25 Years And Counting

25 Years And Counting

[“I never want to retire – I’d rather die with my boots on” or “They’ll have to carry me out with my boots on”!] 

Bill Donohue – July 20, 2018

July 1st marked my 25th anniversary as president and CEO of the Catholic League. It’s been a great run, and I am not about to pack it in. On July 18, I turned 71. Fortunately, God gave me pretty good health and a whole lot of energy.

When I took over in 1993, the league was in financial and organizational ruin. I told the board of directors to give me plenty of rope—don’t try to micromanage me—and if I didn’t produce, then they should yank me. Fortunately, they granted me the authority, and matters quickly turned around.

Why don’t I retire? After all, most of my friends are retired. I stay for one reason: I love what I am doing. I love fighting for justice, and to make right that which is wrong. I also love winning. While we don’t win them all, our track record is clearly better than any comparable organization.

What are we fighting for? Respect. A fair hearing. An equal playing field. That’s about it. What I want is a reasonable opportunity for the Church’s voice to be heard. We don’t have that. Instead, we have to endure a culture that is increasingly secular, irrational, and hateful.

The de-Christianization of Western civilization has not worked out for anyone. To make a fast comparison, consider such social ills as crime, delinquency, divorce, out-of-wedlock births, drug abuse, suicide, school shootings, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion. Now think about the most Catholic decade in American history—the 1950s—and make the comparison with today. The secularization of America has been an unmitigated disaster.

We have also become an increasingly irrational society. The sad fact is that the most educated persons in our society are also the most irrational. Most of them are white, and the worst among them have postgraduate degrees.

They are the ones who believe that a pregnant woman is not carrying another human life. They are the ones who believe that two men can get married. They are the ones who believe that a male who thinks he is a female is a female. It’s all a fiction. If they were independent thinkers, they would be able to think straight. But they are not—they are the victims of indoctrination.

Our society has also become increasingly hateful. It’s not enough to disagree anymore—it’s important to silence opposing views. It’s not enough to speak passionately about issues—it’s important to engage in  obscene attacks. It’s not enough to win on the issues—it’s important to personally destroy the opposition.

This is the environment the Catholic Church finds itself in. To be sure, the Church has made some serious mistakes along the way. But if some of our teachers, i.e., the clergy, have failed us, our teachings have not.

The trio of maladies that I mentioned—secularism, irrationality, and hatred—are reflections of what is at bottom a breakdown in community and common sense.

Western civilization has witnessed radical individualism run amuck, destroying the prospect for community, or a collective sense of oneness. That’s why America is so divided: our nation is coming apart at the seams, owing in large part to the loss of social glue that binds us together. As every Catholic should know, it’s easy to think of ourselves first if we don’t have time for Him.

Common sense is now a rarity, especially among the cultural elite and other big-sky thinkers. Their idea of helping the poor is not to empower them, but to drag the successful down. They work tirelessly to tell us of the harm that smoking does and then inform us in same breath of the need to legalize pot; Marijuana, Si, Marlboro, No. They defend the most pornographic material on TV, the screen, and the Internet, and then condemn the Miss America pageant for the bathing suit competition. They invite the homeless to camp out in coffee shops and are then shocked to learn they destroy the place.

By contrast, Catholicism embraces community and possesses common sense. That alone merits a defense of the Catholic Church. To be exact, it is the job of the Catholic League to help make the Church’s voice ascendant again. Somebody has to stand up to the roar of madness that surrounds us, and no entity is better equipped to do so than the Catholic Church.

The founder of the Catholic League, Father Virgil Blum, believed too many Catholics were complacent. That was true when he started in 1973 and it is true today, though it is certainly not true of Catholic League members. You are the ones who energize me.

The Church has weathered many storms before. It’s been beleaguered and besieged. It’s been subjected to vitriol and violence. Yet it always rebounds. It will again.

There are those who counsel retreat, advising practicing Christians to carve out small enclaves to repair to, essentially withdrawing from the center of the dominant culture. That’s a fool’s errand.

This is not a time to quit the fight—it’s a time to redouble our efforts. Anyone who thinks that things can’t get any worse knows nothing about history.

Count me in. Hope you’re in as well.

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8 comments on “25 Years And Counting

  1. Okay, high marks for spirit, Battlin’ Bill. And, anniversary congratulations, as well, [in view of your remarks about Uncle Ted (see comment below),] I hope to see reports of a Change of Command Ceremony at CL in the next 25 days.
    And, btw, America had other “most Catholic decades,” long before the 1950s. About 28 of ’em, in fact.

