Catholic League president Bill Donohue is sick and tired of coddling rape victims. That’s why he supports efforts by lawyers for two Missouri priests accused of sexual abuse to cripple an organization that advocates on behalf of the victims of pedophile priests – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
SNAP is not involved in the Missouri litigation, but the priests’ lawyers are seeking
“more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.” Donohue thinks this effort, which seeks to bankrupt and embarrass the organization, is justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church
Donohue went further, telling the New York Times
’ Laurie Goodstein
that the Catholic Church “has been too quick to write a check” and could save money “in the long run if we fought them one by one” – them being rape victims. He also claimed that the bishops are reaching the conclusion that “they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough.” “We don’t need altar boys,” he continued, as only Bill Donohue could.
Donohue may just be projecting though, or at least speaking out of turn. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Goodstein that Donohue was wrong
: “‘There is no national strategy,’ she said, and there was no meeting where legal counsel for the bishops decided to get more aggressive.”
Meanwhile SNAP is resisting subpoenas in the Missouri cases, but national director David Clohessy has already been deposed
. He told Goodstein that the deposition was “not a fishing expedition,” instead it was “a fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition.” He said the real motive is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”
As for Donohue, he really can’t seem to help himself. He may have been an asset for right-wing bishops at some point in the past, but now he’s a liability. He attacked rape victims without denouncing pedophile priests, and then dropped in an altar boy quip. It’s almost as if he’s in the fight to amuse himself, not to win any arguments or friends.
But we probably shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Donohue has a history of this sort of thing