Donohue is also an amazing fellow, always able to top himself in serial excuses for the crimes of the church. His latest escapade is to pardon a priestly abuser because his victims were over some magical age.
The head of the influential Catholic League says that the priest who allegedly sexually abused 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin did not engage in pedophilia because ‘the vast majority of the victims [were] post-pubescent.”
Bill Donohue made the argument during a raucous debate on Larry King Live Tuesday night, during which he repeatedly pointed the finger to homosexuality — rather than pedophilia — as the cause of the church’s sex abuse problems.
He’s playing word games, and managed to successfully derail the discussion into a debate over how young the victims have to be for it to count as pedophilia — Donohue is claiming that once a kid is over 12 or 13, he’s fair game. At that age, it’s just homosexuality.
Where to even begin? The problem is not the sex of his victims, it’s that this was a priest abusing his authority, acting as a sexual predator on much, much younger members of his flock — young people who were in his charge, who were dependent on him, and who had been indoctrinated with the belief that they should trust the priest. Donohue is resorting to arguing that because a 13-year-old had pubic hair, he had the full autonomy of an adult and the abuse of the priest was simply a love affair between equals. And that is bullshit.
It’s a mistake to get into an argument about a chronological dividing line at all. The one thing Donohue is really good at, though, is spewing out distractions, and that’s what he has accomplished here — he’s obscuring a clear pattern of abuse with a lot of irrelevant noise.