Donohue goes too far … and he’s DEAD WRONG

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 18, 2013 in Clergy Abuse Crisis | Subscribe

I try to steer clear of commenting on the actions of William Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. I would tell you why, but that’s another post in itself.

Bill, you screwed up.

Another totally lame move, Bill

But I can’t stay silent on this: Today, Donohue issued a press release called St. Paul & Minneapolis Archbishop Nienstedt Deserves Justice. I have no disagreement with the title: everyone deserves justice. But the press release goes on to call for vigilante justice against a boy who disclosed alleged abuse to an employee of the largest Minnesota Archdiocese. And that’s a HUGE problem.

He says in the release:

The Catholic League is asking those who were there to share with us any information they have. Specifically, we are interested in obtaining a tape recording, or set of photos, of any Confirmation ceremony in 2009 where Archbishop Nienstedt was present; presumably, the alleged victim was standing next to the archbishop. Also, we are asking anyone who knows anything about the accuser (someone knows who he is) to come forward.

Let’s talk about the problems with his argument.

There is the obvious: he is trying to bully an alleged sex abuse survivor. Not only that, but he is drawing a line in the sand, saying that he is going to go after anyone PERSONALLY who comes forward to disclose abuse. I don’t have words to describe my rage and disgust at his actions.

But he’s also DEAD WRONG. According to the statement by the Archdiocese released yesterday:

Upon learning of the allegation last week, the archdiocese instructed the mandated reporter to make the matter known to the police. The archbishop and the archdiocese stand ready to cooperate fully with the St. Paul Police.

So here is what we know (according to the Archdiocese’s own statement): an EMPLOYEE made the report to the police at the behest of the Archdiocese. (The mandated reporter should have reported FIRST, but that’s another issue).

NOTE: The alleged victim did not go to the cops, did not hold a press conference, did not do ANYTHING to try and get attention to himself, except disclose to a mandated reporter. The victim may have NEVER wanted the abuse to be disclosed at all.

We don’t even know how the kid disclosed. He could have said something casually in passing to a friend that the reporter overheard; he could have said something in a counseling session; he could have been suicidal. And now, Donohue wants to put this kid through the ringer—a kid who possibly wanted to stay quiet, be left alone and didn’t even call the cops himself.

In fact, isn’t it Donahue who says that the Catholic church is a safe place? Isn’t he the one who says that every employee is “very well-trained” to adhere to the law? And now, when one of those “well-trained” employees adheres to the law and to the bishops’ own policies, Donohue wants to publicly expose, shame and vilify the victim.

Even if the allegations are deemed “unfounded,” we have to remember: the kid wasn’t the one who filed the police report. A church employee did, because s/he suspected abuse. That’s why we have mandated reporters – so that if abuse is suspected, the police can investigate. Is Donohue going to demand that the mandated reporter be fired if the allegation is unfounded? What about the people at the Archdiocese who told the mandated reporter to go to the cops? Will he demand they be fired, too?

Donohue says he wants “justice” for Nienstedt. Well, since the police are investigating, why is Donohue asking for people to send HIM evidence that the police need? Why not encourage everyone to go to the police with any and all information they have? Oh wait, that’s right, the St. Paul police had a “closed door” meeting today with church officials to discuss the fact that the Archdiocese is not being cooperative in sex abuse investigations. Last time I checked, Donohue wasn’t a detective. If he truly wanted justice, he’d let the police do their job.

Why does he need to know the identity of the victim? The police, the mandated reporter and a number of Archdiocese officials know who the victim is. That’s all that is necessary for the investigation.

Hopefully, Donohue will not succeed in getting any personal information about the victim. Unfortunately he did succeed in some pretty terrible things: scaring the crap out of victims who are thinking of coming forward, intimidating and silencing church employees (who were only following the law and church policies), and stymying any police investigation that could have cleared this matter up.

Shame on you, Donohue.

15 Comments

  • MJ says:

    Donahue always goes too far and is always making me crazy when CNN has him on. He supports the RCC no matter what. This is very sad!!

