By David Fortwengler
On July 10th Bill Donohue, president of the pro Catholic bishop group the Catholic League, issued another of his infamous diatribes in a news release. Titled “SNAP Disgraces Itself Again” bombastic Bill was responding to a paid advertisement SNAP ran in the NY Times.
The high-decibel speaking Donohue’s main complaint is that SNAP didn’t mention in its ad the “positive reforms” made by U.S. bishops over the last decade. What Donohue ignores is the “reforms” made since 2002 are in spite of the bishops, not because of them. The bishops were forced by societies outrage at their illegal and immoral behavior that was uncovered in investigations by media, government, and civil lawyers.
I believe the most important reform the church has made is background checks and training about child sex abuse for its volunteers. I am grateful for these changes but make no mistake, catholic parishioners are not to blame for the scandal. My parents weren’t aware a known pedophile was assigned to our parish in charge of the altar boys, the diocese and the bishop were.
Donohue’s organization is a professional bishop excuser group. Not professional as in competent, professional as in highly paid to spew nonsense. When the Catholic League claims the “scandal” ended in the mid-eighties he ignores the definition of scandal.
Scandal - Damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior; disgrace.
Scandal is caused by the public disclosure of wrongdoing, it is not defined by when the wrongdoing occurred. At what point was Donohue aware that Cardinals Krol and Bevilaqua ordered employees like Monsignor Lynn to destroy documents, intimidate and lie to victims, lie to police, and reassign priests known to have abused children to new feeding grounds? I learned about it last month when Monsignor Lynn’s testified at his trial in Philadelphia. Sounds like a current scandal to me.
Don’t let Donohue’s news release fool you. While he purports the real agenda of SNAP is to sunder the Catholic Church, his real objective is to dismiss legitimate criticism of his bishop friends as Church-bashing.