  2. Bill,
    Please don”t take this as criticism of you personally or, of the Church itself, but may I quote what you said: “I love fighting for justice, and to make right that which is wrong.”
    There are a number of traditional Catholic organizations toiling in the Lord’s Vineyard w/o jurisdiction/faculties from Rome. The SSPX is but one example; there are many others. Basically, they just want to operate as Catholic organizations did before 1962. The use the doctrine of “ecclesia supplet” or the Church supplies what is necessary in a state of necessity. Time goes on, talks are held, hopes are raised then dashed and. in the meantime the world gets worse.
    I ask you, Bill, to consider fighting for those Catholics who are disenfranchised by their own Church and have been since 1962 – which was supposed to initiate a “new springtime” instead of the winter of discontent in many dioceses. I realize you have been fighting many battles with secular organizations outside the Church and I applaud your efforts but I ask the question: who will fight the battles within the Church? Yes, we will, and many organizations like us will demand the right to canonical trials not allegations and unsubstantiated charges levied against us by those supposed to be our Shepherds. Will you and the organization you represent take up the fight? Summorum Pontificum, sadly, did not get the job done.
    It is my opinion that most traditional Catholic organizations practice the Faith according to doctrine and dogma in effect until 1962. And, they accept what emanates from the papal Chair since then while holding as problematical changes not implemented ex cathedrathat differ from the traditional Magisterium? Is this not enough?

  3. “Battling” or “Bulldog” Bill Donohue has a soft-spot for Cardinal “Uncle Teddy” McCarrick, because he has said of His Eminence:

    1. “A little over a year after assuming the reins of the Catholic League, I started exchanging letters with [him in] Newark … He was genuinely supportive of our efforts. On October 17, 1994, he wrote to me saying, ‘I have been speaking to the bishops of New Jersey at our Provincial meeting and encouraging them to support the work of the Catholic League in their own dioceses'” [Long before His Eminence and other members of the St. Gallen group were lobbying Cardinals eligible to elect a pope (i.e., under 80) to vote for Bergoglio]. – CARDINAL MCCARRICK’S CROSS

    2. “In the case of Cardinal McCarrick, the alleged abuse took place a half century ago (in the 1970s), and the alleged victim was a teenager, thus ruling out pedophilia [Refuted by the latest allegation against His Eminence: Another man says Cardinal McCarrick abused him – starting at age 11]. – Ibid.

    3. [T]he president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Bill Donohue, told Crux that he was less concerned by colleges and universities rescinding honors than he was government forcing the removal of controversial statues from public places.

    “In general, it’s a huge mistake to whitewash history,” he said. “Instead, we should use these things as teaching moments.”

    He went on to add that he believes that these things should be handled on a case-by-case basis and that in the case of honorary degrees, the decision should be left up to administrators, with the input of faculty and alumni.

    “I certainly wouldn’t want to tell them you can’t do that,” Donohue said, adding, “I just don’t know how much good it does in the end…clearly, in the case of McCarrick, he did great good [emphasis added], but he also did great harm.” – As McCarrick spotlight grows, is revoking honors sensitivity or whitewash?

  4. Thanks, Tom, for the info. I hadn’t seen the “whitewash” link when I decided to “be nice” for a change. (NIN may remind me why that never plays out well…)

    Total bummer! 😱

    I’ll revise my earlier remark to “I hope to see reports of a Change of Command Ceremony at CL in the next 25 days.”

  5. Donahue gets a 300,000 plus salary from the USCCCB ! I would not retire either ! I even saw him defend The Homo embezzler Weakland , and other Homo sex abuser bishops. All he is a shill for the bishops and a deflector by using his load mouth to try a steer the conversation away from what these clowns are really doing and on to some meaningless feel good conversation ! I feel he has done more harm than good !

  6. I thought his $375,000 per annum came from CL subscribers? I believe LaVoris or Louie Verrecchio posted that a couple years back, based on 501(C)3 filings?
    I dunno. Since NeoKat subscribers to CL are prob’ly USCCCP apologists, anyway, the source is still the same; Deep Church finances are likely as labyrinthine as the DNC’s. I just posted an LSN article that deals with why the national conference is up to its eyeballs in $candal$.

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