  • ClevelandGirl says:

    correction: *as* a murderer

  • ClevelandGirl says:

    Donohue can’t possibly be an independent actor, as his offices are *at* the chancery in NYC. He might seem to be a “one man band”, a single blowhard with a few supporters (how many actual *members* are there beyond the board?), but he’s bought and paid for by RCC Inc and it’s wealthy right wing plutocrat donors and has a huge salary beyond his job description. BTW, isn’t he a *divorced* catholic? Why does he get a pass like Newt Gingrich? His constant defense of pedophiles and drawing the pedophile line somewhere in the pre-teen years (like 10 years old) makes me wonder what kind of personal psychosexual developmental issues he has of his own.

    Isn’t he being sued by an abuse survivor for defamation of character, after having gone as far as libelling the survivor a murderer on his website? He and the two local cronies in KC that dug up some info and deliberately misinterpreted it so as to defame the survivor.

    One thing that bugs me about the reporting on this article and the comments. Everyone assumes that Nienstadt groped the boy *while the photo was being snapped* and that there will be a picture of him and the boy with his hand someplace other than his crozier, pallium, or the boy’s shoulder. The reporting says “during a photo op”, which means that he could have groped the boy at any time among a milling crowd of people, parents, other family members, and other kids confirmed that day, not necessarily while posing for the photo. Pervs can sneak in feel-copping anywhere, anytime, and it’s a particular thrill when it’s done where people *might* see it but don’t because of misdirection and our human psychological tendency to doubt we saw something that we didn’t expect or believe seeing.

    This to me makes this charge credible, along with the fact that it was the mandated reporter who reported it not the victim. No doubt the reporter will be vilified as a “disgruntled employee” at some point, just as Jennifer was described in similar terms. The people in power *always* try to discredit their victims, and it’s up to us as observers to not believe them so quickly over the victims. *We* need to reverse centuries of allowing history to be written by the “victors”, by the people in power.

    There’s a youtube of an old Top of the Pops video (ca. 1970s) of Jimmy Savile surrounded by smiling teenagers. When you watch it, you see Savile make a shoulder move behind a girl, and the girl’s expression quickly changes for a moment (she looks momentarily upset) and then she’s forcing a smile. I’m sure the studio had big “SMILE” and “APPLAUSE” signs during that segment, so anyone on camera was expected to follow those directions, especially those front and center like the girl. But she got groped, stealthily, by Savile, and I’m sure she was surprised and too shocked to react, complain, or even believe he did something wrong to her. Apparently, she was one of over 1000 victims of Savile, and her experience did get caught on video.

    I’ve experienced fleeting, random, improper gropes in crowds that happened so quickly I couldn’t even identify the perpetrator if I wanted to (like during crowded commuter train rides). it happens, and there are a lot of pervy guys out there who enjoy doing stuff like this. There was also an incident at a family party where an uncle’s brother ran his finger all the way up the back of my leg from my knee to my butt (summertime, I was wearing either shorts or a short skirt and was about 12 years old). I certainly took notice and complained immediately, but all the men in the room laughed and thought it was really funny that this family member committed gross sexual imposition on me in front of all of them. It was NOT funny at all. All my complaints, even to the women there that day, fell on deaf ears.

    I also wonder why *all* of my uncles wanted to feel the ruffles on the back of my underpants that could be seen as I ran around like a typical little kid in typical ’60s girls’ dresses when I was around five years old. Were they *all* pedophiles for wanting to cop a feel of ruffled panties on a preschooler? Or were they all thinking it was just something funny and a big laugh because I didn’t want them to? I think back on that and shudder to this day.

  • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    When will the Board of Trustees at the Catholic League decide to replace Archie Bunker (aka William Donohue)? I just can’t believe that all of those individuals listed on the Board of Directors at the Catholic League website would choose to allow their name and reputation to be associated with such an individual as William Donohue?

    Raymond Arroyo
    Candace de Russy
    Kathleen Hunt
    Richard Kerins
    Walter Knysz, Jr.
    Marilyn Lundy
    Leonard Oswald
    Frank Salas
    Francis Schroeder
    John Spellman
    Joe Thompson
    Theodore Vargas
    Kenneth Whitehead
    Rev. Philip Eichner, Chairman

  • Sister Maureen Paul Turlish says:

    What’s his name is at it again.

