Snapping back at SNAP

Snapping back at SNAP March 18, 2012

THE shrill voice of Catholic outrage in the US – Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights – has reportedly declared a “no more Mr Nice Guy” policy in relation to payouts to victims of clerical sexual abuse.

According to the New York Times, the Church is planning to turn the tables on the advocacy group, SNAP, which has long supported victims of paedophile priests, by demanding that the group discloses more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.

The ghastly Donohue said targeting the network was justified because:

Bill Donohue

SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.

Mr. Donohue said leading bishops he knew had resolved to fight back more aggressively against the group:

The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.

He added that bishops were also rethinking their approach of paying large settlements to groups of victims:

The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one.

However, a spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, said Mr. Donohue was incorrect.

“There is no national strategy,” she said, and there was no meeting where legal counsel for the bishops decided to get more aggressive.

Meanwhile, from Holland comes a report that at least one boy under the age of 16 was castrated to “help’” his homosexual feelings while in Catholic church care in the 1950s. And there are indications at least ten other boys were also castrated – but the he claims were not included in the Deetman report on sexual abuse within the Catholic church published at the end of last year which found that at least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985.

In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were said to be aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the commission, lead by former Christian Democratic party chairman Wim Deetman, said.

The castration was reportedly performed on  Henk Heithuis after he told police that he had been sexually abused by priests. Amazingly, after giving evidence, he was delivered into the hands of a Catholic-run psychiatric institution where he was then castrated because of his “homosexual behaviour”.

The Deetman committee was informed about the castrations in writing but did not include mention of them in its report because:

There were few leads for further research.

Neither did he final Deetman report mention that a leading politician with the Catholic people’s party, KVP,  tried to have prison sentences dropped against several priests accused of abusing children in 1958.

MPs are now calling for a full parliamentary investigation into the abuse scandal because of concerns about the neutrality of the Deetman inquiry. MPs are due to question Deetman at a hearing next week.

Hat Tip: Bill Murray (Donohue) and Glenn

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  • AgentCormac

    “The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one.”
    What a loathsome little man Donohue is. As ever, he shows not one single shred of remorse, and gives not one moment’s thought to the victims. Just protect the church and its immense wealth at all times. All other considerations rescinded.

  • Broga

    I wonder what Donohue, an expendable piece of human detritus, thinks he is defending against? The pathetic victims, often young and long suffering, of priestly sexual depredations. His church is already mired in scandal and public contempt. The grisly Donohue adds to its problems.

  • mike

    “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
    the Catholic Churchis a menace to children

  • David Anderson

    This calls for some quotes from The Hitch.
    “Nobody has yet been excommuncated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism!” (Slate 1573710).
    “All it is good for is forgiving the criminals and ignoring the pleas of the victims.” (MSNBC 3073710).

  • Newspaniard

    The latter half of this article is particularly disturbing. The castration of children was ignored by the Deetman committee. I should (bloody) HOPE that the Netherlands Government WOULD look into their (bloody) “neutrality”.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Typical catholic pleading. The church is the most important thing there is and must be protected, never mind the victims of it’s employees.
    The second part of this is very disturbing. If true I would hope that prosecution of those involved follows very swiftly.

  • “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
    the Catholic Church is a menace to children

    Oh, SNAP!
    In seriousness, the Catholic Church is genuinely a menace to children. Not simply because of the rampant abuse which takes place within it, but their core attitude is that children are mere tools and implements, cells to be shaped and grown to continue the survival of the church. That is it. Children are mere objects to them and they cannot be trusted to be anywhere near them, because they have made it plain that they will use these objects for their own ends. That they are continually shielded by Western governments for their monstrous crimes demonstrates that this view of children as objects and tools is shared by many of those in power, even if the Catholic ideology is not.

  • ZombieHunter

    No more Mr nice guy?? when has Bill Donahue ever been a nice guy??
    It’s times like this I’m really gutted that the hitch is gone 🙁

  • fester60613

    The filth that is the Vatican is at it again. Behold! The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops bold new initiative under its new president, Cardinal Dolan. I can imagine him saying, “we’ve got billions of dollars – let’s just litigate the fuckers [survivors’ network] to death!”

  • asquith
  • barriejohn

    Cardinal Timothy M Dolan: Loath, manic dirty old man

  • barriejohn

    Are all comments being moderated now, or just mine?

  • tony e

    To use Donohue’s own qoute ‘We don’t need altar boys’ – could he please pass that message onto the paedophile priests?

  • Daz

    Donahue is the sort of person who would run over a pregnant woman, then sue her widower for the damage to his paintwork.

  • Daz

    Bill Donohue: Loon hid lube
    No moderation here, Barriejohn. Still getting crap from the captcha thingy though.

  • Frankly, I hope that SNAP continues to be a ‘menace to the Catholic Church’ in the same way that undercover police are a ‘menace’ to chatroom paedophiles.
    Story just further illustrates how characters like Donohue use the fact that a) victims of sexual abuse want justice and b) they and many, many others do not think that the church should be above the law, to paint a warped picture of Catholics being forced to toughen up against unreasonable hostility.

