Today's New York Times includes a full-page ad from Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Donohue addresses the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal, and blames gay men and a hostile media for distorting the truth and attacking the church. The full text of the ad, a letter from Donohue entitled "Straight Talk and the Catholic Church," follows:

When the Boston Globe exposed massive wrongdoing in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002, Catholics were understandably angry. And when more horror stories surfaced elsewhere, we were furious. But now our anger is turning on those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse. That some are exploiting this issue for ideological and financial profit seems plain.

Every time a new wave of accusations surfaces in one diocese, not coincidentally we see a spike in accusations in other dioceses. What is not often reported is that the vast majority of new accusations extend back decades. For example, for the first quarter of this year, 80 percent of the cases of alleged abuse involve incidences that occurred before 2000.

In March, an 80 year-old man came forward in St. Louis claiming he was abused 70 years ago by a priest who has been dead for a half century. This is not an anomaly: the same phenomenon has happened in other dioceses. Unfortunately, too often bishops have been quick to settle, thus inspiring more claims. When $225,000 is dished out to a Michigan man who claims he was abused in the 1950s by a priest who died in 1983—and the diocese admits the accusation is unsubstantiated—it encourages fraud.

A common belief, fostered by the media, is that there is a widespread sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church today. The evidence is to the contrary: In 2004, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued its landmark study and found that most of the abuse occurred during the heyday of the sexual revolution, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. What we are hearing about today are almost all old cases. To wit: from 2005 to 2009, the average number of new credible accusations made against over 40,000 priests was 8.6. This is a tribute to the reform efforts that have taken place: 5 million children and 2 million adults have gone through a safe environment program. Indeed, there is no religious, or secular, institution that can match this record, either in terms of the low rate of abuse or the extensiveness of a training program.

Penn State professor Philip Jenkins has studied this problem for years. After looking at the John Jay data, which studied priestly sexual abuse from 1950-2002, he found that “of the 4,392 accused priests, almost 56 percent faced only one misconduct allegation, and at least some of these would certainly vanish under detailed scrutiny.” Moreover, Jenkins wrote that “Out of 100,000 priests active in the U.S. in this half-century, a cadre of just 149 individuals—one priest out of every 750—accounted for over a quarter of all allegations of clergy abuse.” In other words, almost all priests have never had anything to do with sexual molestation.

The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight—they weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe correctly said of the John Jay report that “more than three-quarters of the victims were post pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.” In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

When the National Review Board, a group of notable Catholics, issued its study in 2004, the team’s chief, attorney Robert S. Bennett, said that “any evaluation of the causes and context of the current crisis must be cognizant of the fact that more than 80 percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.” One of the members, Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins, has said that “This behavior was homosexual predation on American Catholic youth, yet it’s not being discussed.” By the way, the figures after 2004 haven’t changed—eight in ten cases involve homosexuality. Worldwide, the Vatican estimates that 60 percent of the cases are same-sex, 30 percent are heterosexual and 10 percent involve pedophilia.

Though the data belie the conventional wisdom, it’s hard to break stereotypes. The assault on priests as child abusers has become a staple in the arsenal of Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Denis Leary, George Lopez, “The View” panelists, and others. So it is hardly surprising to learn that a stranger approached New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan at the Denver airport last month saying, “I can’t look at you or any other priest without thinking of a sexual abuser.” Indeed, most priests I know do not dress in priestly garb when traveling—they’ve had to deal with similar instances.

Why are priests being singled out when the sexual abuse of minors among other segments of the population is on-going today? According to Virginia Commonwealth University professor Charol Shakeshaft, the nation’s leading education expert on this issue, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” We know from the work of Jenkins, and others, that there is no reason to believe that the rate of abuse is higher among Catholic priests than among the clergy of other religions. Moreover, there has been a slew of stories over the past few years detailing the extent of this problem in the Orthodox Jewish community; some rabbis still insist that sexual abuse cases should be handled internally. No wonder Jenkins maintains, “As a result of the furious investigations of the past decades, and particularly the John Jay study, the U.S. Catholic clergy are now the only major group on the planet that has ever been subjected to such a detailed examination of abuse complaints, using internal evidence that could not have come to light in any other way.”  

