Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is calling out author Jason Berry, branding him a liar:
I never met, corresponded with, or supported, the late disgraced priest, Father Marcial Maciel. Jason Berry knows this to be true (I have shown him the evidence) but continues to lie nonetheless. Now his lie has been picked up by Notre Dame professor Rev. Richard McBrien in an article he wrote about Berry’s new book, Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church.
Berry writes in his book that several Catholic notables were “cultivated” by Maciel, and he lists me as one of them. Printed below is a letter I wrote that was published in 1997 in the Hartford Courant. Berry says this letter proves Maciel “cultivated” a relationship with me.
The headline story of Feb. 23 [“Head of worldwide Catholic order accused of history of abuse”] on the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, might have been more persuasive if The Courant didn’t expect its readers to be so gullible.
After all, what am I to make of the third paragraph: “Several [of the accusers] said Maciel told them he had permission from Pope Pius XII to seek them out sexually for relief of physical pain.”
To think any priest would tell some other priest that the pope gave him the thumbs up to have sex with another priest—all for the purpose of relieving the poor fellow of some malady—is the kind of balderdash that wouldn’t convince the most unscrupulous editor at any of the weekly tabloids. The wonder is why The Courant found merit enough to print it.
My point, obviously, was that the newspaper should have known better than to publish such drivel. To conclude from this—and this alone—that Maciel and I had some kind of working relationship is not only false, it is—given the point Berry wants to make—maliciously false.