I don’t much care for Bill Donohue. He has a history of reckless dishonesty and his often-counterproductive demagoguery suggests that he cares more about his own success as a fearmongering direct-mail money-maker than about any of the real or imagined threats to religious liberty he claims to defend through his non-church-related Catholic League.
I see from today’s paper that the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington doesn’t much care for Bill Donohue either.
The background here is a piece of state legislation to eliminate Delaware’s two-year statute of limitation in cases of child sexual abuse. The bill passed both houses of the state’s legislature unanimously.
Donohue — who has a long history of denying and downplaying the sexual abuse of children by clergymen — apparently views this legislation as a threat to his religious liberty. He found a flimsy toehold for his vitriol in the defeat of an amendment to this bill which would also have allowed the victims of alleged child sexual abuse to sue the state. In Donohue’s mind, this meant that public school teachers were being granted the license to “rape little kids.”
The sponsor of the failed amendment and the diocese, on whose behalf Donohue claims to be speaking, both just want him to STFU:
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, meanwhile, distanced itself Wednesday from an e-mail disseminated broadly by the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which said: “Child Rape in Delaware: Public School Teachers Get A Pass.” The League also posted the message to its Web site.
The message referred to state Rep. Greg F. Lavelle’s failed effort to amend the bill so that the state would not be protected from lawsuits by its sovereign immunity. Lavelle, R-Sharpley, has said he will introduce a bill today to address state institutions. The Catholic League urged support of that effort.
“The degree of corruption in the Delaware Legislature is matched only by the selective indignation its lawmakers have for child rape,” League President Bill Donohue said. “The legislators are owned — lock, stock and barrel — by the teachers unions. Teachers can grope all they want. They can rape little kids. And now they will be protected by making it harder to prosecute them.”
Joe Fitzgerald, lobbyist for the Wilmington diocese, distributed a statement from diocese officials saying they had not authorized or requested the League’s statement. “We consider Mr. Donohue’s remarks about the Delaware Legislature and the state teachers union to be irresponsible and regrettable,” the diocese statement said. …
Lavelle, too, issued a statement denouncing the League’s message, saying it “offended and saddened” him.
“My colleagues are not corrupt, and I know that they will take all necessary steps to be sure that all children in Delaware are protected regardless of where they go to school, recreate or pray.”
It’s hard not to read that last “or pray” as a shot back at the “irresponsible” and “offensive” Bill Donohue.