It would be nice if we could all get on the same page regarding the proper remedies. But just three months ago, Federal District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein took a “compassionate” view toward a man found guilty of collecting thousands of explicit pictures of children, as young as three, that he downloaded from a child porn website. Weinstein slammed existing legal penalties for the crime, saying, “We’re destroying lives unnecessarily. At the most, they should be receiving treatment and supervision.”

How often has the Church been ripped for following the advice of psychiatrists who thought they could “fix” molesters? To be sure, that was the zeitgeist several decades ago, as virtually every institution and profession can testify. Indeed, the punitive approach so favored today would have been cause for condemnation at that time had it been followed. Interestingly, a report on this situation in Ireland correctly concluded that had more bishops followed canon law, instead of seeking a more “compassionate” strategy, much of the problem could have been avoided.

The real damage done by the therapeutic approach is that it fostered the phenomenon of reassigning priests after they were treated. The exact same thing happened in the teaching profession. Indeed, moving treated teachers to new school districts is so common that it is called “passing the trash.” While moving treated priests to new parishes is no longer tolerated, the New York Times found that the practice of moving abusers around who work in New York’s state-run homes is commonplace.

Mandatory reporting of sexual crimes is not uniform in law or practice. In New York State, several attempts to blanket the clergy and other professionals have been met with resistance. Not by the bishops—but by Family Planning Advocates (the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Planned Parenthood counselors routinely learn about cases of statutory rape; mandatory reporting would obviously work against their clients’ interests. Even where mandatory reporting is law, such as in the state-run homes, it is seldom followed (more than 95 percent of the time the authorities are not contacted).

Calls for suspending the statute of limitations have regularly been made. But even if one sets aside the fundamental due process reasons why such laws exist, what is most disturbing about this issue is that they almost never apply to public employees. Unless explicitly stated, laws that revise the statute of limitations leave untouched those in education: they are protected by “sovereign immunity,” making transparent what the real goal is—“getting the priests.” And when proposed changes apply to teachers, in every state where this has happened, teachers’ unions and school superintendents have organized to register their objections. Why, then, should bishops who protest these revisions be criticized for doing so?

When the bishops met in Dallas in 2002 to consider reforms, panic gripped the conference. If there was one cleric who saw what the rush to judgment would do to the rights of priests it was the late Cardinal Avery Dulles. Sadly, events have proven him right. Quite frankly, it is more acceptable in our society today to defend the rights of Gitmo detainees than Catholic priests.

Grand juries are launched with the specific directive of investigating “sexual abuse of minors by individuals associated with religious organizations and denominations,” but then quickly evolve into the single-minded pursuit of priests; in Philadelphia, those who initially reviewed the accusations weren’t even called to testify. The unseemly practice of attorneys searching for new “victims” in bars and prisons is a disgrace. Just as sick is the sight of attorneys advertising for alleged victims of priests, but refusing to represent those abused by others. It has gotten so bad that dioceses are now being sued for “wrongful death” in cases where an alleged victim kills himself after his accusation was found wanting. And when AP runs a story on the “scandal” of allowing ex-priests to go unmonitored—as if someone is monitoring non-priest abusers—the bias shines through.

There is a huge difference between an accusation, a credible accusation, a substantiated accusation and a finding of guilt. But not when it applies to priests. I once had a female reporter lambaste me in my office when I expressed my opposition to proposals calling for all dioceses to publish the names of accused priests. I then asked her for her boss’ name and phone number. Startled, she asked why. “Because I want to press charges against you for sexually harassing me,” I intoned, “and then I want to see your name posted on your employer’s website.” She got the point.

BishopAccountabilty.org is accessed by reporters and lawyers for information on priestly sexual abuse, though the standards it uses cannot pass the smell test. It admits that the database “is based solely on allegations reported publicly” and that it “does not confirm the veracity of any actual allegation.” Swell. Furthermore, it says that “If an individual is ‘cleared’ or ‘exonerated’ by an internal church investigation and/or a diocesan review board decision, the individual remains in the database.” Ditto for cases where a priest faces an allegation for an act which occurred after he left the Catholic Church; even lawsuits against the dead are listed. There is no other group in the U.S. which is subjected to such gross unfairness. No wonder wildly exaggerated claims have been made based off of such collected “evidence.”