  • Lizzie lyons says:

    Please someone collect his awful rantings and send them to pope Francis and ask him if he wants the church to be represented by this man..and the cardinals who quote and presumably admire him and let this monstrosity speak for them.

  • Ann May says:

    Bill Donohue stands for the proposition that Catholic bishops want control over every aspect of the clergy sex abuse crisis, never mind the pain of the victims and their families, or the Truth. Such behaviour could ultimately earn Donohue a citation for obstruction of justice, which is exactly what he’s doing here. Both Donohue and Nienstedt need to cease and desist before they bring even greater shame to our church.

  • Joelle: I too believe that giving attention to anything Donohue says is attention undeserved. BUT sometimes there are no other cheeks to be turned. He is wrong, indeed, he is deluded. It is a tragedy that he attracts so much money and attention for such a wrongheaded view of faith and morality. The day that Francis denounces, even better, excommunicates Billy is the day that we know Francis is for real.

  • Mark Crawford says:

    I have a really hard time which group does more damage to the church, the combined misdeeds of Cardinal Mahoney, Archbishops, Meyers, Finn, Nienstedt, Egan OR Bill Donahue and the Catholic League. With a friend like Bill Donahue the church doesn’t need any enemies, he is working very hard to bring this house down on his own.

  • Mike Fenske says:

    Well said, Joelle!

  • Judy Jones says:

    Thank you Joelle…. I could have a lot of words to say about Bill Donohue, but you are right on..!!! He keeps contradicting himself..!!

  • Debby Bodkin says:

    my opinion, Bill Donohue is a disgusting example of a corrupt Catholic leader that laughs all the way to the bank as he pockets his financial rewards for being the political hack of the Catholic Church. Donohue does the dirty work and the Pope and U.S. Bishops wash their hands of anything that appears to be an abuse of Donohue’s exercise of freedoms of speech, press and opinion.

    Tragically, Bill Donohue is supported by many Catholics in the pews that listen to propaganda that brain washes, defames and denies crime victims equal protection. If victims of sex abuse crimes, their families, supporters and the public enjoyed lifetime tax exempt status, they too would have a media platform like Donohue.

    To Government Leaders:

    HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO ENABLE HEINOUS SEX CRIMES, COVER-UPS, FAILURES TO REPORT AND RICO CONSPIRACIES ORCHESTRATED IN THE NAME OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? Please revoke all tax exempt status of any and all organizations, non-profits, etc., that have failed to protect God’s most precious gift to the world — ALL CHILDREN! Civil and criminal public court records throughout the United States are now available for your perusal, especially in the State of California.

  • [...] Donohue Goes Too Far … And He’s Dead Wrong – She looks at how the Catholic League’s call for vigilante justice is dangerous, wrong and destructive [...]

  • Joelle,
    Your Dead Right, He’s Dead Wrong. This is, and has been his normal sophomoric bloviating stance regarding the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Attack and deflect : Attack the survivor and deflect the blame anywhere but where it lies – The criminal priest, the protective cardinal, the covering roman catholic church. If 7,000 employees of any other company in the United States had been sexually abusing children, the general public would be burning that company to the ground.

    • David says:

      All of you are Dead Right !

      I know of no one that can put their foot in their mouth as good as Billy can. In fact, he puts his foot so far into that Big mouth of his, it actually comes out his arse.

      It is very hard to believe that even a few catholics can stomach this psycho. Why do you think Billy doesn’t allow comments to his Rabid Rants on his blabbering Blog?

      He’s a very well funded ‘1 man circus act’.

      It wasn’t too long ago when Dolan exclaimed, “WE NEED YOU BILL” ! ! !
      Donohue is the catholic institutions “Rabid Lap Dog” and by being so, does their very well funded Nasty & Dirty work. Billy does and says what the guys in lacey dresses can’t(in public).

      Who needs bunker busters, when we got this Deranged Disciple doing Dolans Dastardly Deeds for a whole lot of Dough, $325k worth annually.

      Go Billy

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