  • barriejohn
  • Buffy

    “no more Mr Nice Guy”
    Donohue doesn’t have a nice bone in his body.
    SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.
    Only because SNAP is working to document and expose the abuse the church has been working to hide all along.
    We don’t need altar boys.
    Why, are priests planning on switching to nuns?

  • john.c

    Fighting cases publicly will ensure even more negative press for the catholic church, i am sure that there will be plenty of people willing to back claimants, i foresee a new wave of solicitors ,no win no fee adverts on the horizon.Lets hope the judge in the first public case orders the church to turn over its disputed correspondence, en mass ,to the police,for investigation,also I think a fine of a few million a day for non compliance , akin to the microsoft case, would be in order against the catholic church.

  • Hitchens’apprentice

    It is time to wipe the Planet clean of the Catholic Menace……

  • Pete H

    It is time to wipe the Planet clean of the Catholic Menace……
    How do you intend to do that?
    I find some of your recent pronouncements quite odd, if I’m honest.

  • JeannieGuzman

    I can’t think of a bigger, public relations detriment to the Church than Bill Donahue. Many in the Hierarchy might side with Bill and think similar thoughts, but they are intelligent enough not to speak them in public or to one, who will quote them to the press. Bill, on the other hand, is too caught up in his own bravura to realize how disgusting he appears to “Thinking Catholics,” who are ashamed of him and of what the Church Hierarchy is doing in the courts to SNAP. Long live SNAP! Without the courageous people at SNAP this Priest Pedophilia Scandal would have never hit the papers and changes NEVER would have been made in the Church. It would have been “Business as Usual!” The Church Hierarchy would have continued to shuffle Pedophile Priests from one school to another and one parish to another, without any thought of the nature of these acts as being CRIMINAL! Now, hopefully the bishops are sweating as they are being called in to court to answer for their coverups!

  • JeannieGuzman

    Bill Donhue was right about one thing, though: To use Donohue’s own qoute ‘We don’t need altar boys,” he was correct. Jesus didn’t have them at the Last Supper, did he? There is absolutely no evidence in the Book of Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Peter and Paul that there were any Altar Boys. The concept of Altar Boys at Mass is just a fairy-tale of the Church. I have often wondered if the position of “Altar Boy” wasn’t invented to satisfy the lusts of “celibate” priests, who thought they could get away with sex with kids and retain their celibacy, as long as they weren’t having sex with a woman!

  • AgentCormac

    @ Hitchens’apprentice
    “It is time to wipe the Planet clean of the Catholic Menace……”
    Hardly the kind of thing Hitch would have said.

  • ‘THE shrill voice of Catholic outrage in the US’
    Shouldn’t that read ‘The shrill, strident voice of militant Catholic outrage…’?
    David B

  • Chuck Murphy

    Timmy and Billy
    Goofus and Doofus
    Loon and Goon
    Good Cop and Bad Cop
    Red Hat and Black Hat
    Unholy alliance at best
    Keep them both talking…
    it helps us understand.

  • AgentCormac

    One good bit on fews – Mark Thompson has resigned as Director General of the BBC.
    Maybe now the BBC can stop being a mouthpiece for religion.

  • AgentCormac

    That should, of course, have read ‘good bit of news’. (Come back Edit feature – all is forgiven!)

  • D. Austin

    The Catholic Church has been a known evil institution since the middle
    ages. It was hated and feared by the peasants it preyed upon.
    The only change since then is they no longer employ professional pardoners selling indulgences on a large scale.
    Now they employ professional lawyers to obtain indulgences and pardons on a large scale for themselves.
    As long as children are indocorated by religions the abuse and brain washing will continue. As it for for some thousand years.

  • @Barriejohn, some interesting responses on that story regarding the Coptic Pope.

    The Pope is not being Worshiped, but he is being venerated

    Which is, of course, totally different.

    The guy in the first photo taking a picture is not a priest, he is a deacon.

    Well that makes it far less silly looking, doesn’t it?
    I by no means intend to mock these people and how they choose to mourn their departed leader, but what I find odd and amusing is the response from Mail Readers. I find it highly unlikely they would be so understanding of mourners of an imam or Ayatollah. And what’s with the capital letters on DEAD in the story’s headline? I wonder if the paper miscalculated and thought they could get their readers to have a titter at those silly Egyptians and their odd customs.

  • barriejohn

    You obviously have more self control than I do, JMW!

  • Don

    Hitchens’ Aprentice,
    Your choice of name shows that you have far too high an opinion of yourself, given your level of comments.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: Departure of Thompson, enjoying an £800.000 plus salary definitely good news. I think Thomo went to see Ratzinger, no doubt on expenses, to encourage Papa to do Thought for the Day – now famous as an ultimate in banality. However, Patten the Chairman is a member of the RC group at the BBC so we mustn’t be too optimistic. I don’t think they will consider anyone non religious just yet.

