Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds to a story in Roll Call on Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s concerns over the nomination of Rev. Patrick Conroy as the new House Chaplain:
Rev. Patrick Conroy was selected by House Speaker John Boehner to be the new House Chaplain, and within no time the Jesuit priest won the plaudits of many Catholics, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi. But now Pelosi is having second thoughts, citing Conroy’s association with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Why? Because of claims of sexual abuse made against these Jesuits. Were there accusations made against Father Conroy? No. Are the accusations recent? No, they extend back decades. Did Father Conroy have any role to play? Yes—he was a whistleblower who reported at least one case of an abusive priest.
It would be easy to criticize Rep. Pelosi for questioning Father Conroy’s nomination on the basis of “guilt by association.” That criticism is justly deserved. But there is more. When the San Francisco Board of Supervisors viciously condemned the Vatican for its position on gay adoptions, Pelosi was silent. She is the same person who has never once criticized homosexuals in her district who go naked in the streets, sell Catholic symbols as sex toys, mock Jesus, ridicule nuns and disrespect the Eucharist. All of this has been brought to her attention by me and by reporters. To be specific, I am talking about the events of the Folsom Street Fair, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and others. In other words, it’s a little too late for Pelosi the Puritan to now present herself.
A decade ago, the Catholic League got into a major fight with Republican Catholics and evangelicals who sought to sunder the nomination of Father Daniel Coughlin as the first Catholic House Chaplain. We won, and they acted disgracefully. Now Father Conroy is in the hot seat, this time because a prominent liberal Democrat is raising issues. But Conroy is not the issue—Pelosi is. She, too, is a disgrace.