by Bill Donahue
(Faith Works, 2009, 258pp, $35.00. ISBN 978-0-44654-721-5. Available from Freedom Publishing)
Bill Donahue has been the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (U.S.A.) since 1993. Founded in 1973 the League works to safeguard the religious freedom and free speech of Catholics in the United States.
Trained as an educator, Donahue began his teaching career at St Lucy's School in New York's Spanish Harlem and went on to teach sociology at La Roche College in Pittsburgh. He holds a doctorate in sociology from New York University.
The well-known and powerful preacher on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), Fr John Corapi, often stresses a point that many, it would seem, are completely unaware of, namely, that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are constantly engaged in a war.
This warfare is spiritual, as St Paul so clearly asserts in Ephesians 6:12: 'We are not contending against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers ... the spiritual hosts of wickedness'.
Using apt military terms Paul goes on to list a number of spiritual weapons: 'Take the whole armour of God ... the belt of truth ... the breastplate of righteousness ... the Gospel of peace ... the shield of faith ... the helmet of salvation ... the sword of the spirit ... pray at all times.'
To this list we can add other weapons at our disposal: the Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary, penance, the sacraments and sacramentals.
Any human action taken in waging this war must be motivated and empowered by such spiritual weapons in order to be effective. The organisation known as the Catholic League is well aware of this.
Bill Donahue, author of the present book Secular Sabotage, is certainly one of the foremost warriors in this warfare. His book is a fascinating account of his ongoing efforts to outline and repel the various attacks of the anti-God movement in our times.
He refers to its members as secular saboteurs, completely addicted to intolerance of religion, their attacks, of course, being focussed on Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. The author contends that these saboteurs are nihilists, that is, their main aims are to tear down and destroy, and he is not afraid to take them on.
American talk show host, Michael Medved, described the book as 'like the man himself, [it] is feisty, controversial, impassionate and important.'
The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen on one occasion remarked that there is no need to worry about the future of the Church as the faithful laity will save it. There is no doubt that Bill Donahue qualifies as such a one, together with his fellow members of the Catholic League. Would that we had a similar organisation in Australia!
Obviously the book is about the scene in the United States, but an equivalent war is being waged here and elsewhere in the West. It's a wake-up call for all of us. As Fr Corapi remarked, 'how can you fight a battle if you don't even know it's going on?'
This book is a must read, covering secular sabotage in all its forms including sexual, artistic, media, Hollywood and even self-sabotage (Catholic and Protestant). Everything in it is backed up by 36 pages of detailed references.
No doubt readers will be shocked by the severity and crudity of some of the attacks that Donahue describes, but this should not be surprising. One of the saboteurs summed up the reason why their campaign is so vicious in these telling words: 'It is open season on Jesus.'
At the end of his book Survivals and New Arrivals (1929) Hilaire Belloc wrote: 'If I be asked what sign we may look for to show that the advance of the faith is at hand, I would answer by a word the modern world has forgotten: persecution.'
It is already happening.
Fr Martin Durham is a retired Queensland priest.