ISSN 2330-717X

The Scandal Of Church Critics


In a post  on Beliefnet, Mark Silk looks at charges made by attorney Jeffrey Anderson against New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Silk weighs my defense of Dolan saying I was correct to say that the term “scandal” in the Catholic lexicon has a special meaning: as I indicated last week, it means “a word or action evil in itself, which occasions another spiritual ruin.” No matter, he declares, the term, “in the doctrinal sense, is itself highly problematic.” He concludes by saying, “It’s time for the doctrine to go.”

Andrew Sullivan condemns the Catholic Church for its “homophobic doctrine,” and for operating “one of the biggest pedophile conspiracies in the world for decades if not centuries.” He concludes by saying “it seems to me that increased police involvement [in the Catholic Church] is necessary.”

Neither man has any ethical standing to make these kinds of remarks, and indeed both smack of hubris. Silk is not a Catholic—he is a Jew. Imagine a Catholic professor telling observant Jews that they need to change one or more of their doctrines. If such a character could be found, I would be the first to tell him to mind his own business.

Ten years ago, Sullivan was forced to admit that he had listed himself on the Internet as a HIV-positive gay man looking to have unprotected sex with other HIV-positive men. He also expressed an interest in “bi-scenes, one-on-ones, three-ways, groups, parties, orgies and gang bangs.” His standards, however, did not allow for “fats and fems.” So nice to know this is the same guy who wants cops to police the priests.

It just doesn’t get much sicker than this.

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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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