Catholics Fight Church’s Victims – Again

Back in January, Catholic League President and frequent Fox News contributor Bill Donohue called victims of priest abuse and their advocates and supporters a “pitiful bunch of malcontents” and “professional victims.”

Now Donahue is calling for victims to be ‘fought one-by-one’ so the church can save money.

He claims that Catholic bishops are reaching the conclusion that “they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough.” “We don’t need altar boys,” he told the New York Times.

He says he’s backing an effort by lawyers for two Missouri priests accused of abuse to subpoena email from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

SNAP national director David Clohessy has already been deposed. He told the Times that the deposition was “not a fishing expedition,” instead it was “a fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition.” He said the real motive is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”

SNAP held a protest March 13 calling on St. Louis’ archbishop to:

  • stop demanding the private e-mails of a teenaged St. Louis child sex crime victim
  • apologize for and explain his decision to make this “intimidating” move
  • disclose which bishops may have discussed or approved a new church “hardball” legal strategy

The legal demands are costing SNAP tens of thousands of dollars and “causing severe financial hardship” to the group. So SNAP is begging the public and parishioners to “use their resources, clout, voices and donations” to help the organization survive.

One of the lawsuits is against Fr. Joseph D. Ross and the St. Louis archdiocese.

The St. Louis suit charges that Ross molested a girl from 1997-2001 at St. Cronan’s Catholic church in the Grove neighborhood of St. Louis City. In 1988, Ross pled guilty to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy. But after his sentence was completed, Catholic officials quietly put Ross at St. Cronan’s and warned no one of his criminal past. Ross worked as recently as 2002. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Donahue says the legal moves are part of a new, more aggressive strategy by the church, though this is denied by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the Times.

Donahue is not an official of the church but, as Andrew Sullivan describes it, “he is for the hierarchy what [Fox News host Sean] Hannity is for the GOP base.” He is frequently praised by top bishops, despite having been criticized multiple times for comments seen as lacking any sensitivity towards the victims of abuse by the church.

He characterized as “hysterical” the response to the Ryan Report, the result of a lengthy inquiry into the abuse of children in Ireland over decades. He called the abuse “homosexuality.”

Last April, the League took out a full page ad in the New York Times which blamed the abuse crisis on the media, scammers and gay people.

Other figures, including Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh, have attempted to place the blame for the abuse anywhere but with the Church.

Santorum said in 2002 when the scandal broke that it was “no surprise that the center of the Catholic Church abuse took place in very liberal, or perhaps the nation’s most liberal area, Boston.”

Related stories:

Treatment Denied: Catholic Hospitals Refuse Care

Child Rape Victims “Pitiful Bunch of Malcontents”: Catholic Group

Cardinal: Gay Marriage Ban Is “Good” Discrimination

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Harley Williams
Harley W6 years ago

Hitler was indeed a baptized Roman Catholic. But he used and promoted a number of Pagan beliefs. There are a number of decent reports on his Pagan belief system. He also had a number of Catholic priest murdered. During the time the Roman empire existed sex with small boys was considered okay. It was Christians who came out against the practice.

There are evil men in Christian churches and followers who will do what their leaders say because they do not wish to think on their own. But that is not limited to relitious organizations. Eliminating churches would not solve the problem.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 6 years ago

No wonder...this thoroughly explains why God is never around...Thanks for your ignorance.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Jehovas or whatever name they go by, are not without pedophiles. A few years ago I watched a Swedish TV program on line which had made an investigation of several congregations of Jehovas. In one, they forced a 13 year old girl to stand in front of all the members and apologize for brining rape charges against one of the church leaders. She had come forward to the leaders and told them she's been repeatedly raped by one of the highest ranking leaders and had physical evidence to show. She was discouraged to go to the police and was told to let the church investigate. Of course, they found that the perp was innocent and that she'd lied! A couple of years after this program was broadcasted, the perp was convicted of rape of a minor and sent to prison, but the church denied any wrongdoings by any part but the girl and the other victim. The only solution to stop these atrocities is to ban all religions and demand complete disclosure by all organizations!

BMutiny TCorporationsAreE
Barbara T7 years ago

2] The second thing most people don't know: is Rick Santorum's close connections with the extreme and cult-like Catholic group, Opus Dei. {Yes, like in the Da Vinci Code - which was based on true factual research into controversial Opus Dei.} The organization Opus Dei paid for a trip to Rome while Santorum was a Senator {as part of his "official duties"}; Senator Santorum was accompanied on this trip by an Opus Dei priest; and the occasion for the trip was the canonization {raising to Sainthood} of the founder of Opus Dei. Santorum even gave a speech at that event -- the transcript of Santorum's speech is public and available -- in which Santorum declared that his entire life and Political Agenda were inspired by Opus Dei's founder. Opus Dei, by the way, has had close ties with many Fascist dictators -- this can be researched -- and is one of the reasons it is so controversial.