Perhaps no reform made in Dallas has proven to be more intrinsically dangerous than demands for “zero tolerance.” It all sounds so macho, but priests on the ground know first-hand what it means. Obviously, there should be no wiggle room in the most serious cases, but when priests are sued for “emotional” abuse, or violating “boundary issues,” the door is left wide open for exploitation. Dulles got it right when he said that “A priest who uttered an inappropriate word or made a single imprudent gesture is treated in the same way as a serial rapist.” Even worse, we now have the specter of a priest being suspended because a woman heard a kid in a playground call him a pedophile; she promptly called the cops. Joe Maher, president of Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a group that monitors the incidence of falsely accused priests, says that “at least a thousand priests…have been removed and remain out of public ministry because of unproven accusations.”

Because the Catholic Church is often criticized for not following a “zero tolerance” policy, the Catholic League did some investigation of its own. Here’s what we found. Almost every media outlet, teachers’ union and religious organization we examined does not have a “zero tolerance” policy in place for sexual misconduct (or any other offense). The few that do make no mention of mandatory reporting.
These organizations are not wrong for not having the same kind of policy that the Catholic Church has. The New York Times seems to understand this matter when applied to schools. In an editorial titled, “The Trouble With ‘Zero Tolerance,’” it noted that schools which have adopted these policies have created conditions where children are being “arrested for profanity, talking back, shoving matches and other behavior that would once have been resolved with detention or meetings with the students’ parents.” The NYCLU agreed saying, “De facto zero tolerance causes wrongful arrests, searches and suspensions of students in too many of the city’s neediest schools.” Yet as recently as April 2, the Times issued another editorial insisting the bishops follow this flawed policy.

No amount of reform will ever satisfy some. Attorneys like Jeffrey Anderson, and his well-greased friends at SNAP, a professional victims’ group, are dogmatic in their convictions; their hatred of the Catholic Church is palpable. Similarly, when others tell the bishops we’re going to “sue the s*** out of you,” and are informed that the goal is to put an “out of business” sign in front of every parish, school and charitable center, it is evident that the Church needs to fight back with greater vigor.

What accounts for the relentless attacks on the Church? Let’s face it: if its teachings were pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and pro-women clergy, the dogs would have been called off years ago.

The British atheist Richard Dawkins is no fan of Catholicism. But he is honest enough to say that the Catholic Church “has been unfairly demonized over the issue, especially in Ireland and America.” Now if Dawkins gets it, why can’t others?

Bill Donohue
President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

 

Comments

Anonymous | 4/16/2011 - 3:19pm
The report stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse during this period:

    Around 81 percent of these victims were MALE.
    22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.


Joseph O'Leary | 4/14/2011 - 12:04am

"73% of abused were children NOT older adolescents. Carolyn Disco has it all in her links.. read em and weep. "

Someone else said that 47% were NOT older adolescents, according to the Jay report.

Donohue says that less than 25% is the number, again citing the Jay report.

With such confusion about the basic facts, how can a sensible discussion take place? The emotive tone of SNAP's reply does not help at all.


Robert Homan | 4/12/2011 - 11:59am
"





As a Catholic, I have been horrified by the virulence and hatred that Bill Donohue spouts.  He doesn't talk-he yells and is intractable in his beliefs that the Catholic church is a whipping boy by all the other (sic) evil churches and other religions in the USA.  



"

Whatever he's said in the past, I don't really get any virulence or vitriol in this letter. It's obviously a polemic, but it gets the point across well, I think.

"and blames gay men and a hostile media for distorting the truth and attacking the church."

Where does it blame gay men? If anything it blames the homosexual urges of the abusers, which isn't saying much.
Joan David | 4/12/2011 - 11:43am
As a Catholic, I have been horrified by the virulence and hatred that Bill Donohue spouts.  He doesn't talk-he yells and is intractable in his beliefs that the Catholic church is a whipping boy by all the other (sic) evil churches and other religions in the USA.  

