May.” Donohue says this makes it sound as if Finn knew about hundreds of photos of child pornography and he did nothing about it. Well, in December Finn did know about Ratigan’s computer portfolio and did not turn them over to police until May. There is nothing else to inferred in that statement.
Our system of justice insures that Finn is innocent is until proven guilty and none of his civil rights are being denied. He will have the best legal representation the parishioners of Kansas City can afford. Bishop Finn deserves no better than that.
I will have a lot more to say about this issue. Stay tuned.