Today, the New York Times profiles the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue and he is loving life right about now. Donohue has seen a lot of “anti-Catholic,” behavior in recent weeks which means he’s spent a lot of time talking to the media about how “outraged” he is … and that is exactly how he likes it:
It has been a busy week for Mr. Donohue, a contentious and unofficial enforcer of Roman Catholic sensibilities who can grate on enemies and friends alike with his immense ability to be offended on behalf of his church.
In the 16 years since he took the reins of the Catholic League — an organization that claims to have 50,000 paying members nationwide but has no formal connection to the church and no spokesman except Mr. Donohue — he can recall few moments that have so thoroughly tapped his well of combativeness.
With the movie “Angels and Demons” opening on Friday, he has been issuing public broadsides and giving interviews on radio and television by the fistful, pounding at what he says are historical distortions about the church’s history in the book’s plot. “They even have a scene where rats eat a bunch of cardinals,” he said. “Can you imagine any other religion where this would not be viewed as rank religious bias?”
On Sunday, the University of Notre Dame is set to give an honorary degree to President Obama, a supporter of abortion rights, and Mr. Donohue has been vociferous in his criticism. “Not so much against Mr. Obama, but Father Jenkins for inviting him,” he said, referring to the university president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins. “Here is a Catholic priest, bestowing an honor on someone who supports selective infanticide.”
And Mr. Obama’s appointment of Harry Knox, a gay human-rights activist — “an anti-Catholic bigot who has called the pope a liar” — to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships had Mr. Donohue in overdrive.
“This is fantastic,” said Mr. Donohue, 61, with a gap-toothed smile that he rarely shows on television. “I can’t get enough of it.”
Donohue describes himself as “the Marine forward unit of the church,” seeking out the enemy and destroying them … and by “enemy” he means anyone who says anything critical of Catholics, the Catholic Church, or the Catholic Faith, as determined entirely by him. As Donohue sees it, “if an offense is committed against the communal institution of Catholicism, it is an offense against every individual Catholic.”
But there is nothing that riles him up more than apostasy, especially from Catholics who support reproductive choice: “I hate them,” he admits.
Which makes this little nugget all the more interesting:
Before taking up the cause, Mr. Donohue, a divorced father of two grown children who lives in Mineola, on Long Island, was a sociology professor at La Roche College, a Catholic college in Pittsburgh.