Recently Phyllis Zagano, a contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, wrote an unfair article attacking Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph. She compared the situations of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rep. Anthony Weiner and Dominique Strauss-Kahn with Finn’s failure to move quickly against a problem priest.
Zagano found fault in Finn’s participation in a minor seminary and thought it appropriate to wonder if he had ever sneaked smokes behind the barn, forgot his homework or went to “drive-in movies in a car with a generous back seat.” She also wondered if during his time at the North American College, Finn ever spoke with “other women besides his three sisters and his mother.”
Zagano also claimed she felt sorry for Finn because he is the “product a [sic] system left over from the Council of Trent.” Namely, an all-male environment in a minor seminary. Then she dropped the hook: “If the only way to get celibate clergy is to lock up twelve-year-olds until they are ordained, maybe the hierarchy should reconsider requiring priestly celibacy.”
After this article appeared, Bill Donohue was interviewed by Catholic News Agency. He said, “To be sure they [Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn] have something in common, but to conflate their sordid behavior with Finn’s failure to move quickly against a problem priest is so forced as to be ludicrous.” Donohue said Zagano’s “lashing out at Bishop Finn, and her inane analogies comparing Finn to sexual deviants in public life, smacks of an agenda.”
In a strange development, Zagano complained that she was treated unfairly by us. She had nothing to say regarding her attack on Bishop Finn.