Donohue's Red Herring on a Pedophile Protector.
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:47:13 AM EST
The Catholic Right, Part Fifty-five
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is on a mission -- not so much to defend the Church as to defend the powerful from efforts to hold them accountable.  Witness what happened during Pope Benedict XVI's recent US visit when Bloviating Bill employed the prejudicial to obscure the probative in defending Bishop William Murphy, head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.    
Murphy was a top aide in the Boston Archdiocese, where the pedophilia scandal broke in 2002, and who played a pivotal role in the cover-up. As Newsday reported:  

Overall, the public records show that Murphy, as Cardinal Bernard Law's top deputy in Boston for almost eight years, was involved in almost one-third of the priest sexual abuse cases at the heart of the scandal there. Not only did Murphy supervise the assignment of priests, he was privy to all confidential records on accusers' complaints, treatment and settlements. He also took care of accused priests' legal bills and helped arrange housing and jobs for them.

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly is examining theories that the Boston hierarchy may have acted as accessories to the sexual abuse of minors because under their supervision suspected priests continued to molest.

As well as:

The internal memos show that Murphy's participation went from reassigning suspected priests to other Boston parishes and arranging for priests to be transferred to dioceses in New Mexico, California, North Carolina and other states without fully revealing the clerics' history of abuse.

Murphy had a hand in dealing with some of the most notorious cases -- those of serial pedophile priests John Geoghan and Paul Shanley -- and other less-known cases, such as that of Rev. Thomas Forry, an alcoholic priest and accused child molester who allegedly threw a rectory housekeeper down the stairs.

In Boston, Murphy's official title was vicar general and moderator of the curia; in essence, he was the chief of staff to Law from 1993 until Murphy arrived on Long Island in 2001. Murphy had more scheduled meetings with Law than anyone else in the church hierarchy, Law's calendars from 1993 to 2001 show.

Timothy Echausse has a right to be angry about abusive priests and the hierarchy that shields them. He was sexually abused by a priest while growing up in Long Island, where the Diocese of Rockville Centre as in the Archdiocese of Boston, a shell game of hide the pedophile priests was rampantly played. Since then he has fought for justice for victims such as, himself and accountability from the Church to punish the guilty.

Tim still lives on Long Island. One day he received an email from his lawyer regarding SNAP. The organization was founded by Barbara Blaine back in the 1980's - well before the 2001 revelations. Blaine is a survivor, and an advocate helping passing legislation to help children of sexual abuse.

He went to a couple of meetings and was subsequently asked to run the local chapter.

When Pope Benedict met with six victims of Boston area pedophile priests during his recent U.S. visit, Tim was asked to comment. His reply was straight and direct:

Timothy Echausse, director of the Long Island chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Benedict should meet with abuse victims, which is not planned. He said the pope's words would be "hollow" if Bishop William Murphy of the Rockville Centre Diocese - a former top aide in the Boston Archdiocese, where the scandal broke in 2002 - is allowed to remain in office.

In response, three days later Donohue commented on the Newsday story, going after Tim Echausse with his usual reckless bluster:

Timothy Echausse, head of the Long Island chapter of the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, is a testament to the vicious and vindictive nature of the organization as a whole ("Victims: Action needed on abuse," April 16). In rejecting the pope's promise to protect kids from sex abuse as "hollow" unless Bishop Murphy is removed from his position as head of the Rockville Centre Diocese, Echausse shows himself willing to cast aspersions on innocent men so long as doing so will get SNAP in the news.

Demanding Bishop Murphy be thrown out of his post is out-rageous. It would make more sense for SNAP to pack it in and disband.

By any objective sense, it is Donohue's dismissal of SNAP and its members that is outrageous.
                                   William A. Donohue

I recently interviewed Timothy Echausse about the Pope's recent response to the pedophilia scandal, Bishop Murphy, his role in cover-up with the Archdiocese of Boston and of course, Donohue's comments.

He began by explaining his anger at Bishop Murphy:

Bishop Murphy comes from the Archdiocese of Boston. In the past fifty years over 1600 victims have come forward to state they were abuse by a priest. That's about 3 victims per month over fifty years. Bishop Murphy committed the sin of Careerism. He placed his career and aspiration of becoming a Bishop before the Children of Boston. Never once when credible allegations came across his desk, did he ever call the Police. Legally, Bishop Murphy had no obligation to call the police, but morally he must answer to GOD. Today, Bishop Murphy is in charge of the fifth wealthiest diocese.

Tim then discussed the Pope's recent meeting with pedophile victims:

Pope Benedict said in 2005 on Good Friday "We must clean the filth in the Church". Pope Benedict pleasantly surprised me with his openness to address this "Shame" on the Church. He met with six victims from Boston. He must continue to walk with the Victims of clergy abuse, but we the Victims are asking Pope Benedict to move to action. Bishop Murphy must be removed from his role as the Bishop of Rockville Centre.