  • Har Davids

    Newspaniard, Mr. Deetman is RC himself, that might explain a certain reluctance to dig any deeper in even more unpalatable stuff. And a little while ago, papers turned up proving that there was knowledge of the abuses during the 50’s en 60’s, but people – both inside the church and outside – preferred to cover them up. I guess Bill Donahue expresses a sentiment that exists in certain circles of the church; after all, coughing up is admitting to the allegations. And we haven’t scratched the surface yet, as we’re talking of centuries of abuse of power. If our elected officials had any balls, the Vatican would have been invaded by now.

  • AgentCormac

    Just saw this over at Pharyngula and thought you might all appreciate it. Absolutely priceless!

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: That is, of course, what the faith schools want to encourage in children. When religion kicks in then you must stop thinking. A good friend of mine in the USA argued at a party against so called Intelligent Design and attempted to explain evolution and why that made sense and ID did not. He thought he was getting the better of the discussion with those around him and said he could not understand why anyone could prefer the idea of ID over evolution.
    He was told, “You used the word understand and there is your problem. If only you would stop thinking and analysing and learn to accept the truth of the bible with a contrite heart your confusion would disappear.” His contract has now ended and he is back in the UK.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Broga
    It is one of those non sequiturs from which those who control religion (and therefore the minds of billions of people) have always prospered: the less you think, the more you’re going to believe. But it is also a cop out for those who don’t have the balls to question what they have been spoon-fed.
    Just like Boxer the horse in Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, they ignore the evidence of their own eyes, accept the lies and keep on going no matter what because the promise they have been sold is all they want to believe and the social consequences for not believing don’t bear thinking about.

  • Jacob Jonker.

    The Roman Catholic Church has yet many supporters and faithful believers in the West.These people are either political opportunists or mentally/emotionally dependent.It is a fact that even today,in the Western democracies,many people support institutions such as the Roman Church due to childhood psycho-social and socio-cultural conditioning.In our democracies,people have a right to remain in the psychological and social rut they are in.Also,it is easily done to impute to others a state of mind they don’t possess(and equally useless).The Roman Catholic faithful do not necessarily share the reason and logic employed,even if only incidentally or selectively,by freethinkers.The way to deal with this is by means of equal rights.But who votes for a political party dedicated to wipe out all special privileges,especially taxation and rates exemptions?Nobody,because there is no such party.So people vote for tweedledum and dee-Democracy!

  • barriejohn

    The BBC are almost wetting themselves this morning because a woman is going to Parliament to read out in her very best voice a speech that someone else has written for her.

  • Newspaniard

    @barriejohn, please clarify for the less well read.

  • barriejohn

    For someone who loathes sport, religion and the monarchy in equal measure, 2012 in Great Britain is going to be a sheer purgatory!

  • Daz

    Don’t worry, you are not alone. I expect to be doing a lot of swearing at the telly this year. And probably a lot of reading.
    Oooh, and next year is 60 years since the coronation. Won’t that be fun.

  • barriejohn

    Daz: A young woman made a speech yesterday. It was the first time that she had made a speech all on her own. Fantabulosa!

  • Angela_K

    Barriejohn: “For someone who loathes sport, religion and the monarchy in equal measure, 2012 in Great Britain is going to be a sheer purgatory!”
    I agree. I heard there is something called Sport Relief but sadly I discovered it is not relief from sport.

  • lucy

    Back on topic, the Vatican has said ‘oh dearie me’ about the abuse in Ireland. Perhaps they could put thier money where their mouth is and silence Bill O’Donohue….

  • AgentCormac

    @ lucy
    But I see that one of the victims’ support groups has noted, “…a hardening of attitude on the part of the Church authorities to the question of compensation for survivors. This only compounds the pain and hurt of survivors. It brings into question the authenticity of the Church’s repentance.”

  • lucy

    Surely no one thought for one minute their repentence was authentic. Damage limitation at best… an opportunity for showing off how humble and hurt they are in the face of all these ‘dreadful’ victims and their ‘strident’ supporters. They reckon they can just say ‘oops, some of our brothers were a little weak, or corrupted by secular morality’ and it will all go away. In their view, the only important thing here is the power and reputation of the church (i.e. themselves)
    I just thought it was interesting timing that the vatican were banging on about Ireland, while that shite is saying all that in the US. He could not be saying it without at the least tacit support from the US RC hierarchy.

  • Judy Jones

    This vicious attack on SNAP/victims tells us only one thing.
    To all victims who have been sexually abused by clerics, your voices are strong, powerful, and being heard…!..
    The church officials can’t shut us up. They can’t shove all the victims back under their control of silence.
    The can of worms has been opened, and that is only because very brave victims of clergy sex abuse are speaking up, coming forward, contacting the police, exposing the truth, and trying their hardest to not allow another child to be given the life sentence of harm which they were dealt.
    For those who wish to help …On our website – – are simple suggestions for helping victims beat back this assault against them by top Catholic officials. Please check it out. Thanks.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is

  • Don

    Repentance means something special to the RCC. Say the right words and you get a clean slate.
    Not in the real world, pal. If you stand on my foot and say sorry it’s all fine. If you facilitate the rape of children then expressions of regret mean nowt.