Last month, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League appeared on The 700 Club to promote his new book, “Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America.”
During the interview, the question of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church came up when Robertson asked if “all these scandals in the Catholic Church [were] part of this secular agenda to undermine to undermine the moral fabric of the church.” Donohue replied that indeed they were [the section begins around the 3:45 mark]:
There’s no question that within the Catholic Church you have a you a left element … I regard them as termites sitting within, trying to eat away the fabric of the Catholic Church. So they lie about it in the Catholic Church, they say “oh, we had a pedophilia problem.” It’s been a homosexual problem all along. It’s not my opinion, it’s the actual data from the John Jay Criminal Justice System College [sic] here in New York City which looked at the data. I’m not saying homosexuality causes predatory behavior; I’m saying that most of the priests who have been predators have been homosexuals.
What do you supposed Donohue has to say about this?
A preliminary report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal has found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.
The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won’t be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.
“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now.”
The bishops commissioned the $2 million study as part of widespread reforms they enacted at the height of the abuse crisis. The scandal erupted in 2002 with the case of one predator priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, then spread to every U.S. diocese and beyond.
Almost 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against Catholic clergy since 1950, according to tallies the bishops have released in recent years. Abuse-related costs have reached at least $2.3 billion in the same period.
At the meeting Tuesday, Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., asked the researchers whether their study indicated that homosexuality should be considered when evaluating a candidate for the priesthood. In 2005, the Vatican issued a policy statement that men with “deep-seated” attraction to other men should be barred from the priesthood.
Smith said: “If that exclusion were based on the fact that that person would be more probable than any other candidate to abuse, we do not find that at this time.”