“My Dearest Maureen”: Bill Donohue’s open letter to Maureen Dowd

The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd has been a consistently predictable critic of the Catholic Church; she wrote a piece Sunday, and another one today.  Her latest piece has prompted the Catholic League’s William Donohue to post the following letter on his website:


My Dearest Maureen,

In today’s New York Times, you write the following:

“The church insists it’s an argument about religious freedom, not birth control. But, really, it’s about birth control, and women’s lower caste in the church. It’s about conservative bishops targeting Democratic candidates who support contraception and abortion rights as a matter of public policy. And it’s about a church that is obsessed with sex in ways it shouldn’t be, and not obsessed with sex in ways it should be. The bishops and the Vatican care passionately about putting women in chastity belts.”

I have a confession to make. While some may think you sound like a delusional weepy woman, don’t listen to them. You see, I was in on those meetings with the bishops when we hatched plans to stick it to women and sabotage the Democrats.

We met over drinks. Plenty of them. Except for one bishop who said over time women could become our equal, all of us agreed that you gals need to be kept in your place. As you properly note, this means being subjugated to the lower caste, just the way we snookered Mother Teresa.

You are only partly right about the Democrats. In fact, starting last year our goal was to rig the Republican primary so that Romney would win. Why? Because then we could pull his Mormon strings without being accused of running the government. So far, so good. Just don’t tell Mitt.

We are obsessed about sex. Indeed, when I meet with the bishops, it’s the only thing we talk about. Admittedly, it sometimes feels like I’m at a frat party, but boys will be boys. There is one difference: at frat parties, chastity belts for women are never discussed, but with the bishops, nothing is more important. The goal is to make a “one size fits all” belt, one that is not removable. Velcro works for all sizes, but it comes off. Not to worry, my dearest Maureen, we won’t give up. That’s because, quite unlike the stately New York Times, we’re obsessed about sex.


  1. Katie Angel says:

    I’m confused – is there more? It seems like he broke off in the middle of the letter. There is snarky sarcasm but nothing of substance that would help someone reading this to understand better the Church’s true position.

    Or am I missing something ? I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to Mr. Donohue so there may be an inside joke that I don’t get.

  2. If you’re looking for the Church’s true position, you really need to head to the nearest faith formation class, not my hero Bill Donohue’s completely sarcastic reply to Dowd. Maybe it was cut off, who knows. It worked for me.

  3. Notgiven says:

    No, I checked his website. That’s all he wrote!

    Yes, the letter is sarcasm. But, I don’t think it does much for the cause. Too bad.

  4. Bill McGeveran says:

    As a satirist William A. Donohue is no Jonathan Swift, to say the very least.

  5. IntoTheWest says:

    He’s as bad a representative of the Catholic Church as Maureen Dowd is. From one extreme to the other. :~/

  6. LOL!!! I love it.

  7. Catherine says:

    I’m speechless.

  8. Ha ha. Awesome.

    MoDow’s reaction: “See! I TOLD you!”

  9. Something is off.. This isn’t the Bill Donohue I’ve come to know.. Hmmm

  10. Bill Donohue and Mo Dowd deserve each other. I only wish Cdl Dolan realized this.

  11. This really doesn’t sound like Bill Donohue. It does, however, sound like a writer named Bill Donahue who self-publishes anti-Catholic satire. Wondering whether a little hackery hasn’t occurred. Although reading Mo’s piece today, and the virulently hateful comments it engendered, scrambled my brain enough that I wouldn’t sound like myself, either. I always thought Bill with-an-o Donohue was paranoid, but there is anti-Catholic defamation out there aplenty, and it’s quite frightening.

  12. I don’t see how the letter helps the situation at all…but I find it ironic that Maureen Dowd accuses anyone of obsessive behavior. She has a pathological need to spew toxic fumes of hate over anything related to the Catholic Church and her bishops.

    I used to react with frustration over her ignorance or misrepresentation of facts and her cynical interpretation of every event…but now I actually worry that she has serious personal problems and that the NY TImes is willing to allow to exploit herself in order to advance their agenda.

    It is all so depressing.

