CNSNews.com does a reversal of its recent attempts to portray late-night comics' jokes as "news" with an Aug. 8 article by Michael W. Chapman that attacks a joke CNS does not approve of.
Chapman uses the article to complain about Conan O'Brien doing a gay-priest joke, giving the Catholic League's William Donohue free rein to attack it. Chapman, however, fails to mention one significant conflict of interest: his boss, Brent Bozell, is on the Catholic League's board of advisers.
After uncritically repeating Donohue blaming the Catholic Church's child sex scandals on "gay priests," Chapman writes:
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests and deacons, 1950-2002, found that 81% of the victims were male, and 78.2% of the victims were ages 11-17. (Specifically, 50.9% of victims were age 11-14 and 27.3% were age 15-17.
But Chapman fails to report that the John Jay researchers have warned against using their report to link homosexuality and pedophilia as Donohue was doing:
"What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse," said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. "At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse."
A second researcher, Karen Terry, also cautioned the bishops against making a correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys rather than girls -- a ratio found to be about 80-20.
"It's important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior," Terry said. "Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity." Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage.
Of course, reporting that truth conflicts with the MRC's anti-gay agenda.