Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Response to Bill Donohue

The other day, I referenced an article by Minnesota Public Radio in my post What Would You Do? regarding one of the most mishandled cases of abusing clergy since Bishop Finn and Father Ratigan.

And Bill Donohue has stepped into the fray, going so far as to giving "Kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt", the man who must take the administrative blame for the sexual abuse of two boys by Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer.  Kudos indeed.

Donohue's legalistic defense of the indefensible can be read here.

The best thing to be said for it is that it's short.  And he ends with a pointed challenge, which I will be so bold as to answer.  Or attempt to answer.

Donohue says ...

The burden is on those who disagree to say exactly what should be done in instances where there are no complainants.

Well, there were complaints in the Wehmeyer case, as anyone reading the MPR article will see, but Donohue plays fast and loose with the facts.  This is his M.O.

But he has pointed out that we should say "exactly what should be done" in cases like this.

Well, that may be a hard question, but let me try to answer it.

In this specific case, here are the facts ...


  • The molesting priest had a camper parked permanently on the lot of his parish
  • Little boys were being invited into that camper alone with the priest
  • The priest had been known to cruise gay hangouts looking for anonymous sex
  • The priest had been hitting on teen-aged boys in public places such as bookstores
  • Police had contacted the "Delegate for a Safe Environment" of the archdiocese about the priest, but the delegate had neglected to return their phone calls
  • The archdiocese had a large file on this priest and his troubled sexual behavior
  • The archdiocese knew that the mandated counseling the priest had undergone had been ineffective
  • The "Delegate for a Safe Environment" called a mother in the parish and told her it was HER responsibility to make sure her pastor observed "safe boundaries" with her boys; it was her fault people were complaining about how this man behaved toward her boys in public
  • The Chancellor of Canonical Affairs of the archdiocese insisted that this man not be made pastor of a parish because of his sexual acting out; the archbishop ignored this and appointed him pastor anyway
  • A memo shows that the archdiocese deliberately decided to keep these issues hidden from parishioners and potential victims and their parents


So, Bill Donohue, "exactly what should be done" in this case?

Hmmm.  That's a tough one.

Any suggestions from my readers?  Mr. Donohue needs some help.

Fr. Wehmeyer's camper, where he molested at least two boys.  He parked it permanently in his parish parking lot and would invite boys in, where he would give them alcohol and show them porn.  But Bill Donohue says justice was served when the archdiocese did nothing about this.  "Kudos to Archbishop Niendstedt for handling these matters with justice for all!" - Bill Donohue, a direct quote.  


16 comments:

Anonymous said...


"defense of the indefensible"

Well put, I must say.

Bill What's his name does need help and a lot of it.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
New Castle, DE
maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com

CatholicWhistleblowers.org

bill bannon said...

Donohue knows that defense sells to a particular Catholic subgroup....angry and IQ of an average nature. Google his salary. It's that of a brain surgeon.

Anonymous said...

Those who ordained him, those who didn't remove him from ministry at the first violation of his Code of Pastoral Conduct, those too busy to be bothered by this while the slow train wreck happened, they should put on sackcloth and ashes for the entire winter. Even if some of those people are bishops, especially those who are bishops. Bill Donohue can come out and put on some sackcloth and ashes too. I like our present archbishop, but I would be even more fond of him if he steps up to the plate.

Kevin Tierney said...

We really haven't come to terms with the abuse crisis, still to this day. We can blame Obama and the media all we want, but with stories like this, it's tough to come away with any other conclusion: most of the wounds the American Church has are self-inflicted, and because of that, our society is a lot sicker than it needed to be.

TheMediaReport.com said...

I don't want to carry water for Bill Donohue, but I'm afraid if there is anyone playing loose with the facts, it's Kevin O'Brien.

O'Brien falsely implies that the archdiocese KNEW ahead of time all of the facts he has listed and it knew "Little boys were being invited into that camper alone with the priest."

Grunky's implication is unfair.

As soon as the archdiocese had a complaint about sex abuse with youth, it called the police. Period.

As far as the MPR article, I take exception to the fact that Jennifer Haselberger, former chancellor for canonical affairs for the Archdiocese, is practically heralded as a hero in this episode.

I believe that as an employee of the archdiocese, Haselberger had a moral obligation to call police to report suspected abuse, it seems. If events transpired as she claims, why didn't she make any calls to police??