  13. friscoeddie says:

    Both are divorced.. maybe two annulments and we could have these two married and make a good living on TV like those Dem [skinhead] and his Repub wfe whose names I thankfully can’t remember

  14. Barbara P says:

    Sarcasm or not this is demeaning to women. I was uncomfortable reading this. I hope Cardinal Dolan disassociates himself from this.

  15. IntoTheWest says:

    James Carville and Mary Matalin. I adore James Carville. I am pretty much opposed to every political position he takes, but he’s hard not to like. He’s a very sweet man. :)

  16. Not as demeaning to Catholics as Ms Dowd is. I am thinking her Irish ancestors must be rolling in their graves. What an embarrassment to the Irish American community. Her shrill writing make Donohue look like Dr Seuss. Pure evil.

  17. IntoTheWest says:

    Dr. Seuss is pure evil…?

    Bill Donohue’s comments re Hilary Rosen’s adopted children were vile. He’s a notorious old scold, and his rhetoric, tone and demeanor leave a lot to be desired. He is not a recognized, approved Church authority and there’s no reason why any Catholic should take him seriously or listen to a word he says. He’s just an old white dude with an internet connection and a lot of time on his hands.

  18. No, Into, Seuss isn’t evil, Dowd is. Perhaps you can’t follow things.

    Mr Donohue heads the Catholic League. Not an official entity but supported by many including Cardinal Dolan. If he is an old white dude, what is Maureen? A young crone who is supposed to be taken seriously? Ha! Should anything you say be listened to by any serious Catholic? You seem to have bought into the “war on women” crap which is laughable. Seems this blog is becoming war on Catholics.

  19. IntoTheWest says:

    I was being facetious. ;) I can follow things just fine.

    Donohue can head what he likes, and faithful Catholics are free to ignore him. They’re certainly free to ignore me, and they are just as free to ignore you. Donohue, like the rest of us, is just somebody with an opinion, and you know how that ends… ;)

    What war on women? I wasn’t aware of this — perhaps you can explain? I don’t feel oppressed or under fire in the least. Did someone declare war on us? Can we use the Lysistrata defense? :D Although I always wondered who that was really punishing…but I digress…

    I think this blog is not the echo chamber you’d like it to be, but that’s not a “war on Catholics”. The truth is that Donohue is obviously as guilty of using appalling rhetoric as Dowd is of resorting to mean-girl snark. Neither is particularly helpful.

  20. “I think this blog is not the echo chamber you’d like it to be”

    No it is becoming a whining wall for nonCatholics, exCatholics, pseudo-theologians and Bishop and Pope second guessers and bashers. They seem to think that polls will conform the Church into their left leaning agenda. Rather than wait for that or hold their breath on changing teaching on ABC, same-sex “marriage” and the like they really ought to think about changing pews.Of course that is if their butts ever touch a pew on Sunday.
    As for Donohue, even Card Dolan has quoted him favorably but I guess that doesn’t sit well with you either.I guess Dolan is too orthodox to listen to seriously too.
    Your cutsey comment on the war on women is cute but your uber feminism shines through many of your posts.

  21. IntoTheWest says:

    ~shrug~ So get your own blog and invite all your like-minded friends. Easy enough to do.

    Why don’t you tell me exactly what I’ve said that proves I’m an “uber-feminist” (whatever that is). I didn’t realize that disliking both Bill Donohue and Maureen Dowd had anything to do with feminism, but apparently you do. So explain that to me, please.

  22. Phyllis Zagano says:

    The Donohue letter is as scary as some of Dowd’s “commentaries”–each displays an abysmal lack of both dirrection and integrity.

  23. Let’s be honest,,,,,,Mr. Donohue is a Shill who uses the Catholic League for his own personal political gain. What part of Catholicism does a letter like this one,,,,or the Jon Stewart Vagina Manger War he continued by mailing pornography to leaders of each individual faith denomination daily represent. Maybe Larry Flyntt who represents Hustler would do that,,,,but something connected to the Catholic Church???

    As long as this troubled man continues his ten year campaign to use our faith for political purposes,,,,,,,The Church will never heal from a scandal Bill Donohue all but either denies or blames on the homosexualy community.

