We, in the blogosphere, have our own sensationalistic distractions, and for the last couple of days it's been this fool:
Bill Donohue and his Catholic League
I'm sure most of you have already seen this, but if not, click over to C&L to see The Daily Donohue, a new public service feature by John Amato devoted to the talk show oeuvre of the ubiquitous president of the conservative Catholic league.
Here's the money quote:
“As for the alleged abuse, it’s time to ask some tough questions. First, there is a huge difference between being groped and being raped, so which was it Mr. Foley? Second, why didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?”
Reporters all over the country are quoting this man as being a leading spokesman for Catholics all over the nation.
Does he speak for you?
Fred Bear, one of Digby's readers responds:
yes...lifelong catholic and he speaks for me.
By the way.....how many liberal bloggers, media people, reporters, editors, and TV commentators have ever been accused of sexual molestation???
Bet nobody's gonna touch that one!
PS.....or how many muslim leaders also?
What differentiates it is that it's institutional within the Catholic church.
The abuse has been investigated from both inside the Catholic church (all the way up to the Vatican) and from outside. All investigations have led to the same conclusion: The sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has been so widespread and protected by the hierarchy of the church that the civil actions against the church will lead to the church's bankruptcy.
That's a whole lotta money.
The problem for the church is that it has chosen to protect sex offenders wearing the collar. These aren't men who are just gay and who are just breaking vows of chastity. If they were, that would be a matter between the church and their followers.
These are men who are committing sex crimes. They're raping children while disguised as priests. I contend that these men are not priests - there is nothing holy about them. They're disordered sex offenders, yet the church hierarchy has chosen to let itself be identified with them. By allowing these men to remain within the church as priests, the church becomes a co-conspirator. "You can be a priest and rape children, and if you get caught, we'll just retire you to a cloistered seminary in another country."
But sexual predation is not the only child abuse charge that gets made against the Catholic church. The church has a long history of physically and emotionally abusing children in its care - The Magdalene Sisters is one movie that depicts it. It was much more pervasive before the 'enlightenment' (the 1960s), when the liberal left exposed the damage done to people by punitive parenting and caretaking.
For Bill Donohue to continue to refer to it as "alleged abuse" indicates the man is steeped in denial. He's a caricature and mainstream media gives this man access to the public's air waves because of his entertainment value. Donohue speaks for my "fresh-off-the-boat-despite-7-decades-in-America" grandmother (100 when she died) who believed that priests walked with God and that children should do whatever the priest tells them to do - "Don't question authority!"