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Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Defends Priest Who Blamed Children For Their Abuse

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Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued a statement yesterday defending Father Benedict Groeschel, who earlier this week blamed child victims of pedophile priests for their rapes. Calling Groeschel’s service “heroic,” and his record “impressive,” Donohue claims Father Groeschel merely “hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown.” Groeschel told the National Catholic Register that in a “lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

READ: Famous Roman Catholic Priest Blames Children For Their Rapes

Donohue calls Groeschel’s record of screening applicants to the priesthood “impressive,” yet, as The New Civil Rights Movement posited yesterday, perhaps someone in the past 40 years should have realized that the gatekeeper was a sympathizer to rapists of children? Did no one ever examine Groeschel’s batting average?

The Catholic Church has been plagued with thousands of pedophile priests, enabled by Catholic leadership up to and including Pope Benedict XVI, (certainly in his previously role,) and men like Donohue, who attack groups like SNAP and demean and discredit those victims who speak out.

Speaking of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abuse By Priests — whom Dolan has called a “phony victims’ group” — David Clohessy, SNAP’s Executive Director, writes of the Groeschel issue that “the real issue isn’t that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks.(Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.)”

The real issue is “Why do priests who make callous, mean-spirited comments that hurt the already-wounded never suffer any consequences?” The real issue is “Why are there not hundreds of Catholic officials publicly denouncing Fr. Groeschel, especially Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose archdiocese employs or employed him and in whose archdiocese he lives and works?”

Can you even think of one instance, over the past 25 years, in which even one bishop or other top church staffer disciplined or denounced even one church employee for making even one ignorant, hurtful statement?

Donohue, for his part, has also called rape victims of the Catholic Church’s pedophile priests “professional victims,” and “a pitiful bunch of malcontents” unable to move on.

In fact, the Catholic Church has a decades-long history of not only not reporting child sexual abuse and rape cases to te police, but covering them up, and even paying the abusers to “resign,” or, more often than not, transferring them to another parish so they can begin their child sexual abuse anew, with an entire new community of potential victims.

In one little-known case, nearly 80% of one small northwestern town’s children were victims of pedophile priests — many, if not most of those priests “serving” the community and raping their children were there as a result of previous sexual molestation and rape abuse charges.

Below is the full text of Donohue’s statement, bolding is ours:

A quarter century ago, Father Groeschel and seven other priests broke away from a religious community to found the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. His service to the Church over the past half-century has been nothing less than heroic. His ministry to the least among us is especially noteworthy.

Father Groeschel holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, and has put his training to work by counseling some of the most mentally and socially challenged people in our society. In addition, for the past four decades he has been screening men for the priesthood, weeding out those who should not be ordained. His record is impressive.

In a recent interview, he hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown. He also referred to Jerry Sandusky, the disgraced Penn State football coach, as “this poor guy.” For these remarks, and related comments, he is now being labeled as a defender of child abuse.

The accusation is scurrilous. In the same interview, Groeschel emphatically said that priests who are sexual abusers “have to leave.” His reference to Sandusky was exactly the way a priest-psychologist might be expected to speak: “poor guy” conveys sympathy for his maladies—it is not a defense of his behavior! Indeed, Groeschel asked, “Why didn’t anyone say anything?”

Groeschel is nearly 80 years old. A few years back, he was almost killed in an auto accident that left him disabled; it has definitely taken a toll on him. I have known him for two decades, and recently spent an afternoon with him. I’ve read his books, listened to his tapes—on sexual abuse—and have come to know a great priest. To condemn him for one part of one interview is wholly unjust.

The attacks on Groeschel must be melded with rightful attacks on the Catholic Church leadership, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and higher, and on self-appointed Catholic Church warriors like Bill Donohue, whose blind defense of child rapists and their sympathizers merely serves to enable their acts and continue this evil cycle.

It’s time for the Catholic Church to denounce the Catholic League. And for good Catholics to denounce Dolan and the leadership of their Church.

Related:

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News

‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender

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A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.

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