Quote of the day

“Priests who engage in lewd conversations with teenagers are suspended from ministry for committing a ‘boundary violation,’ and are charged with sexual abuse.

But Rep. Anthony Weiner can send pornographic images of himself to young girls and he is free as a bird. Indeed, the majority of New Yorkers say he should not resign…

…If the guilty party were Rev. Weiner, he would be sanctioned by the Catholic Church’s “zero tolerance” policy. But because he is Rep. Weiner, there are no penalties.

As usual, it’s not the offense that matters—it’s the status of the offender.”

William Donohue, the Catholic League

Comments

  1. Katie Angel says:

    Actually, it is the expectations of the people. For better or for worse, we don’t expect particularly moral behavior from our elected officials – at least in part because we so rarely get it. So, when a member of Congress does something sexually inappropriate, we shrug it off as no more than we can expect.

    However, despite the scandals, we still expect more from our religious leaders – especially in the Catholic Church where the priest stands in for Christ. We expect that the hands used to consecrate the Body and Blood of our Lord will be hands that are used for comforting the poor and helpless, hands that will hold up those who are sorrowing and hands that will gently bless the dying; not hands that will be used to molest a child, hand that will create horror and destruction of a soul or hands that will destroy innocence.

    So, the betrayal of trust by a Congressman is treated as nothing more than a blip on the radar screen while that same betrayal by an ordained priest raises indignation and comdemnation by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

  2. I agree that we wish to put our religious leaders on a pedestal and hold them up as paragons of virtue, examples to follow. This is probably not the right thing to do, but they are religious leaders.

    Nevertheless I want elected officials who are to run the country to be able to exercise good judgment. Isn’t it a no brainer that Rep. Weiner has poor judgment. Do we need that kind of person in office and responsible for running the country? And if there are others like him, they should go, too.

  3. Mr Weiner did not engage with teenagers, and no laws were broken. Does that make it any better, of course not but if he had engaged in this behavior with someone underage, he would have charged with a crime and that is a different story.

    Also his “employer” are the people of his district. So they will decide if they want to fire him. and we can hope they send him packing, for his own good. and theirs.

    I agree with Katie, and growing up in chicago i may be more jaded when it comes to politicians, but we do think corruption and stupid behavior is part of political life. Just look at all the politicians who have gotten in trouble just these past few years. the reality is that politicians are held to a different standard than clergy. Is it right or fair? of course not, but if Mr. Donahue does not see the difference in reactions to this behavior between a clergy and a politician then he has a big problem or is just spinning things to bet press.

  4. oh yea, i do not agree this is just a “blip on the radar”…..this thing has been in all the news non stop for a week and gone viral on every media. the guy is the butt of all late night jokes, this sure aint no blip, and he is not getting a slap on the wrist by the media. weinergate is going to be part of the pop culture slang for sometime. and i go to stop now before i come up with some weiner jokes of my own!

  5. Mr. Donahue is right, as usual.

    It’s not hard for me to connect the state of our economy to the quality of many, if not most, of our elected officials. Thay have spent us into this mess.

    Katie Angel is also right: we have low expectations of our politicians. But we better change that, in my opinion, or the result will be extremely bad. Rep. Weiner is a good place to start.

  6. I agree with Katie and I think she expressed the point very eloquently. There is and should be a difference between religious leaders and politicians.

    I have been thinking lately though about the similarity I see between men in power in the Church and politicians. They do the most outlandish things without any seeming worry about being caught or held to account. When they do get found out, they often lie, lie, lie, and hide, hide, hide the truth until the evidence becomes so overwhelming they are forced to admit it. Then they beg, beg, beg for forgiveness.

    They never seem to understand that what makes people the most angry and what loses them the most respect is the cover-up, not the original offense. In my experience, humble honesty hardly ever fails to diffuse anger and outrage. Our Church hierarchy still has not learned that simple lesson that most every parent tries to teach their children.

  7. Sin is a concept that has special meaning in the catholic church. Mr. Donahue knows that but is trying to apply a catholic concept to the secular world. Katie Angel decisively explains the highest standard that priests earn by ordination and the application of holy oils to the hands of priests. The sin is magnified when committed by the priest. I disagree with Mr. Donahue when he reduces the standard we catholics grant to priests to the lowest common denominator; and Mr. Wiener is the lowest of the lowest.

