National Catholic Fishwrap receives a response

Just for a moment I thought that perhaps that the temperature in Hell was dropping, that the Lord was about to return, the Cubs might have a shot at the Series.  

I saw a piece by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League on the site of the National Catholic Fishwrap‘s … er.. Reporter.

"Great Caesar’s Ghost!" quoth I, thinking that the Reporter might be trying to expand from one sensible writer to two.

Then I recalled the Fishwrap‘s attack on Bill Donohue – in the midst of their subscription drive.

This was Donohue’s reply to the Reporter’s attack.

Let’s have a look at the response with my emphases and comments:

Catholic League president responds to NCR column
May. 13, 2010
By Bill Donohue

Looks like Joe Feuerherd doesn’t like me ("Billy the bully is bad for the church," May 11). Let’s go through his gripes, one by one.

Like so many other left-wing Catholics, Feuerherd thinks I make too much money. My goal in life, actually, is to make as much money as Sr. Carol Keehan, who cleared $963,436 last year as president of the Catholic Health Association. In fact, I would settle for making as much as Sr. Patricia Talone, the VP for Mission Services: she makes $394,092[And Mr. Donohue is not a professed religious.]

Please note, too, that the latest figures show that the Catholic League has amassed over $26 million (not $22 million as reported). Not bad considering that when I took over as president 17 years ago we had $400,000 and were losing upwards of $20,000 a month.  [I don’t think these figures are going to impress the NCR, but they impress me.]

My board of directors and our members hold me accountable, [Conservatives don’t mind being held accountable.  Liberals do, however.] but I couldn’t help but notice that many of those who commented on Feuerherd’s online article wondered why I have not been reined in by the bishops. And I thought you guys were against such censorship.

Hollywood is not run by Chinese Taoists, nor does it make movies endearing to Catholics. As the Forward, a Jewish weekly, said a few years ago, it is merely a "sociological observation" to say that "Jews run Hollywood." Was it wrong?

In the 1990s, some seminarians from the Legionaries of Christ supposedly said that Father Marcial Maciel told them that he had gotten the green light from Pope Pius XII to have sex with them for the purpose of "relief." I mocked this absurd story. Feuerherd evidently believes it. I am delighted to know he does.

The story about the Republican operative who had to resign after Feuerherd broke the story about what happened when he was a Fordham professor is misleading. I put out a statement on the morning of August 19, 2004 based on a story that day in The New York Times. All the Times said was that the professor resigned after charges of sexual harassment were made by a co-ed who got drunk with him one night. The Times also said that it was believed that the source of this outing was the National Catholic Reporter.

The details of what happened, which were much more disturbing than what the Times said, were not published until 1:57 p.m. that day. In other words, Feuerherd is criticizing me for what I said before I learned the whole story. No matter, what was also disturbing was the graphic detail that Feuerherd went into describing the sex acts. He didn’t have to do that, but the fact that he did speaks volumes. [Exactly.  It is possible to report news without adding TMI.]

What is really driving Feuerherd’s anger are my comments to the media regarding the fact that most of the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is the work of homosexual priests. It is. Kevin Cullen, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the priestly sexual abuse scandal in The Boston Globe, summarized the findings of a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice: "Of the 10,667 reported victims [between 1950 and 2002], 81 percent were male, the report said, and more than three-quarters of the victims were post-pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia." Which obviously means this was the work of homosexuals. By the way, the American Pediatric Association defines puberty as beginning at age 10 for boys.

Cullen also interviewed Robert S. Bennett, the Washington lawyer who headed the National Review Board that prepared a report on this issue. After saying that there were many fine homosexual priests, he 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."

If we are to get to the bottom of this problem, we must stop the cover-up and start telling the truth: the link between homosexuality and the molestation of minors is real. In any event, it’s a moot point since practicing homosexuals have been barred from the priesthood, thus resolving the problem. [Perhaps a bit of irony there.  It is true that the the Holy See has directed that active homosexuals may not be enter programs of formation or continue in them.]

Feuerherd needs an editor. He says I have "strange company," citing my affiliation with the Catholic Citizens of Illinois, a group founded by Tom Roeser, a pundit who has roiled Cardinal George. My association is that of a letterhead advisor and my contacts with Mr. Roeser are zilch: I met him once several years ago. In any event, two paragraphs later, Feuerherd makes an unrelated comment deploring "Joe McCarthy’s guilt-by-association tactics." Does he even realize how hypocritical he appears?