And now SHE wants to complain about the archdiocese? SHE was part of that very archdiocese about which she is complaining!!

Btw, the Bill Donohue bashing among Catholic blogs is tiresome. He did not "defend the indefensible." The claim is specious.

-

TheMediaReport.com said...

@Kevin Tierney: No one is blaming Obama for the abuse crisis.

And as far as the media, its single-minded obsession with abuse in the Catholic Church is undeniable. I could give COUNTLESS examples.

But just last week, Boz Tchividjian, a prominent Evangelical leader and the grandson of Billy Graham, told a roomful of journalists that "we are worse" than the Catholic Church at handling abuse cases.

"Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics," he said.

But you'll never hear about Tchividjian's remarks on MPR, NPR, The New York Times, The Boston Globe ... (I have not found a major American media outlet that picked up the story.)

And I don't know who taught you and Kevin O'Brien that a requirement to be a Catholic be perfect in every sense of the word.
Surely you and O'Brien imply that very thing.

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Kevin O'Brien said...

"The Media Report" (TMR), please point out specifically where Kevin Tierney or I are claiming to be "perfect in every sense of the word" or even implying that. Show me where we imply that. If you show me that, I'll apologize - but I'll also point you to fifty or more blog posts of mine in which I freely admit being a sinner and far from a perfect Catholic.

Now don't say something like that again and accuse me of being "loose with the facts".

TMR, can you really defend the anti-Catholic Donohue and the archdiocese after reading this blog post alone, much less the MPR report?

And if you read the report, you'd know that Haselberger knew of no complaints; she merely perused the priest's record and made the only common sense suggestion - don't make this man a pastor. Keep him away from other human beings. He's dangerous and disturbed. Anyone could see that - except you, Bill Donohue and Archbishop Nienstedt.

TMR, the only place where you have a case is the narrowest and most legalistic of places - that "official" complaints were not made to the archdiocese (that we know of); but given what we know - and the bullet points above point out what we know - are you really going to defend the archdiocese simply because, even with all of this info on this man, there were no "official" complaints? It's OK to let this guy near kids - this guy who parks a camper in the parish parking lot, a camper that he was inviting boys into - it's OK to make this man a pastor, given what the archbishop KNEW about him, with or without "official" complaints? Do you really want to make that case? Because that's Donohue's case, and in making it, he's tarnishing the very Catholic Church he claims to defend.

I am no perfect Catholic, TMR, but you are a perfect scoundrel if you defend the archdiocese in this case. Period.

Anonymous said...

Here's what was known before Wehmeyer abused those boys:

1) he was known to be actively engaging in homosexual liaisons

2) he had propositioned teen boys for sex at least twice

3) he had even propositioned another priest for gay sex

These are some pretty big dots not to connect. He clearly should not have been in parish ministry.

TMR, you and bill Donahue are technically correct, I suppose, in that the diocese called the police when learned of the abuse of the boys--correct as in the Joe Paterno covering your own hide while doing the bare minimum and ignoring warning signs.





BenYachov said...

>1) he was known to be actively engaging in homosexual liaisons

With adults.


>2) he had propositioned teen boys for sex at least twice

Both Adults 19 & 20.


>3) he had even propositioned another priest for gay sex

Who is an adult so how do you get from his known offenses that he also liked children?

The Archbishop knew he was a gay lech. Now it is open to discussion as to how long any bishop should tolerate a lech, gay or straight in the Priesthood.

It is for him to judge if the man is trying to repent or just full of it.

But Themediareport is right. Once he went after kids & someone approched the diocese with this information the Police where called.

Good job on that. I hope that pattern continues.

O'Brian's "response" is something to the effect of "Donohue is bad!!!!"

Perhaps we can hear from him other irrelavent stupidity out of left field such as "Donohue makes $400,000!".(it's 399K btw).

As if Micheal Voris or Fr Z don't make the same stupid complaint against Karl Keating "Oh he makes a 6 figure salary! He is in it for the money".

Or militant anti-Semites who rant over Abe Foxmen making 500k as head of the ADL.

We get it O'Brien! You can't stand Donohue so you will brook no dissent, discussion, debate or fairness.

Donohue is doing his job speaking out against the defemation of Catholics & demanding they be judged by one equal standard.

