Friday, May 6, 2011

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Takes on False Claims Against Priests


Of all the groups who are adjudged "guilty" of sex offenses in the court of last resort -- the court of public opinion -- before a scrap of evidence is admitted at trial, and on the basis nothing more than a mere accusation by a lone accuser, none are as reviled, scorned, and despised as Catholic priests. When it comes to the subject of priests and rape, political correctness jumps into hyperdrive and Catholic bashers, rape feminists, misandrists, and hysterical chivalrous men who "don't want no pervert near my kid" flock to the issue the way Philadelphians make a beeline to the Jersey shore on Saturdays in July.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue, a fierce advocate for the clergy on these issues, notes a spike in accusations against priests found to be false or unsubstantiated: the increase was 42 percent. Specifically, "the number of such claims jumped from 12 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2010, the largest, by far, in any one year."  Story here.

Why the jump? Mr. Donohue thinks it's because "the clock is ticking, so if someone wants to cash in with a bogus claim, he had better come forward before it's too late."

Mr. Donohue proceeds to echo a point we make here frequently: "Whatever the cause is, it puts priests in jeopardy: all it takes is for someone to drop a dime, make up an accusation, and hire a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. The beauty of it all is that his true identity will not be disclosed publicly; he will be assigned the name John Doe 101, and the accused will not know who he really is. Better yet, the priest may already be dead."

He concludes: "A more aggressive approach by the dioceses is badly needed. False claimants should be sued for perjury and slander. Not until these 'victims' pay a price for their maliciousness will justice be done."