I also wonder where he gets his money for his obnoxious ads.  I have seen him on EWTN, which is an extremely conservative Catholic network and he doesn't tone down his verbal abuse - even while speaking to obviously sympathetic Catholic hosts.  

I would never give such a hateful person the time of day - much less my money.  I am a senior and poor but I still put money in the collection basket at Mass because I know that the church supports those souls who are even poorer than me.

Joan David
Joan David | 4/12/2011 - 11:39am
As a Catholic, I have been horrified by the virulence and hatred that Bill Donohue spouts.  He doesn't talk-he yells and is intractable in his beliefs that the Catholic church is a whipping boy by all the other (sic) evil churches and other religions in the USA.  

I also wonder where he gets his money for his obnoxious ads.  I have seen him on EWTN, which is an extremely conservative Catholic network and he doesn't tone down his verbal abuse - even while speaking to obviously sympathetic Catholic hosts.  

I would never give such a hateful person the time of day - much less my money.  I am a senior and poor but I still put money in the collection basket at Mass because I know that the church supports those souls who are even poorer than me.

 
ROBERT NUNZ MR | 4/12/2011 - 10:46am
1) Contrat the letter with Abp. Martin's speech at Marquette. no attack on homosexuals or "greasy" lawyers there, buta call for plain truth as a bginning to find justice.
2)I think it;s absurd for one to put more"trust in canon law" - a human construct to preserve the beauracracy of the church - which has badly mangled the issue of sex abuse.
3) An excellent question about funding and makeup of the Ctholic league.
Who are on the board and what is there annual budget?
CHARLES NORMAN OSFS REV | 4/12/2011 - 9:34am
Bill D makes some salient points.  I regret he continues to correlate as cause and  effect homosexual orientation of a percentage of priests with abuse.  Everyone knows that gay men abuse at a rate no different from the rest of society.  Bill just can't grasp this fact and integrate it into his serious concerns.  Something else is at play.  What might it be?  For one, all acts by men with men are not due to homosexual orientation. Prisons are a stellar illustration.  Power and access provide another factor.  It is hihgly debatable whether human beings are either or, heterosexual or homosexual.  Kinsey's studies are credible as an explanation.  Finally, arrested sexual development may have occurred among many in formation when youths were taken out of normal socialization and shut away in seminaries where film, newspapers, magazines, and all social contact with women were severly limited or non existent.  The true psychological age of many abusers is 16, 17, and 18.  And do consider, what percentage of abused youth were themselvles dealling with some degree of homosexual attraction.  Nothing above is an attempt to minimize and excuse the evil wrought by sexual abuse.  But unless we truly understand the problem, there will be neither address nor justice.
Bill Mazzella | 4/11/2011 - 10:24pm
It shows how  much trouble the bishops are in when a person like Tom Rooney is angry at them. He followed all their recommendations and what he got was is to learn that the reputation of the bishops is more important than the good of the people. The bishops have been dominators for centuries, Tom. It took the sex abuse cover-up for people to see their behavior so clearly. At one time they were the First Estate in France where they lived sumptuously while watching the people starve. The have been into domination for centuries. At one time they were protected by kings and dictators. In modern times they have relied on putting fear into the faithful for opposing the hierarchy. People of the church, not only have the right to oppose bishops who do not live the gospel. They have a duty to challenge them. Donohue is a hired hand. He is hired to protect reputations and hierarchical money. Not to live and follow the gospel.
Molly Roach | 4/11/2011 - 8:28pm
I wonder who Bill Donahue gets his money from.  Somebody who wishes to be hidden has a horse in this race.  I wonder who it is.
david power | 4/11/2011 - 4:45pm
@David Smith,