    Let us also remember Mr. Wiener did not touch, rape or seek sexual gratification from a child. There is no comparison. Mr. Wiener is man of poor judgement who appears to have violated his marriage vows to love and cherish. A priest would be violating his vows to God made through his bishop and be sinning.

    Both politicians and priests can be violators but I as a catholic proudly hold our ordained to a higher standard.

  8. Oh, and anthony, the question of whether Weiner sent sexually explicit photos to underaged girls is still in question. Patterico has copies of sexting between Weiner and several underaged girls.

    (Which is neither here nor there as far as the completely separate question of whether there OUGHT to be different standards of behavior for democrat congressmen and priests.)

  9. I cannot understand why Bill Donahue continues to make rants like this and then wants us to consider him a credible “Defender of the Faith.”

    To my mind, comparing the actions of pedophile priests with Anthony Weiner’s lewd antics over the Internet is overreaching.

    1. The women with whom he corresponded are not young girls. Although information about the women may be incomplete, the youngest is said to be a 21-year-old college student. Others are described as: a “single mom” and former member of the military; an alleged former porn star; a 40 year old Las Vegas blackjack dealer and the latest, a 34 year old woman from Georgia.

    2. They were not “groomed” by him, as is the case with the victims of pedophile priests. Each of these women initiated the conversation. (One called him “hot.”) From all indications the women had some level of comfort with the tenor of their Facebook and Twitter conversations picture sharing (at least until the past week).

    I am not condoning Weiner’s actions nor am I playing “blame the victim” with respect to these women. I think that he should resign from Congress, because he has disgraced himself and is a disgrace to both parties in Congress. As to his female “friends,” I’m baffled. What were they trying to accomplish?

  10. Get Real says:

    Donohue’s point is a good comparison to keep the media honest.

    The secular sphere is expected to follow an impartial standard. If the crime is by a priest, politician, rabbi, minister, school teacher, police officer, editor, etc. it is supposed to be impartial.
    However, only the willfully blind will not observe that there is a different standard of pursuing justice when certain lawyers and media types know they can attack the Church.

  11. Re: Donohue,
    How ironic (maybe stupid is a better word) that he crows about the Church’s zero-tolerance policy and sanctions for lewd behavior and boundary violations of priest’s at the same time we are seeing how that policy failed in Kansas City prior to the discovery of the pics on Ratigan’s computer in Dec. 2010. There were no apparent sanctions for his lewd behavior and serious boundary violations of the diocese’s own norms unless you consider a “talkin’ to” by the Vicar a sanction.

  12. MhariDubh says:

    I resent that the only contact some people have with the Catholic Church is the voice of William Donohue.

  13. Re: Donohue 2,

    I went to his website to send him an e-mail telling him how irritated it make me as a Catholic that people think he speaks for me and how stupid this comment was. Not only does his website not accept comments, he doesn’t accept e-mail either. You have to mail or fax or call.

    I guess it’s probably great having a soapbox while keeping yourself isolated from criticism.

  14. cathy f,

    if there ends up to be minors involved then it gets into legal action and a whole new ball game. but until there is credible proof, i think it gets close to slander to put stuff out there without proof?
    anyone can say anything on the internet, i am not aware of any serious news source confirming the allegations).

    you wrote: “(Which is neither here nor there as far as the completely separate question of whether there OUGHT to be different standards of behavior for democrat congressmen and priests.)

    but only for democrats? what is different about republicans on this issue?

  15. Regina F says:

    I believe Mr. Donohue is pointing to the hypocrisy of the media in how it covers the events. Were it Rev. Weiner, this would be painted as the most shocking behavior they have ever encountered, and track down every text and twitter the guy had ever sent, to prove what a twisted person he was.
    It’s not that Rep. Weiner isn’t getting his share of negative press, but it’s more with a “what a jerk” emphasis than “what a pervert.” His behavior is naughty, not evil.
    I think Donohue is spot on, but unfortunately, since quite a number of priests were involved in much more serious offenses, it’s unlikely that he will successfully make his point.

  16. Thank God for Donohue. At least someone speaks up for the Catholic Church.

  17. I’m not sure what Mr Donohue has been watching – the media coverage I’ve seen contains plenty of shock and condemnation about Mr Weiner.

