Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blast from the past: Catholic Classlessness.

I was going through my bookmarks the other day and came across this gem that I had forgotten about:

Remember when Bill Donohue, head of The Catholic League, was going around suggesting that kids who were molested by clergy had it coming because most "wouldn't allow themselves to be molested" and that sexual groping of children by priests was relevantly different than rape?

I wonder what that nutcase is up to these days... Still blaming homosexuals for the child-abuse issues the church is having? Campaigning in favour of discriminating against gays and lesbians? Is the Catholic Church really that self-unaware that it doesn't realize what the impact of having Mr. Donohue as its perceived public face in the U.S. is?


Malcolm+ said...

I fairness, Donohue is a self-appointed public face because the Catholic League has no official standing. It's rather like his far right fellow travellers of the so-called Anglican Communion Institute who are really just three guys with a website.

Audrey II said...

Wow, I didn't know that. All this time, I just thought that with all the media attention Donohue is granted by certain news networks, his organization was in some way officially sanctioned or affiliated.

For such an objectively-speaking regular Joe-Catholic, he does seem to speak on behalf of the church an awful lot.

In light of your reply, I think I'll edit my post to add the word "perceived" to the last line. That will at least make it more accurate.

Thanks for the educational reply, Malcolm. I learn something new almost every time you post here!

BlastFurnace said...

Donohue represents maybe 60,000 of the 70 MILLION Roman Catholics in the United States. Forget that his anti-gay and anti-child views are way out of line even with official Catholic teaching (which as with everyone else is to hate the "sin" but to love the sinner).

He also doesn't have a sense of humour -- witness his reaction to the 1999 Simpsons episode with a "commercial" from the Catholic Church ("We've made a few ... changes.") Most Catholics totally got the joke and the point contrary to what he thinks.

Frankly he is just a couple steps short of the conspiracy theories advocated by the "Fatima Crusader" which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. I don't mince words here -- his "Civil Rights" group has nothing to do with civil rights, period.

Malcolm+ said...

It's actually a fairly common technique on the right (and even occasionally on the left) for a small number of activists to give themselves some fancy-assed name to imply that they really are more than just a couple of noisy agitators.

I'm obviously more familiar with how this has played out among Anglicans, with a partial list which includes:
* AAC (the American Anglican Council)
** ACiA (Anglican Church in America)
* ACI (Anglican Communion Institute)
* ACN (Anglican Communion Network)
** ACNA (Anglican Church in North America)
* AEC (Anglican Essentials Canada)
* AI (Anglican Institute)
* AM (Anglican Mainstream - there were actually two Anglican Mainstream groups: one on the right and one on the left)
** AMiA (Anglican Mission in America)
** ANiC (Anglican Network in Canada)
** APA (Anglican Province of America)
* AU (Anglicans United)

And that's just the "A" list.

One would be forgiven for assuming that spokesfolks for organizations with grandiose names like these would actually be speaking in some official capacity. Yet not a single one of them has any official standing in the Anglican Church of Canada or the Episcopal Church in the United States. Several of them (indicated with **) are actually schismatic bodies with no recognized standing in the Anglican Communion.

But their names each suggest that they are so much more, don't they?

Perhaps I just need to say that I represent the Anglican Institute of Simple Massing Priests (AISMP).

Audrey II said...

My perception of Mr. Donohue, based on the amount of media attention that the chap gets and how he's portrayed as speaking on behalf of Catholics, as well as his Wikipedia entry, was that he at least significantly represented a relevant section of U.S. Catholics, although I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as well versed on affairs of the Catholic Church in the U.S. as others may be, and humbly defer to both of your commentaries on the matter!

And Malcolm, the articulate manner in which you express yourself here and on your blog bestows a degree of authenticity and authority that no faux organizational title ever could.

Malcolm+ said...


The thing about this sort of pretentious windbag is that he wants you to believe that he speaks, if not officially for the Roman Catholic Church, at least for a significant proportion of "Catholics in the Pew." It is the common denominator of all self-appointed blowhards.

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