A third thing to say here, is, that money people give to the Church DOES NOT GO TO CHARITY; but to the Church's Political Agenda, at this time an ENORMOUS amount going into fighting Marriage Equality for Gays. Money for Catholic Charities actually comes from money the U.S. Government GIVES to the Catholic Church for its "social programs". OUR taxpayers' money! Please, Catholics, stop giving ANY of your money to the Catholic Church. They are LYING about where it goes.

BMutiny TCorporationsAreE
Barbara T7 years ago

A couple of things most people don't realize:
1] ADOLF HITLER WAS A ROMAN CATHOLIC. Hitler was born to a Catholic family, was BAPTIZED a Catholic, and he NEVER renounced his Baptism; and the Roman Catholic Church NEVER excommunicated him. The Catholic Church inflates its actual numbers by counting ALL Baptized children as "Catholics"; so by the Catholic Church's own standards, Adolf Hitler was a CATHOLIC.
Adolf Hitler was NEVER an "atheist"; Hitler believed devoutly in God, as he states repeatedly in "Mein Kampf". Hitler believed he had a "Mission from God". That Mission was to exterminate the Jews. Hitler learned this Mission from the Catholic Church in Germany, which had been ferociously anti-Semitic for CENTURIES. {The Lutheran Church in Germany, with a very few modern exceptions, was also equally anti-Semitic.}
So, Adolf Hitler was a devout Believer in God, and a member of the Roman Catholic Church; NEVER in his life an atheist, as the religious people claim!

Sue Cox
Sue Cox7 years ago

The problem there of course,is that the priests and the churches have vast resources and numbers,very big legal representation, whereas survivors are often vulnerable, weakened by their abuses and easily manipulated.A fact that the church is well aware of, and in fact in the past has relied upon. All the more reason, I think, to concentrate on empowering the indiviidual, so that if they do have a fight ahead, at least they are in with a chance. False memories are a red herring, they rarely occurr, and they are far outnumbered by the very real memories which are sometime so unbearable that the childs still developing brain cuts them out for protection and for SURVIVAL.Child Sexual Abuse especially clergy abuse causes brain damage!

Myron Scott
Myron Scott7 years ago

The Catholic Church has much to atone for, and Donohue's attitude is the opposite of atonement. On the other hand, plaintiffs sometimes lie and can suffer false memory syndrome.
Perhaps some day we will evolve a legal system that remains fair to both sides without being
so adversarial; but until then, defendants have rights, too - even priestly defendants.

Sue Cox
Sue Cox7 years ago

While I am still quite incenced by Bill Donahues attitude, I have to agree that sometimes organisations get in the way of the people they are supposedly supporting. Being paid, chasing funding, fighting the church etc, takes precedance over supporting survivors. At Survivors Voice Europe we don't take any payments, we spend our energy trying to connect with, and support other survivors and gather a vast amount of tools so they can be empowered.When I first "came out" about my clergy abuse, I looked at all the organisations out there, and didn't feel that I wanted to be part of any of them! However, being with other survivors,celebrating our survival and trying to support each other has made me strong! That is the focus of our commitment, and as you say, when that focus changes, people get hurt and that feels like more abuse! I am not sure this should be made into a carreer! Compassion shouldn't cost, and we have a responsibility to the others we try and give a voice to.Sue Cox
Survivors Voice Europe.

Lady R.
Lady R.7 years ago

Amie K: "Funny how often 'men of God' are the very perpetrators of the worst atrocities in humanity." What did you expect, A cookie? These "Men of god? have used god to do everything from ripping off the simple farmer in the dark ages so they can get richer to committing murder and ALL IN THE NAME OF THIS GOD OF THEIRS!

To my way of thinking, this god is nothing more then a front that was created ages ago by greedy, self serving MEN to be used to gain power over people AND to GET VERY RICH IN THE BARGIAN! To this day, NOTHING HAS CHANGED! They have just gotten smarter and sneaker about hiding what they do or paying people off and moving them out of the trouble spot to shut them up.

It is not just the Catholic church that is having the problem with Priests molesting young boys and girls. They just happen to be one of the two largest church organizations in the world and the one in the news 90% of the time all over the world. Take a wild guess who the second one is? I will give you a hint. The other one is near Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico.
I am NOT saying there is trouble in this church. But with what has been in the news about splinter groups of this church being in all kinds of trouble, I would not be a bit shocked if there was this kind of trouble in the main church!

The others are not under the control of one person in one place like the Catholic church or the other church is. The majority of the other religions are varied, independent and scattered all over th

Jonathan T.
Jonathan T7 years ago

@Ms C.
"We are not fighting victims we are fighting frauds like SNAP and false allegations."

I'm pretty sure that any attack on SNAP is risking a fight with any number of victims they represent.

"See where this goes? When we judge an entity based on the actions of few?"

The allegations with the Catholic Church are far from a mere few cases. While I personally still advocate not grouping a bunch of people together with a bad egg, we're at a point where the entire carton smells rotten. It's also not just a matter of their actions, but the reactions of their organization.

The psych from SNAP? In prison. Planned Parenthood's idiot flasher? In prison. Teachers caught having sex with students? Prison.
Priests? *crickets* See where this goes? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.