    There is nothing about these PUBLIC RELEASES that represents Catholicism,,,,,and a hierarchy that remains silent on Bill’s actions only confirms suspicions on far greater issues that were not addressed.

  24. But how does Bill Donohe help the situation or represent a Catholic Church that is trying to heal. – If you are looking for personal problems,,,,,,read the letters of a man who starts a Vagina Manger War,,,,sends pornography to Religous Leaders of other faiths and blames a priest abuse scandal on the victims and the homosexual community. I am no fan of Dowd,,,,and don’t always agree with her writing,,,,but she is one person who represents herself,,,,,,,Donohue uses our Catholic church to spew equally hateful rhetorec while schools,,,,parishes other Catholic social Services are closing.

    It’s not right,,,,,,,,,

    Do you honestly think Donohue doesn’t have an “agenda”. Read his posts,,,,they are political,,,not moral.

  25. The reason Bill Donohue didn’t respond to Maureen Dowd’s first letter is that he was too busy telling all his Minnions what Fox News Radio Show (Hannity and Curtis Sliwa) he would be on because he exchanged his Vagina Manger War Announcements for his Catholic Rebellion Announcements.

    No one finds this troubling????? No one finds his posts Troubling and hardly representative of Catholicism??? Please – take the time to read his releases,,,they are angry,,,,,at times Vulgar,,,,,,,and most are political in nature. He really is doing harm to our Church and what it represents.

    I wish the Hierarchy had the courage to ask him to either stop or make it very clear he does not speak for them……

  26. Katie – what you may not understand is that Donohue does not speak for the Catholic Church,,,,,he speaks for himself,,,,,,,,,and he is snarky, sarcastic and of little substance.

    Unfortunately,,,,, you are missing nothing,,,,,,A simple read of his releases will confirm his actions all seem to be a cry for attention,,,,,,,,and the joke he plays is on the reputation of a Catholic Church that simply wants to heal and carry on,,,,not become part of some political fued.

  27. Notgiven,,,,,respectfully,,,after checking “HIS’ website – paid for by the Catholic League, is there anything particular that you did find helped the Cause of the Catholic Church?????

    For me,,,,,that’s what is really sad.

  28. RomCath – please re-read yor post,,,Who supports Bill Donohue???? I would say people like you,,,,,,who for some reason like Bill and Maureen want to be taken Seriously. Problem with you and Bill is that you need to have Roman Catholic in your titles.,,,,,,Maureen speaks for HERSELF!!!!!

    Serious catholics would prefer you older gents stop using our faith to display your anger – It hurts the church we want to survive.

  29. Again, Rom Cath,,,,, a little anger management would go a long way,,,,,Bring Brother Bill with you.

  30. Barbara P says:

    Maureen Dowd isn’t demeaning to Catholics. She has issues with the hierarchy. Given the abuse scandal in the Irish Chirch I am not so sure you are right about her ancestors.

  31. Barbara P says:

    Wasnt St. Catherine of Siena critical of Popes? Now she is a doctor of the Church. Go figure.

  32. me too…but i’m weird……and a true believer….

  33. I wonder why you included either of these. I long ago stopped reading Dowd and Donahue and to be honest I only scanned these. The old adage applies virtual paper never refuses virtual ink.

  34. Perhaps Donahue’s response is filled with sarcasm because, he, like I, is sick and tired of liberal ex-Catholics or supposedly “ardent” Catholics, like Pelosi, Biden and Sebelius, attacking the Catholic Church and its teachings at every turn. The Catholic Church is not a democracy–no matter if every “Catholic” woman on the planet were to use contraceptives or if every “Catholic” man were to use condoms, the church will never change its teaching that the sexual act is two fold- marital intimacy and openness to life. We just can’t fathom that thought because for over 50 years we have watched our culture becoming more and more sexualized and indiscriminate about the appropriateness of the act. The church’s lawsuit isn’t about contraception, people, it is about the freedom of the Catholic Church to live out it’s mission according to its Catholic beliefs. The HHS contraceptive mandate is akin to requiring a Jewish deli to serve hotdogs or the Mormon church to have a bar and a smoking section at BYU. It doesn’t matter how many Jews or Mormons eat hot dogs or drink beer, those religions will not change their beliefs on those matters, nor should they.

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