Good question David.The Irish bishops have played every card in the deck and already pulled 5 jokers. "Compassion"?.What motivated this compassion?Truly a person must ask themselves this question and not sidestep it.The many victims in Ireland never seem to speak about this compassion .Ungrateful bunch! Canon Law would have required the bishops  going to the police with anything uttered outside the confessional.They did not. Like Cardinal Law and Mahoney they simply changed the glasses and served the same spiked drinks to new victims.This was the compassion they were speaking of.The gamble was that the victims would be too weak to say anything.Or that they would die off.That seems to have been Pope Wojtyla's gamble.Keep quite and it will pass.Throw out a few more Saints that'll keep em quiet.
Canon Law had become the worst enemy of the Church.The American constitution must surely at times thwart the President.  
 Pope Benedict in his letter to the Irish was forcedto concede that the motivating factor of the hush-up was to protect the Church or institution.Spinning it any other way is "compound sin".
I know it was not an easy time and there were many difficult decisions at the time but for a hierarchy that traces almost all lay acts back to the garden of Eden they seem to have a flow of excuses to deal with their own acts. Canon Law was left aside for a less than holy reason is my argument. 
  
ed gleason | 4/11/2011 - 4:12pm
I guess Mr Cosgrove, by posting DaneGeld,  takes away from the $2billion+ Church payouts for the abuse crisis , that it was a waste of time, and "For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that pays it is lost!'.
When the bishops paid, they decided , it's not our money so why not pay instead of trying to defend ourselves from the un-defensible. Wrong poem.

  
JIM MCCREA | 4/11/2011 - 4:08pm
David:  this entire story about Maciel abusing his sons is a scam.  Note that Gonzalez is represented by that spawn of Satan, Jeffrey Anderson!  That says it all.  Just ask Rich Boy Donahue about scamming for money.

) : > ))
ed gleason | 4/11/2011 - 2:49pm
Donahue says he threatened false charges of sexual harassment to make a point....nice.. His 'expert' is  Philip Jenkins a professor of opinions and no facts, who is an both Welsh and Episcopalian..nice? Let's nominate him for the Defender of the Faith ..like the other Brit..  
From whence does Donahue get his $400k salary and NYT ad money?  
Jerry Slevin | 4/11/2011 - 2:21pm
GET REAL BILL!         Once again, selective disclosure, half truths and questionable statistics are used as a smokescreen for the truth. Zero tolerance=zero credibility, as Rigali's Philly debacle shows again. The policy, in effect, exempts bishops and is merely a PR figleaf. To date, neither Rigali's protege, Dolan, nor any other bishops, have even dared to publicly speak about Philly. Instead, they roll out their pugnacious interlocuter to change the subject  once again with a paid ad that is not subject to review or questions. Why doesn't Bill, Rigali and/or Dolan just have a real press conference? What are they afraid of? In a few days, Irish Judge Murphy's Cloyne (Cork) report through 2009 will be out. The Irish Business Journal yesterday said it will detail abuse cases even worse than in Murphy's  horrific Dublin report. Cloyne was run by Bishop John Magee, Wojtyla's former personal secretary. He served for almost 20 years with Rigali on the Roman Curia. That is where they both learned the monarchical style of secrecy and unaccountability. Bill's NY Times ad would be fine if facts in plain sight to American Catholics didn't constantly contradict him. Nothing of real significance has apparently been learned by the bishops in the 25 years since the rape of children by priests first became public. Sadly, it is going to take the criminal conviction of some in the hierarchy to get the bishops to really act. The wheels of justice are inexorably rolling in Philly and likely will continue rolling to Rome. Indeed, the International Criminal Court prosecutor is now accepting evidence related to criminal child abuse cover-up charges filed against the pope in February by two German lawyers. So Bill will have plenty to do for the foreseeable future.  
Stephen SCHEWE | 4/11/2011 - 1:38pm
I share Donahue's concern about using the same standards of due process, statute of limitations, and mandatory reporting for abuse accusations about priests and non-priests.  Let's hope that his advocacy leads to more aggressive policing and prosecution of non-priest abusers, and not a coordinated communications campaign advocating a "reform of the reform" of the 2002 Dallas norms.
Anonymous | 4/11/2011 - 12:25pm
This poem by Kipling has some applicability here.

Danegeld

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: -
'We invaded you last night-we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.'

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: -
'Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.'
 
