ISSN 2330-717X

Why Should Priest Accusers Be Believed? – OpEd

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When the Pennsylvania grand jury report on accused priests was released, there was a rush to judgment on the part of the media, pundits, and activists, all concluding that the accused were guilty. This included many Catholics, both liberals and conservatives. I tried to raise questions about the veracity of the report and was immediately criticized for doing so.

Now some of these very same people are saying that the woman who has accused Rep. Keith Ellison of violence and sending threatening text messages to her, Karen Monahan, should not be believed.

In fact, last month, after Monahan’s allegations were made, Ellison received the overwhelming support of his colleagues in the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party: In his bid to become state attorney general, he won 82 percent of the delegates. Monahan’s accusations obviously didn’t matter.

Worse, some of Ellison’s supporters started attacking her.

Monahan tweeted the following: “I’ve been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party. I provided medical records from 2017, stating on two different Dr. Visits. I told them about the abuse and who did it. My therapist released records stating I have been dealing and healing from the abuse.”

Why should the priest accusers be believed, but not Ellison’s accuser? Not one of the accused priests had the chance to rebut any of the charges, yet all of them were condemned in the eyes of the public.

In another example of duplicity, why should anyone trust Debra Katz, the lawyer for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford?

When Paula Jones accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, Katz, a left-wing lawyer, dismissed Jones’ claims saying the alleged incident “lasted 10 to 12 minutes.” It is certainly true that it didn’t take long for Clinton to drop his pants, expose himself, and tell Jones to “kiss it” [his penis].

Now if the clock is the measure of injustice, that would mean that the most common abuse committed by molesting priests—”inappropriate touching”—should be dismissed as trivial (it only takes a few seconds to grab someone’s behind). But, of course, there is a different standard for judging priests.

In another demonstration of her hypocrisy, Katz made little of the sexual misconduct accusations levied against Senator Al Franken.”Context is relevant,” she said. She pointed out that the offenses took place before he was a senator.

Kavanaugh’s alleged offense took place 36 years ago when he was in high school, but that matters gravely to Katz. If her client decides to testify, she should be asked how long it took for Kavanaugh to pin her down. If it took 10-12 minutes, then she loses. End of story.

Priests should have the same rights as everyone else, but that is not the case. This calls into serious question the motivating factors behind this unequal playing field. Duplicity abounds.


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William Donohue

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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