Snapping back at SNAP

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