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, 
You will find it better policy to say: -

'We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
 No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!'
Paul Snatchko | 4/12/2011 - 2:03pm

I want to associate myself with Thomas Rooney's on-point comment above.  He echoed my feelings regarding this NYT ad.

In particular, I strongly agree with these words of Mr. Rooney:

'' ... To us in the pews, especially those of us with children, the age of the victims doesn’t matter.   The degree of abuse (one-time fondling versus serial rape) doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if the abuse was “consensual”, as if such a thing could exist.  It doesn’t matter that “this happens in other churches”, as if that is supposed to make a difference to us.  And most of us could care less if the abuser's orerientation is homosexual or otherwise.  The legal hairsplitting has to end. ... ''

Carolyn Disco | 4/12/2011 - 1:26pm
Donohue's stunts are designed to boost his profile on TV news talk shows, that's all. He knows his audience and trades off popular myths to stir up passions with his bullying approach.

It is frankly not worth the time and effort to rebut him point by point with sound research. Because the truth is not the point; distorted polemic is.

One sample, re: the public school teachers comparison, trotted out by Donohue's friend, Dolan, in this quote:

''In my home town of New York City alone, experts say the rate of sexual abuse among public school teachers is ten times higher than that of priests, and these abusers just get transferred around.'' 

Trinity College Prof Mark Silk notes @ Spiritual Politics:
“That's a striking statistical rebuttal, but let's just say that it doesn't bear up well under scrutiny. According to the archdiocese, it's based on a report that found 78 substantiated abuse cases by New York teachers in 2009, and 73 such cases last year. Did Dolan mean that there have only been seven or eight substantiated abuse cases by priests over the past couple of years? 

There are almost 50 times as many public school teachers in New York City as there arepriests in the New York archdiocese. If ''cases'' refers to abusers, then on a pro rata basis 75 public school cases would be the equivalent of 1.5 priest abuse cases; one-tenth the rate would be .15 per year-i.e. almost none. Is Dolan saying that there have been no substantiated cases of priest abuse over the past two years? If there were seven or eight per year, that would in fact be five times the rate of sexual abuse among school teachers.” http://www.spiritual-politics.org/
Moreover, there are 3.1 million public school teachers in the nation, versus 41,000 diocesan and religious order priests. There’s plenty of room to fudge such numbers. Abuse anywhere is to be countered aggressively, but I’d rather deal with the public disclosure and accountability rules of public school systems than chanceries.
Bill Freeman | 4/12/2011 - 1:23pm
This is typical of Donohue and his ilk.  Talk about not getting it. The ''letter'' is terribly written and a string of non-sequiturs.  Also, provide reverences for your outlandish claims.  Forever the victim!  And the spurious connection between the rape of children and adolescents and homosexuality is nothing short of knee-jerk prejudice.  Even the Pope - the Pope mind you (hardly pro-gay) - stated there is no connection between the two.  This is more dribble from a shill of the Roman church.  Shameful!

ed gleason | 4/12/2011 - 1:23pm
The one positive thing about the Catholic League and Donahue is that in only preaching to a narrow choir/donors they are wasting their resources and thereby not putting their money where it really could do harm. Maybe raising Donahue's salary to the half million mark would be a plan. As a single man he needs all the money he can get, to be attractive. .
david power | 4/11/2011 - 3:37pm
Bill is right.If people had put more trust in Canon Law and less in other means of resolving these issues things would have been a lot better.Canon Law is above human whims and is our surest guide to justice. 
If say 8 or 9 grown men had claimed that a priest had raped them as young men and gone to the Church authorities ,it would have been pored over and nothing or nobody would have stopped the wheels of justice from turning.Well,almost nobody or nothing.If you had a defendant called Maciel and his bestest buddy in Peter's  seat it may linger on a shelf while the victims suffer on.
Apart from this I dont think there is a single example of Canon Law not working a treat.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoMGws-bc7A

I am convinced that all of these well-greased lawyers are working for the Commander-in-Chief.They may not know it but God is taking good from Evil , He has his work cut ou to do the same with the Bishops and Donahue. 
Thomas Rooney | 4/13/2011 - 7:21pm
@Maria - As the father of 2 boys (10 and 13 years old), could you please explain what difference it should make to me - or them-  whether a priest who might abuse them is gay or not?