And I asked him to comment on Donohue's disparaging remarks:

Mr. Donohue from Catholic League for Civil Rights is an oxymoron. I ask Mr. Donohue, what have you done to protect the Civil Rights of the Victims, who were abused by clergy? Nothing!!!!

Mr. Donohue takes private donations from the clergy (Code word for Cardinals and Bishops). He is a puppet to the Bishops to go after SNAP.

As I observed in my last post the Pope's gesture is a positive step forward -- but it will be an empty gesture if not followed up by immediate action that holds those accountable for their actions - whether they be priests or Bishops.

Jesus said that what you do to the least of these, my brethren, you do to me.

Christianity, by any reasonable definition, is not about empty gestures on behalf of children victimized for decades by those who have been appointed to speak and act in Christ's name.

But don't ask Bill Donohue about that.

The Catholic Right: A Series, by Frank L. Cocozzelli :

Part One  Part Two  Part Three  Part Four  Part Five  Part Six   Intermezzo   Part Eight   Part Nine  Part Ten   Part Eleven   Part Twelve   Part Thirteen   Part Fourteen   Second Intermezzo   Part Sixteen   Part Seventeen   Part Eighteen   Part Eighteen   Part Nineteen   Part Twenty   Part Twenty-one   Part Twenty-two   Part Twenty-three   Part Twenty-four   Part Twenty-five   Part Twenty-six   Part Twenty-seven   Part Twenty-eight   Part Twenty-nine   Part Thirty   Part Thirty-one   Part Thirty-two   Part Thirty-three   Part Thirty-four   Part Thirty-five   Part Thirty-six   Part Thirty-seven   Part Thirty-eight   Part Thirty-nine   Part Forty   Part Forty-one   Part Forty-two   Part Forty-three   Part Forty-four   Part Forty-five   Part Forty-six   Part Forty-seven   Part Forty-eight   Part Forty-nine   Part Fifty   Part Fifty-one   Part Fifty-two   Part Fifty-three   Part Fifty-four

Donohue's standard operating procedure is not to to attack the message (especially when he knows it's dead-on correct), but to besmirch a noble messenger such as Timothy Echausse. And he does in order to protect those in the Church hierarchy who failed to protect the most vulnerable of any religious flock -- children.

As I have said before and sure to say again, the man has no objective sense of decency.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:53:09 AM EST

Is the Pope not demonstrating that he is an expert at empty gestures toward those abused by Roman Catholic clergy and religious?
    It sure sounds as though Murphy was an accessory to lots and lots of felonies. The fact that he remains unquestioned as a prince of the Church is a scandal. What moral authority remains in the face of this?

by nogodsnomasters on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 11:24:10 AM EST
It remains in the hearts, souls and minds of groups such as Voice of the Faithful, SNAP, Call to Action and others who bravely demand accountabilty.

Such authority is personalized in the being of individual Catholics such as such as Timothy Echausse.  

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 12:59:37 PM EST

I needed that.

by nogodsnomasters on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:27:58 PM EST

and somewhat off-topic, but I think worth discussing.  The Newsday article makes the contention that Paul Shanley is a "serial pedophile priest."  This is inaccurate.  Although Paul Shanley was convicted of molesting Paul Busa, the only evidence presented at trial to support this charge was so-called "recovered memory" junk science.  This was the same type of evidence that was used to put countless numbers of innoccent daycare providers in jail back in the hysteria of the 1980s.  Journalist JoAnn Wypijewski had a good article on this published in Legal Affairs several years ago.  More articles on the subject can be found here.  Paul Shanely recently requested a new trial.  I can only hope that his request is granted and his name will be cleared.

I am not denying the reality of the priest abuse scandal.  Many of the charges made against the accused priests are meritious and supported by corraborating evidence.  However, in Shanley's case the evidence does not rise to that standard.  It is unfortunate that SNAP has chosen to fall for this hook, line and sinker.

"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 05:12:40 PM EST

Murphy has shown himself to be a rather authoritarian type doing it his way. Jimmy Breslin took Murphy to task for moving an order of nuns from a convent so it could be converted into a lavish home for Murphy. From then on, Breslin consistently referred to "Mansion Murphy." It seems as if the church failed to update its archaic methods of governance to something more suitable to the modern world.

Donohue apparently sees his role to act as ecclesiastical Cerberus to warn off any would-be critics of the hierarchy. For Screamin' Bill, it's all about protecting the reputation and finances of the institutional church, even if innocent people have to suffer for its shortcomings.


by khughes1963 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:39:03 PM EST

Donohue also should (or WILL) be held accountable for the suffering caused by the heirarchy to each of its victims (along with the perps and their defenders).

Those idiots don't realize that actions like theirs DRIVE people from God- just as much as the jackleg preachers we often get on campus.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 12:27:25 PM EST

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