Bill Donohue is Wrong Again

Conservative Catholic Bloviator-in-Chief Bill Donohue has taken issue with my articles yesterday - here and here - about Father Robert Sirico performing gay marriage ceremonies in the 1970s.

Donohue has issued a press release that says, in part: "The point is that Winters, a Catholic dissident, is unhappy that Sirico is not in rebellion against the teachings of the Catholic Church. That's true, and that is why he doesn't write for the National Catholic Reporter."

In fact, as my commentary suggests, I believe that Father Sirico is entirely entitled to change his views on gay marriage. My issue is not that he fails to become a "dissident." My issue is that Sirico should be less sanctimonious given his own wrestlings with his faith. But, of course, Donohue is not the type to recognize sanctimony as a problem, is he?

Donohue also alleges that I seem to be concerned about Sirico's "prominence" on EWTN. I suppose that appearing on EWTN constitutes a variety of prominence, at least in certain circles. I still wish that when the Vatican ordered an apostolic visistation of Mother Angelica's order, they had just put it under interdict. Of course, you may recall, that despite the urgings of the Vatican's apostolic visitor that Mother Angelica not turn over control of the EWTN network to a lay group, she did precisely that within 24 hours of the visitor's departure. EWTN is not an "official" Catholic news outlet. It is, like NCR, an independent Catholic outlet, although here at NCR we have never suggested that the Cardinal-Archbishop of Los Angeles is a heretic.

Donohue also assures us that EWTN will not cut Sirico loose. Perhaps he called Arroyo to confirm that, but I wonder. They certainly cut Msgr. Eugene Clark loose when allegations surfaced that he had had an affair with a parish secretary. And who can blame them? That is the difficulty with the holier-than-thou network: It is a place for the self-satisfied, those who sit at the front of the synagogue and pray, "I thank thee Lord that I am not like other men." Donohue, assuredly, will continue to fit right in there.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here