Speaking for myself, I would only see the extent of the damage done to my children.  Regardless of the orientation, I would want the abuser punished severely.  AND I WOULD WANT THE PERSON OR PEOPLE WHO ALLOWED A SEXUAL PREDATOR  ACCESS TO MY CHILDREN TO ANSWER FOR IT.  The hierarchy of our Church, with very few exceptions, HAS NOT DONE THIS. 
Anonymous | 4/13/2011 - 7:00pm
The study listed the main characteristics of the sex abuse incidents reported. These included:
- An overwhelming majority of the victims, 81 percent, were males. The most vulnerable were boys aged 11 to 14.
No matter how you want to spin it, Ed, the facts are the facts.
Anonymous | 4/13/2011 - 6:55pm
Ed: The Voice of the "Faithful" and Carolyn Disco have their own agenda.
ed gleason | 4/13/2011 - 12:37pm
Joe O' 
Donahue's points are lies/distortions, so they do not rise to 'deserve discussion'.
73% of abused were children NOT older adolescents. Carolyn Disco has it all in her links.. read em and weep.  
Joseph O'Leary | 4/13/2011 - 5:22am
Donohue makes one good point: there is a great difference in gravity between child rape and carry-on between a man and an older adolescent. Indeed, several other points he makes deserve rather more discussion and rather less knee-jerk condemnation.
Carolyn Disco | 4/12/2011 - 8:23pm
Please read two studies I did that reveal the culture of mendacity bishops represent.

1- Comparing contemporaneous USCCB audits to independent audits by the NH Attorney General's office, titled ''The bishops claim one thing, the state finds something very different...'' 

http://www.snapnetwork.org/State%20audit%20comparisons-no%20bk%20quote%204-1-08-1.htm 

2- Comparing statements by Bishops John McCormack and Francis Christian in response to a comprehensive investigation of sexual abuse in the church by the AG's office. 

This investigation was the source of charges of child endangerment and perjury that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement, provided McCormack released 9,000 documents and accepted state oversight of the Diocese's implementation of its abuse policy.

http://votf.org/Survivor_Support/truth_list.html

 
Dale Rodrigue | 4/12/2011 - 6:03pm
Maureen Dowd of the NYT will possibly respond, chew him up and spit him out.

To use a quote from Bill the bully, one he used against VOTF:

Hey Bill, when Maureen gets a hold of you ''you're toast''!
Carolyn Disco | 4/12/2011 - 5:19pm
Yes, Tom Rooney's letter is very impressive and I too associate with much he said. He knows the anguish, but like most Catholics is sadly misinformed about the facts.

Roomey writes, ''Most dioceses in the United States have implemented the specifics of the 2002 USCCB Dallas Charter well to address past abuse and prevent further abuse.'' 

No, they have not. Even the auditor himself described his work as ''sort of an audit'' that is more like a ''program review.'' The discrepancies between what the USCCB audits reveal and the DA's grand jury found are monumental. The audits were nothing beyond self-reports full of holes, because ''auditors'' were not allowed to see priest personnel files or confidential materials.

The recently released Phila grand jury report found dozens of accused priests still in ministry, and Rigali only acted after a searing indictment of his practices; after the fact, he removed 29 priests he had earlier kept active. Yet, Phila is judged fully compliant with the Charter in the USCCB national report released yesterday.

Today's Phila Inquirer:
''So many priests removed from ministry (And they have NOT been truthful.)
''Robert Bennett, a Washington lawyer who served on the bishops' first advisory board for handling sex-abuse issues, said Monday that he did not think dioceses' self-reporting was effective.
''I don't know what the alternative would be,'' Bennett said, ''but you probably need somebody outside the church apparatus monitoring the process.''...
Bennett did ''not think Philadelphia was an anomaly'' in failing to adequately investigate abuse charges against its priests.
''These things are pretty universal,'' he said.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/119674059.html