    The problem some people in political circles seem to be having in demanding that he leave Congress is that Weiner has correctly been categorized as a staunch advocate for the poor in this country and they don’t want to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ by making him resign.

    Personally, I would question the decision making process of a man who so clearly lacks the judgement that all of us should expect from any mature individual — elected representative or not. I believe he needs to step aside and seek the help he so clearly needs.

  18. Fiergenholt says:

    My apologies but I am a bit “geographically challenged.” Doesn’t Congessman Weiner represent Deacon Greg Kanda’s district?

  19. Forget the Catholic Clergy. If this guy were working at IBM in an executive capacity, he’d be unemployed already.

    But others here are right, he’s not bad for the brand in Congress, because his employers (us) have a double-standard of decency. So, the collective yawn is far more damning for us than sexting was for Weiner.

  20. Barbara Peters says:

    Mr. Donohue’s comment and comparison makes no sense. It annoys me beyond measure that he holds himself out as a defender of the Catholic faith. He does not speak for me. I would like to know where his organization gets its money. Who is funding this man? Has he ever released a list of his donors?

  21. If the baby he and his wife are expecting is a boy, I heard they are calling him Frank.

  22. HMS – William Donahue is trying to point out the disparity of coverage, between the cases. You will note that Weiner’s religious faith is not being called into question. Although if you hired lawyers and had so-called “victims rights” groups scouring the news, you probably could probably find a ton of Jewish men acting in a similarly lewd fashion as Weiner. There is also a disparity between the way the law is being applied, in these cases. But far be it from me to get in the way of you jumping to condemn and prejudge Catholics. I just thank God people like you did not write our Constitution, the Bill of Rights would never have seen the light of day.

    Kaitie Angel -”For better or for worse, we don’t expect particularly moral behavior from our elected officials”

    Maybe YOU don’t. But I do. I try to vote for the most qualified person. Not just throw up my hands and say -whatcha’ gonna do. If you are going to continue to just throw politicians in office because they have a D or an R after their name, and not care whether they are responsible people – Please step aside and let educated voters decide these matters.

  23. Dear Ray:

    Re your comment “I just thank God people like you did not write our Constitution, the Bill of Rights would never have seen the light of day.”

    I sure can get under your skin. No further comment.

  24. Dear PMS

    “I sure can get under your skin.” -

    Haha – that’s very funny, considering it seems to be the other way around. I’m sorry you teacher types can’t deal with anyone who isn’t a student. You are so used to being a dictator in the classroom, bullying and brainwashing children, you can’t deal with an opposing point of view.

  25. I agree with Bill Donohue for all the reasons already given in the comments above. The media considers (or should the verb be “values”) priests as no different than secular and yet still holds them to a different standard.

  26. Manny,
    I disagree. I think the media always used to hold priests in high regard even of they didn’t agree with the religion. There was always a respect shown. That all changed after the scandals came to light. I think it is precisely because people held them in high esteem that their fall from grace was so bad.

  27. And others haven’t momor? Teachers, politicians, members of every single branch of religion, have abused children. But it is only the Priests that get put on the front page of the NYT and Boston Globe. Only priests that get collectively labeled. That is the disparity in media coverage that Donahue points out. And Catholics crticize him for doing it.

    Look at how quick HMS and Katie Angel were to defend Weiner, a launch an attack against priests. And what was just revealled yesterday. That Weiner sent his penis pictures to a teenage girl.

    You would have to go back to the 40′s or 50′s to find a positive image of a Priest in a Hollywood movie, and that is only because the Jew in Hollywood, wanted to get the Church to stop pushing for more censorship. Now they are back to peddling filth. Look at the way the Disney Channel has sexualized young girls. Britney, Miley, Lindsay…they parade around in costumes that a hooker would have been embarrased to wear 20 years ago. Woody Allen had sex with his STEP DAUGHTER!!! And not a word of condemnation from the Jews at the NYT. Because he was one of their own.

    Coverup! I’m sick of people saying there was a coverup. What if a crime took place somewhere, where you worked 30 years ago, and I started grilling you about who did what, and when and where. How much would you remember? Bishops are not prosecutors. They are not responsible for investigating crimes and sendiing people to prison. So if District Attourneys and Police investigated crimes and could not find enough evidence to make an arrest, why blame Bishops for not having enough evidence? They are trained in religious rights and running a church not Crime Scene Investigations

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