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Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, makes a salary approaching $500,000 a year. In 2013, according to the media blog jimromenesko.com, Donohue took home compensation to the tune of $474, 876. That was 2013. Who knows how much he has pulled down in 2015?
So what would explain such a grotesque salary at a time when the American bishops describe their archdioceses as "humble" and focused on the poor? The answer appears simple: Donohue is the high-priced hit man of Cdl. Donald Wuerl, the pampered prelate of Washington, D.C, who resides in a penthouse atop a $43-million mansion-turned-"parish" and La Raza-style learning annex in the luxurious neighborhood of Embassy Row (the learning annex is called the Washington English Center and is funded by Leftist groups such as the Herb Block Foundation).
For helping to expose the decadence and heterodoxy of Wuerl, I have come under fire from Donohue, who is obviously operating under orders from Wuerl, his patron who helped him get his cushy and scandalously overpaid job at the Catholic League. The bumptious Donohue revealed his corrupt alliance with Wuerl in 2012 after I drew attention to Wuerl's punishment of a priest for withholding Communion from a self-described "lesbian Buddhist" who had confronted the priest in his sacristy.
Furious at my columns in The American Spectator on the subject — he was sufficiently rattled that his press secretary called over to TASto complain — Wuerl unleashed Donohue on me, who discharged his debt to his old friend by issuing a press release that compared me to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez:
I have never met George Neumayr, but it is clear that he is a right-wing fanatic, a man whose dogmatism is as scary as the authoritarians on the left. On the other hand, I have known Cdl. Wuerl for about 25 years, and I have nothing but respect for him. When I was a professor in Pittsburgh, it was Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl who got me involved in the Catholic League.
Did you catch that last line? It "was Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl who got me involved in the Catholic League." Translation: Donohue owes his nearly $500,000 salary at least in part to the corrupt cardinal of D.C., and Donohue is willing to sing for his salary by smearing any orthodox Catholic journalist who dares question Wuerl.
Does this not throw light on the utter sham that is the liberal Catholic Church in America? In Wuerl and Donohue — who, recall, bragged to the press about the special "audience" he got with Francis during his U.S. visit thanks to the pull of his Pittsburgh pal — "AmChurch," as wags call it, has never looked more Borgia-like, with Wuerl padding around his Embassy Row penthouse while Donohue lines his pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hard-earned donations of pious Catholics who respond innocently to Donohue's begging letters.
Wuerl is so vainglorious that in a move that would have brought a smile to the face of Rodrigo Borgia he has had a high school in Pittsburgh named after himself — Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, where presumably the students read attentively the sermons of Pope Francis on the dangers of self-interested "clericalism" in the Church. Don't the Pope's words apply to the self-aggrandizing cardinal of D.C., whose ecclesiastical presumption and vanity is so great that he would name a high school after himself and insist (as informed sources have told me) on royal treatment during his frequent visits to the Pontifical North American College in Rome?
Like the Borgia-era cardinals, Wuerl protects his posh privileges by underhanded means. I gave him a chance to respond to my article from two weeks ago in The American Spectator, "Cardinal Wuerl's Embassy Row Penthouse," but his press secretary blew me off, sending a quizzical text to me (after multiple unanswered phone calls) that simply said: "The archdiocese will not be responding."
Of course, the archdiocese did respond a day or so later — through a screed cobbled together by Wuerl's smear merchant on retainer, Bill Donohue. This time Donohue called me and the journalists at ChurchMilitant.com (to whom I initially gave information on Wuerl's penthouse) "right-wing nuts."
To all the conservative Catholics who donate to the Catholic League, keep in mind that this is what he thinks of you too. He takes your donations, pays himself almost a half-million a year, and then launches attacks on orthodox Catholics effectively ordered by Donald Wuerl.
Note that in his press release on "right-wing nuts" like me, Donohue — whom the press gleefully notes is "divorced" — implicitly endorsed Wuerl's position in favor of granting Communion to pro-abortion pols, adulterers and other checkered Catholics: "These crazies are mad at Wuerl because he doesn't believe in using the Eucharist as a weapon to smack liberal Catholic politicians."
Donohue solicits donations from the faithful on the ostensible grounds that he is protecting Catholics from defamation. Meanwhile, he defames orthodox Catholics himself at the behest of Wuerl and shills for his libertine proposals. My advice to the faithful: Send your donations elsewhere; Bill Donohue's multi-million-dollar slush fund at the expense of the orthodoxy which Wuerl hates is fat enough.
To my critics on both the Left and the soft Right, this may all sound like personal pique. But it is not. I have never taken Donohue all that seriously and consider his transparently lame sputtering about me a kind of badge of honor. The famed atheist Christopher Hitchens once called him a "bilious thug," which was one of the few true comments Hitchens ever made. Like most bullies, Donohue will run if his target punches back, which I intend to continue doing, not out of personal hatred but out of love for God's Church that is disgraced by his greed, egotistical buffoonery and weasely water-carrying for Wuerl.
George Neumayr is a contributing editor to The American Spectator and co-author of "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom."