The Catholic League Board of Directors has selected William A. Donohue, a college professor, a prolific writer and a popular spokesman on Catholic issues as its new president following an exhaustive national search.

A native New Yorker with a Ph.D. in sociology from New York university, Donohue most recently served as Professor and Chair of the department of sociology at Pittsburgh’s LaRoche College, a Catholic institution operated by the Sisters of Divine Providence. The author of three books – two of them on the American Civil Liberties Union – and hundreds of articles and op-ed pieces, he has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows including the Donohue Show, the Jenny Jones Show and Larry King Live. Donohue is married and has two children.

In other actions, the board named Kathleen McCreary to the post of Executive Vice President for Administration. In her new post Mrs. McCreary, who had been serving as Secretary of the board as well as Interim Administrator following the resignation of John Puthenveetil, will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Catholic League, thus freeing up the new president to speak and write on League issues.

The board elected several new members to its ranks. Their names have been withheld pending their notification and acceptance of the positions.

Hello. I’m Bill Donohue, the newly selected president of the Catholic League. Over the past twenty years the Catholic League has done a splendid job advancing the civil rights of Catholics. But it will have to do even better if it is to meet the challenges of the 1990s. At present, there are many cultural currents that do not bode well for those who embrace a Christian perspective. Whether the issue is government funding of abortion, the public subsidization of pornography, the gutting of traditional moral values from school curricula or the bigoted portrayal of Catholics by some in the media, it is clear that now is not the time to let down our guard.

I want to make the Catholic League as well-known and as effective as the Anti-Defamation League. It is a tribute to our jewish brothers and sisters that the ADL is the success that it is. We can match, even surpass, that record of excellence, but it won’t be easy. We must first convince lay Catholics that being a good Catholic means more than just attendance at Mass and participation in church socials. To that end, I would like to ask each and every one of you to to make a determined effort. to enlist your Catholic friends in our cause. You can begin by photocopymg my remarks or, better yet, by passing on this entire newsletter to a friend or relative.

My Ph.D. is in sociology and my writings focus on the relationship between social problems and civil liberties. I have written one book on contemporary social problems (The New Freedom) and two on the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1985, Transaction Press published The Politics of the ACLU; later this year, or at the beginning of next year, Transaction will publish Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU. To put it mildly, I am not exactly a fan of the ACLU’s, and expect that in my role as president of the Catholic League I will have many opportunities to confront them.

You will be hearing a lot about the Catholic League in the upcoming months and I hope that all of you will do what you can to strengthen our numbers and enhance our image. Together, we can become a major force in American society, making conditions better not only for Catholics, but for everyone else as well.

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