Matt C. Abbott
The good bishop and the bad senator; The clergy abuse scandal in dollars
By Matt C. Abbott
April 3, 2014

A pro-life activist recently emailed Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., regarding pro-abortion "Catholic" U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Bishop Paprocki responded:
    Dear Mr. [name redacted], Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Good for Bishop Paprocki!

Now for some bad news...

From Catholic World News:
    The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses $108,954,109 in 2013, according to a report released on March 28 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)....

    The clerical abuse scandal cost religious institutes an additional $14,411,168 in 2013. These expenses brought the total cost of the clerical abuse scandal to American dioceses and religious institutes between 2004 and 2012 to $2,744,881,843: $2,351,903,157 for dioceses and eparchies, and $392,978,686 for religious institutes....
On the same topic...

In an interview for the April 2014 edition of The Limbaugh Letter, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League told radio personality Rush Limbaugh the following:
    The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was an absolute, utter disgrace. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, not an arm of the Catholic Church, put the timeline as overwhelmingly from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Mid-60s, the beginning of the sexual revolution. Mid-80s, because I would argue AIDS was discovered in '81 and that put the brakes on people.

    Why did it affect the Catholic Church? When the winds of culture change dramatically, it gets through the military, it gets through the churches, everybody. That's not an excuse. You had two principle actors: the molesting priest and the enabling bishop. Most of the molesting priests, according to John Jay, were men who had sex with men. Now they don't use the word I'm going to use: homosexuality. John Jay said less than five percent were pedophiles. In other words, it was guys hitting on adolescent guys.

    Now, I can say this to you because you'll give me a chance to say it. I've said it a million times, but nobody wants to quote me on this. Most gay priests are not molesters, but most of the molesting priests have been gay. Now, I'm Irish. My people have a problem with alcoholism. It doesn't mean if you're born Irish you're going to become an alcoholic. It means that maybe you ought to take a look at certain communities. That's all I'm saying.

    Now, the enabling bishop. What drove him? Clericalism. That's the term that's used in Catholic circles. Those who are not Catholic would probably understand it more in terms of elitism, arrogance, pomposity. 'The bishop knows best.' 'Don't worry about that, I'm taking care of things.' Yes, you took care of things real well, some of you.

    This should never have happened. They were teaching in some of the seminaries in the 1970s that all kinds of sexual expression was okay. As in the 1977 book Human Sexuality, by a former priest, Anthony Kosnik. It's stunning. Everything goes. I'm saying the Catholic Church became corrupt, morally speaking, on matters sexual in the 1970s when the lid blew. Not all seminaries, obviously, but too many of them. So there was this enabling factor, 'Send the guy to therapy and he'll be just fine.' Well, some people are intractable. I'm not saying you throw them in the street or lock them up, although some of them certainly should be, but what you can't do is put them back into ministry.

    'Give the poor devil therapy' was the zeitgeist. That was the spirit of the times in the 60s and 70s. You could rehabilitate anybody. Therapy was for everybody. People were bragging about their analysts, and too many bishops got advice from the psychiatrists and they accepted it. It was a sad chapter. In the last six years, we have seven credible accusations made against 40,000 priests.

    There's a serious problem of child rape going on in other demographic communities about which you will hear nothing. Almost every case you hear today is an old case which is being resurrected. There's no bigger devil in this than the Catholic left and those who claim to be Catholic and have one foot out the door or who have long left and who are angry. Particularly watch out for the ex-priest, the ex-seminarian, and the ex-nun.
I don't agree with Donohue on every single matter, but on this topic, he's spot on.

(Click here to read the interview in its entirety.)

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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