by Edd Doerr
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is a conservative, pugnacious outfit dedicated to defending the Catholic Church leadership from any and all justified criticism from whatever quarter. Headed by the loud Rush Limbaugh-ish William Donohue, it gets far more publicity than is warranted. It runs expensive ads in the NY Times and tries to frighten timid souls from criticizing the hierarchy and its questionable activities. (My comment here has nothing to do with criticizing ordinary Catholics, who are pretty much like everyone else, or with theology.)
It is interesting to look at the folks listed on the League's letterhead as making up its Board of Advisers. The list includes Hadley Arkes, Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez (who, when she ran fo US Senate from Maryland, could not clarify whether she was Catholic or Jewish), Robert Destro (whom I have debated), Keith Fournier, Mary Ann Glendon (an overrated law prof), Alan Keyes (the clown who ran against Obama for senator from Illinois), Thomas Monaghan (founded Domino Pizza and the ultraconservative Catholic university, Ave Maria, in Florida), theologian Michael Novak, Russell Shaw ( a one time spokesman for the bishops and alleged Opus Dei member), school voucher promoter Paul Vitz, and threologian George Weigel.
Needless to say, the League speaks for only a minority of American Catholics.