MARK FOLEY PLAYS THE CATHOLIC CARD
Catalyst November Issue 2006
Former congressman Mark Foley resigned from the House on September 29 following news that he sent sexually explicit e-mails to congressional pages. On October 3, his lawyer gave a news conference, during which he said Foley was abused by a clergyman when he was a teenager. Since Foley is a Catholic, the suggestion is that a priest abused him.
Foley’s lawyer says his client never molested anyone, which begs the question: why play the Catholic card? Together with his other maladies (alcoholism, mental illness), Foley is obviously seeking (despite what his attorney says) to exculpate his behavior. Foley knows that the public is prepared to believe the worst about priests—they can count on Jay Leno to bash priests one more time—even though only .02 percent of the 42,000 priests in the U.S. were credibly accused of sexual abuse in 2005. But Foley will stop at nothing to mitigate his actions.
As for the alleged abuse, it’s time to ask some tough questions. First, there is a huge difference between being groped and being raped, so which was it Mr. Foley? Second, why didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?