I’m sensing a theme! The Catholic League reacts to TIME.

From The Catholic League:


“Having Standard & Poor’s downgrade the creditworthiness of the U.S., and warn the country about further downgrades, is a little like having the Catholic Church lecture Scout leaders on the proper behavior toward boys.”

The above quote was the first sentence in an article published online today at the curiouscapitalist blog by Bill Saporito, assistant managing editor at Time; it was titled, “Why Congress and S&P Deserve Each Other.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

This vicious, and wholly gratuitous, smear of the entire Catholic Church demands an apology. Vicious analogies citing other demographic groups—on this same subject—could have been made, but they would never have been published. Which means that persons other than Saporito should also issue an apology to Roman Catholics. We might expect this kind of cruel remark from some no-name angry blogger, but not from a high-ranking person at Time.

Visit the site of The Catholic League.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Geoffrey says:

    I just sent a strongly-worded email. We’ll see what happens.

  2. Frank H says:

    I was looking at my “final notice” for my lapsed TIME subscription, and The Catholic League’s note was just the final push I needed to toss it in the round file.

  3. frjim4321 says:

    I would agree that it was a gratuitous cheap shot by Saporito.

    The point he was making – that the moral authority of the Catholic Church has been dramatically undermined by the sexual abuse crisis – is indeed valid.

    Donohue’s characteristically overblown critique provides ammunition for those – such as the Irish Prime Minister – who have pointed out the narcissism of those who minimize the crime of child rape by religious figures.

  4. cwillia1 says:

    The hierarchy is still in denial about the issue of homosexual predators in the priesthood. The issue is the abuse of boys not the abuse of children. It is about the actions of unmarried priests, not lay catechists, not nuns, not married deacons. The strategic imperative is to make the problem go away without naming it. Since sweeping the problems under the rug didn’t work, the current policy is to put everyone in a straight jacket.

  5. frjim4321 says:

    cwillia it is possible that many hierarchs are in denial about sexual issues but the recent update of the John Jay report once again reported that sexual abuse by clerics is not about either homosexuality or heterosexuality. There were indeed female victims as well as male but not as many which is attributed to issues of access more than matters of orientation, per the John Jay report. Indeed in my diocese the most notorious cases involved the violation of females, some extremely young.

    I am not exactly sure what you are referring to with regard to your “straight jacket” comment. Are you saying that the inclination of some hierarchs to scapegoat gay clerics for the abuse crisis has resulted in a which hunt for gay seminarians forcing them deeper into the closet?

  6. ncstevem says:

    @presiderjim-I think sodomites who pose as seminarians ought to be honest about their homosexuality and voluntarily leave the seminary, just as the vatican recommended in 1961, since they aren’t psychologically fit to be priests.


  7. yatzer says:

    I saw that as the partial headline on, I think Yahoo news online this morning. I didn’t want to give them a hit to find out what vile thing they had to say. I will protest if I can figure out how.

  8. jflare says:

    “The point he was making – that the moral authority of the Catholic Church has been dramatically undermined by the sexual abuse crisis – is indeed valid. ”

    I doubt if I can more rigorously disagree with this assessment.
    Yes, the abuses have been ugly. I think though, that considering the extremely small percentage of priests who’ve actually committed crimes, the number of people within other institutions who’ve committed crimes also, but never been held to account, and the general willingness of the public to exploit the few facts, the blogger’s view has little interest in justice.

    He’s VERY interested in condemning someone he doesn’t like.

    Then too, consider the furor that’d arise if the fellow had said this regarding Muslims, LDS members, or other groups. I’d say Mr. Donohue’s comments were quite appropriate.

    As for the Jay report, Mr. Donohue also commented about the distinct possibility that they intentionally neglected obvious facts to satisfy a popular viewpoint.

    yatzer, if you follow Fr Z’s link, it’ll go to the Catholic League site; there’s an e-mail address for the gent who heads TIME.

  9. hicks says:

    That reads like something that somebody’s drunk uncle would say, if that makes sense. And he’d have this knowing leer on his face and everybody would be kind of grossed out and upset.

    TIME’s never been much of a friend to Catholics, but now her editors have apparently taken to randomly spitting on the Church in completely unrelated articles. Gotta be a new low.

  10. TIME?… is that still a thing? Huh.

    I didn’t know that was still a thing.