He said himself in his last interview with Cuomo on CNN(who was a jerk to him) he thought somebody should call the police on these Priests from day one.

But Grunky as issued an Ex Cathedra decree on the matter.

Case closed.

BenYachov said...

>"The Media Report" (TMR), please point out specifically where Kevin Tierney or I are claiming to be "perfect in every sense of the word"

>Now don't say something like that again and accuse me of being "loose with the facts".

>TMR, can you really defend the anti-Catholic Donohue and the archdiocese after reading this blog post alone, much less the MPR report....

You are a real piece of work O'Brien.

I love the games you play O'Brien.

You remind me of the Gnu Atheists I've butted heads with on the Net.

example:
"YOU ARE A LIAR! I CHALLENGE YOU TO SHOW ME WHERE I CALLED THAT DISHONEST, VICIOUS STUPID, ANT-INTELLECTUAL GODBOTHER WILLIAM LANE CRAIG A JERK!"

Calling a fellow defender of the Catholic Faith an "anti-Catholic" then you have the Chuzpah to misdirect with nonsense such as "I challenge you to show me where I said I was perfect?."

I followed this from a link on Mark's blog whose headline says "For God's sake shut up already".

Irony!



BenYachov said...

>>The burden is on those who disagree to say exactly what should be done in instances where there are no complainants.


>Well, there were complaints in the Wehmeyer case, as anyone reading the MPR article will see, but Donohue plays fast and loose with the facts. This is his M.O.

I reply: Are you so thick Obrien, so blinded by rage as to not notice Donohue is referring to the 19 & 20 year old boys/adults who didn't complain to the police about being propositioned?

>In this specific case, here are the facts ...

which refers to the underage boys this creep tried to molest.

The woman complained to the diocese she was told to call the police & both she & the diocese called the police & this jerk was arrested.

Donohue said so on his website he did not say nobody complained about the underaged boys.

It's right there in black and white on the very link you linked to O'Brien.

Gee & you accuse me of not reading things!

Jaw drop!!!!!!!!!!!

I am done talking to you.

I am going to find something more productive like banging my head against a wall.

BenYachov said...

>Well, there were complaints in the Wehmeyer case, as anyone reading the MPR article will see, but Donohue plays fast and loose with the facts..

BTW least I am accused of not reading the MPR article. I did read it. It agrees 100% substantially with what Donohue reports here.

But the MPR article itself does play fast & lose with the facts.

QUOTE"A few days later, the mother met with the Rev. John Paul Erickson at the Church of Saint Agnes and told him that she thought one of her boys had sexually abused her two younger daughters. Erickson urged her to call police. There’s no indication in the police file that Erickson called police. Minnesota law requires priests to report allegations of child abuse, unless the priest learns of the allegation during confession."

That last bit seems factually incorrect. I followed the link to the Law. It was 35 pages but I found this bit.

Quote"Persons mandated to report.

employed as a member of the clergy and received the information while engaged in ministerial duties, provided that a member of the clergy is not required by this subdivision to report information that is otherwise privileged under section 595.02, subdivision 1, paragraph (c).

According to 595.02 Quote" A member of the clergy or other minister of any religion shall not, without the consent of the party making the confession, be allowed to disclose a confession made to the member of the clergy or other minister in a professional character, in the course of discipline enjoined by the rules or practice of the religious body to which the member of the clergy or other minister belongs; nor shall a member of the clergy or other minister of any religion be examined as to any communication made to the member of the clergy or other minister by any person seeking religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort or advice given thereon in the course of the member of the clergy's or other minister's professional character, without the consent of the person."END QUOTE

The Law nowhere says Priests are only exempt from reporting what they learn from confession. It's clearly broader then that but the woman who wrote this article must have counted on nobody to actually read up on her claims.

The fact the Priest in question still told the woman to contact the police is in the MPR article & the Catholic League website.

So O'Brien I read all the material you would think relavent.

Who is playing fast & loose with the facts again?

I might as well leave now before you take my posts down.

But I will save them and mail them to Kevin.

Hey Kevin T good to see ya guy! Rosemarie reads your blog often.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Ben, I've given you enough rope and, once again, you've hanged yourself with it.

Your entire way of arguing can be found in this statement: "Donohue doesn't make $400,000 a year! He makes $399,000!"

God bless you, Ben. But I've had enough.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BenYachov said...

Now you have disappointed me.