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Bill Donohue’s Inexplicable Obsessions

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, is one of the loudest and brashest apologists for the uber-orthodox faction now in control of the Vatican. His abrasive style has been on vivid display in the wake of the recent revelations that Pope Benedict may have turned a blind eye to the problem of pedophile priests.

But whether he is attacking Catholics who only seek accountability or lashing out at the press for asking tough questions, Donohue constantly displays an obsession with homosexuality and anal sex.

One has to wonder why.

In the face of mounting evidence that the pontiff did not give the pedophilia crisis the same laser-like attention he has directed toward suppression of Catholic dissidents and reformers, Donohue and Church hierarchs have obfuscated. Instead of addressing the Church’s criminal shell game of moving abusive priests to other countries, often just ahead of the law, and taking forever to defrock pedophiles, they attack gay people by falsely equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

In one paritucularly eggregious episode, Donohue went so far as to blame the victims of pedophile priests. Badly mischaracterizing the John Jay College study on the subject claimed that “It’s not a pedophilia… most of the victims were post-pubescent…” adding that by post-pubescent he meant the victims were “…12, 13 years of age.” By Dononhue’s definition, that apparently makes sex abuse of children by priests alright.

Writing in the March 22, 2004 edition of the Jesuit journal, America, Thomas Reese, S.J., directly citing the report, debunks the talking points used by Donohue and other apologists for the hierarchy.

Myth: Most of the abuse occurred with older teenagers. Fact: Only 15 percent of the victims were 16 to 17 years of age; 51 percent were between the ages of 11 and 14.

Reese dismissed the causal equation of homosexuality with pedophilia, observing, “No one knows the exact percentage of priests who are homosexual. Estimates have ranged from 10 percent to 60 percent.” He concluded, “In any case, most homosexual priests were not involved in the sexual abuse of minors.”
Donohue has a long record of graphic, public hostility toward those he deems to be enemies of Catholicism — often invoking homosexuality in a pejorative fashion. In three episodes of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, for example:

On the February 27, 2004 Donohue spoke of “the gay death style.”

On the December 4, 2004 he claimed that “…Hollywood likes anal sex.”

On the March 12, 2004, discussing Mel Gibson’s controversial film, Passion of the Christ, he said:

Well, first they said it was anti-Semitic. That didn’t work. Then they said it was too violent. That didn’t work. Then they said it was S & M. That didn’t work. Then they said it was pornography. That didn’t work. Now they’re saying it’s fascistic queer-bashing. That kind of language would ordinarily get somebody taken away in a straitjacket and — put you in the asylum. I don’t know what about — the queer-bashing is all about. I’m pretty good about picking out who queers are and I didn’t see any in the movie. I’m usually pretty good at that.

Donohue did not explain where he got his gaydar.

Over at Enlightened Catholicism Colleen Kochivar-Baker recently cited Andrew Sullivan in raising a good point:

Ask yourself: how many openly gay and adjusted priests have been found to have abused minors? Or ask yourself another question: if straight men were forbidden to marry women, had their sexual and emotional development truncated at the age of 13, and were forced into institutions where they were treated by teenage girls as gods, an given untrammeled private access to them, how much sexual abuse do you think would occur there? Please. This is not that hard to understand.

I think it’s compounded by the shame gay bishops feel about their own sexual orientation. They, like Bill Donohue, secretly associate their homosexuality with dysfunction, disorder, chaos, evil. So when they come across a fellow priest found to have molested teenage boys or children, they associate it with homosexuality – not pederasty – associate themselves with it, and try to cover it up – partly because they want to protect the church (which is their sole refuge) and partly because they want to protect those they wrongly associate with themselves. My own view is that Ratzinger fits almost perfectly into this paradigm, just as Weakland did. Which means there will be no change until this generation dies off. If Ratzinger were to face the truth on this, his world would collapse. He is not giving up on denial yet. He is a prime example of the walking wounded. Crippled, in fact, in the sole area he cannot be crippled: moral authority.

As for Bill Donohue’s obsessions, clearly he is not alone. He is just louder about it.

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