Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, believes that the Catholic church has gone too easy on the survivors of sex abuse by clergy, and has vowed to fight them “one by one,” says a post at the blog Right Wing Watch.
In an interview with Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times, Donohue says that in the past the church “has been too quick to write a check” to individuals who report being victimized by pedophile priests. He believes that the church should fight each case “one by one,” ostensibly to save money “in the long run.”
He said that Catholic bishops should “toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough” in the fight against victims of sex abuse. “We don’t need altar boys.”
Currently Donohue is backing the efforts of lawyers defending two Missouri priests accused of multiple counts of child molestation. Attorneys for the priests have issued subpoenas to the victims’ advocacy group the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), seeking “more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists,” according to the New York Times article.
SNAP is not involved in the Missouri case, but Donohue believes that the attacks are warranted because, in his words, “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic chruch.” The subpoenas, thanks to their exhaustiveness, are calculated to distract, bankrupt and embarrass the organization.
SNAP’s national director David Clohessy has been deposed in the Missouri case, but is resisting the subpoenas, saying they’re not just a fishing expedition, but a “fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition,” whose real mission is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”
The Catholic League, who comedian Kathy Griffin says is “just that one guy (Donohue) and his computer” has a long history of gravitating toward headline-grabbing cases involving the Catholic church. Right Wing Watch has a post documenting the organization’s inability to stay out of the spotlight and its leader’s inability to keep his foot out of his mouth, including his public announcement of a penchant for “gook jokes,” his referring to progressive Catholics as “termites,” and saying that “secular Jews” who like “anal sex and abortions” run Hollywood.