  11. Dave N. says:

    After awhile, people stop paying attention to those who seem to be in a perpetual state of outrage. Mt. 5:11.

  12. cwillia1 says:


    Well, I can’t say I’ve read the report but I know who is footing the bill. The abuse crisis was overwhelmingly about teenage boys and not about children. So just how is it that priests have relatively more access to boys than men in society generally?

    The straight jacket is all the new rules and the training that children and adults that work with children have been subjected to. It’s really very simple. If a large percentage of priests are homosexual and if homosexuals are more likely to abuse minors and if the vow of celibacy for a homosexual priest is a joke, and if for political reasons homosexuals cannot be removed from functioning as priests, then you protect the solvency of the institutional church by rigidly regulating the contact of all adults with children in church settings. You do this no matter the cost to the church’s mission.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    cwillia, I will certainly grant you that much of the “safe environment” movement has originated with the insurance industry and is at least secondarily about liability mitigation than anything else. Another weakness of the safe environment is that the information provided regarding characteristics of potential abusers could in theory help such individuals hide more effectively.

    On the other hand, the “rules,” as you say, or the protocols that have been set in place would certainly reduce the amount of contact that could result in a boundary violation.

    What is an example of one of the new “rules” that results in a cost to the church’s mission?

  14. Bill Foley says:

    From Bill Foley

    Some commentators are giving misinformation re same-sex attraction disorder (SSAD) and the priesthood.

    The facts of the first John Jay Report show that 80% of the clerical sexual abuse involved males in the age span of 11 to 19. This evidence reveals the erroneous, incorrect conclusion in the second report, namely, the absolution of SSAD as being the key component in clerical sexual abuse.

    Furthermore, the Holy See, with the approval of the Holy Father, in its Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, clearly states that those with “present deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be admitted to the seminary. This eliminates those with SSAD. The same document also has the following paragraph:
    “Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”
    This clearly shows that those with “deep-seated” SSAD or those with a transitory SSAD should not be ordained.
    What is most distressing is the fact that too many bishops are not in compliance!

  15. frjim4321 says:

    Hi, Bill – – –

    “SSAD” is not a valid term or diagnosis accepted by the American Psychological Association or any other widely accepted and highly respected professional mental health advocacy organization. The John Jay report explicitly rejected the association of sexual orientation with a tendency to abuse children. Further there have been no meta-analyses of the John Jay data in any peer reviewed journal to my knowledge supportive of your claim.

    I suspect that there is no bishop on the face of the earth who does not exercise extreme discretion in choosing whom to ordain particularly in this day and age. Thus I am sure they take to heart that which is useful in the document you have quoted. Nevertheless they are eager to ordain intelligent, talented, creative, faithful and holy men and wisely would probably not be willing to exclude a candidate who excels in those areas solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

    – – – Fr. Jim

  16. jflare says:

    “What is an example of one of the new “rules” that results in a cost to the church’s mission?”

    Well, your own comment provides one: “On the other hand, the “rules,” as you say, or the protocols that have been set in place would certainly reduce the amount of contact that could result in a boundary violation. ” Don’t forget, “contact” in this case addresses any interaction between two people, between an adult and a minor child in particular. You can’t offer catechesis of any kind without some kind of “contact”.

    As to how else the rules can create problems, keep in mind that the average classroom will have two adults much of the time, one catechist and one aid. If you have even one unruly child who needs to be removed, you have a problem. Either you must risk the possibility of misunderstanding and/or lawsuits while the aid is gone, or you must tolerate the nuisance in the classroom until such time as the DRE can arrive–with a second adult, of course.

    Especially with CCD, that’s a real problem, because you only have so much time in the first place.

  17. Joe in Canada says:

    frjim4321: in the diocese where my mother lives, parish volunteers who bring Holy Communion to shut-ins have to be accompanied by another person, and there has to be someone else in the house or apartment of the shut-in, selected by the shut-in. This protocol was put in place 2 years ago (i.e. it is new). The program basically collapsed. We’re talking mostly about women in their 70s visiting women in their 80s.

  18. frjim4321 says:

    Joe, I never heard that one. Interesting, since neither are minors. Was that a diocesan policy or a parish policy, do you know? We don’t have that here for adult/adult ministry. JB

Comments are closed.