These are tough times for struggling Catholic journalists on the left. But not for me. [And it looks like the NCR is sinking.] After four years in the U.S. Air Force, four more as a teacher in Spanish Harlem and 16 years as a professor (including a year as a scholar in residence), I found my dream job. But it is demanding.

I am busy writing daily news releases (often several a day), writing a monthly journal, contributing to an annual report, writing all the fund-raising letters (we don’t need a director of development), offering information and advice to our direct mail agents, preparing a budget, writing newspaper and magazine ads, penning essays and op-eds, granting interviews, teaching part-time at New York University, giving talks around the nation, doing non-stop radio and TV (we don’t need a publicist—they come to me), writing books (my fourth was published last year and I am now working on another), accepting awards, debating my adversaries, writing to the bishops, etc.  [Sounds like he works for a living!]

Finally, it is not true that I take a cab to the network and cable studios. They always send a limo.  [And in NYC that is nothing out of the ordinary, btw.  Furthermore, when I recently did a thing for Fox News they sent a car.  That is simply S.O.P.   They want to make sure the person gets there on time and in good shape.]

[William A. Donohue is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wanda says:

    I’m doing a virtual standing ovation right now for Mr. Donahue! Right on Bill! ‘They always send a limo’. Zing! LOL!

  2. ghlad says:

    Bravissimo, Donohue! Put them in their place, perhaps some of the NC(fishwrap)R readers will sense some of the decency of what Donohue is saying. You never know, weirder things have happened.

    It must be said that it is admirable that they published his response, despite the fact that they probably published it for the purposes of setting up their own response to it.

  3. wanda says:

    Made a first time donation to the Catholic League, adding that it was in response to Mr. Feuerherd’s article in the NCR (fishwrap). Sent a comment to the NCR article and let them know about my donation in response to Mr. F.’s article.

  4. JosephMary says:

    I have also been a contributor to the Catholic League (for some years) and so happy that someone is always at the ready to defend the Catholic Church. For too long our bishops and others have not taken on the job after all.

    Bill Donohue: you rock!

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    Sr. Carol Keehan cleared $963,436 and Sr. Patricia Talone $394,092!!!

    And these women have the audicity to call themselves professed religious not to mention the fact that thay seem to write for the fishwrap and attack the perenial teachings of the Church at any given occasion.

    I think we should have a poll on who you’d rather have praying for you: The Sisters who made their solenm profession on Saturday or these two, on the other hand I think we already know the answer

  6. ron.d says:

    Thanks for sharing, Fr. Z. I have a nice warm feeling inside after reading this. Very satisfying :)

  7. spock says:

    I think I need to support the Catholic League. Tom Roeser has had a talk show on WLS 890 for years which has been very good.

  8. TJerome says:

    You go Bill!!!

  9. robtbrown says:

    Re limousine service: When I was doing consulting work, I always arranged for a limo to pick me up at my apartment to take me to the airport. When I returned to KC, a limo driver was waiting for me at the gate.

    People in my apartment complex though I was a big shot (well . . . maybe). In fact, there was very little difference in price between using a limo and taking a cab.

  10. TJerome says:

    robtbrown, here in Chicago it’s a mere $5 or 10$ difference. Also, they generally know the route so well there are no “accidental” detours and frolics which often occurs with regular cabs and drives up the bill. Of course, the cabbies feign ignorance.

  11. Re: sisters making the big bucks

    To be fair, it’s normal for sisters who get paid to give their entire paycheck to their order, and then be issued a stipend by the order to live off of (if they don’t live in community). So what they get paid may not be the whole story.

  12. medievalist says:

    Some low-level staffer at NCR was probably sacked today for the temerity of allowing Mr Donahue to present a rebuttal…and the paper returns to its regularly scheduled -propaganda- programming.

  13. JonM says:

    That is a great response from Mr. Donahue.

    And yes, while it is my understanding that the aforementioned Sister donate to their communities, the fact remains that the compensation schedule is very, very high. Given the choice of attire amongst many Religious, it would seem that there is a more comfortable lifestyle than other more traditional orders.

Comments are closed.