The Catholic League's Bill Donohue complains in an Aug. 2 Newsmax column:
Imagine the following scenario.
A cardinal in the Catholic Church knows that for 20 years a priest in his archdiocese has sexually abused hundreds of young persons, yet he never once reported his crimes to the authorities. When this is disclosed to the public, the cardinal stands fast, refusing to budge. When a protest of angry Catholics forces him to resign, he is allowed to teach at a local Catholic college and is awarded the title "distinguished professor."
There's more. Imagine the cardinal being charged by prosecutors with two felonies and with lying to the police. Imagine further that the archdiocese agrees to award him $2.45 million over three years; he is also given medical and dental coverage. But he has to agree not to sue the archdiocese first! He agrees.
Contrast this with what happened on July 30 when the Board of Trustees at Michigan State University awarded former president Lou Anna Simon about $2.5 million (of taxpayers' money), plus benefits, after she was forced to resign. According to the Detroit Free Press, she is charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of lying to the police about Dr. Lawrence Nassar. Nassar is in prison for sexually abusing young athletes when working as a sports doctor at the university; hundreds of young girls are believed to have been molested by him.
Simon's payout follows her refusal to resign — she did so under protest. The school then awarded her the title "distinguished professor."
Does Donohue really want to go there? OK, let's go there.
Bernard Law was the cardinal of the Boston diocese for 18 years. Over that time, he was found to have extensive knowledge of sexual abuse committed by priests in the diocese, but he simply moved the offending priests to other parishes rather than contacting authorities. Unlike Simon, Law never faced criminal charges. But after he resigned fro the Boston diocese in disgrace, Law was awarded what is argably better than being named "distinguished professor": a ceremonial position at the Vatican. When he did, he was given a funeral Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
In other words, Law appears to have been treated better than Simon.
When Law died, Donohue praised him as a "theological conservative" and virtually ignored his central role in the sexual abuse scandal. He didn't complain about a disgraced cardinal being given a funeral service in the revered St. Peter's. No wonder Donohue thought this was a good example to cite against Simon.
Instead, he whined that the Simon story didn't get the media attention the overall Catholic abuse scandal -- though he ignores the massive media attention given to Nasser, and despite the fact that even if Simon is foound guilty of lying to police (Simon's attorneys deny it, according to the article Donohue cites), it was only for a period of two years, compared with the 18 years Law mishandled numerous abusive priests and the 20 years in his hypothetical example.
This is ultimately just another example of Donohue trying to downplay the severity of the Catholic abuse scandal.