On May 20, 2009, Reuters reported the results of a nine-year investigation by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which looked into decades of endemic sexual abuse against children in Catholic-run reform schools in Ireland. In reaction to this report, popularly known as the Ryan report, Donohue issued a statement downplaying the seriousness of the cases, questioning the inclusion of voyeurism and “inappropriate sexual talk” as instances of sexual abuse along with the more serious charge of rape. Donohue pointed out that rape constituted only 12% of the listed sexual abuse cases in the Ryan report, and that priests committed only 12% of the listed rapes—the other 88% were committed by lay persons and religious brothers.
Since the Ryan report was released, Donohue has been defending the Church and claiming that much of the outrage is ‘moral hysteria’. While stating that he agrees that rape and physical abuse are wrong and that he would not defend those actions, he says the report has conflated these abuses with ‘lesser’ forms of punishment and is therefore not as serious. He also says many of the purported forms of abuse found by the commission were present and acceptable in the time period.
Bill Donohue said, in October 2009, that the Catholic Church has a “homosexual”, not a “pedophilia”, problem, citing the John Jay Report.
On December 9, 2011, the Catholic League filed a formal complaint against attorney Rebekah Nett for the “anti-Catholic” comments made by her and her client, Naomi Isaacson. Subsequently, Isaacson, who is also a lawyer, has made more “Catholic-bashing” remarks. The organization is now filing a complaint with the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility against her. (The documents being referred to are the MN Contempt Motion and MN Vacate Flyer.)
After listening to the following interview with Bill Donohue, Rebekah Nett and Naomi Isaacson’s remarks are quite tame in comparison. It is unreal to imagine a man purports to represent a ‘holy organization’, the Catholic Church, to even have this demented of a thought process. I would have to say that after listening to this man in the following YouTube videos I can understand where Nett and Isaacson are coming from.
- Catholic League Files Ethics Complaints over ‘Catholic Beasts’ Brief (blogs.wsj.com)
- Pope Continues to Protect Priests and Bishops Accused of Child Sexual Abuse (promoteliberty.wordpress.com)
- Catholic Church Exposed: Slavery, Babies for Sale and Human Experimentation’s (promoteliberty.wordpress.com)