Bill Donohue of the Catholic League began his July 23 CNSNews.com column by declaring, "Any honest observer of the priestly sexual abuse scandal knows that the lion's share of the molestation was committed by homosexuals, not pedophiles." Of course, any honest observer also understands that Donohue is not an honest observer. He proves it again in the second paragraph of his column:
The most exhaustive study on this issue was done by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and they concluded that less than five percent of the predators were pedophiles. Indeed, 81 percent of the victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent, meaning that homosexuality—not heterosexuality or pedophilia—was in play.
As we've documented, Donohue has repeatedly blamed homosexuality for the sexual abuse scandals, even though the authors of the John Jay study warned critics not to confuse behavior with orientation because no connection was found between homosexual identity and sexual abuse.
Donohue then complained that a Washington Post article argued that homophobia in the church has kept gay priests from dealing with sexuality issues in a healthy manner. In response, Donohue dragged out the old right-wing trope of blaming the 1960s "sexual revolution" and, more specifrically, the end of "traditionalism" in the church, baselessly asserting that "The sexual abuse of minors was infinitesimal in the 1950s and exploded in the 1970s."He then huffed:
This is not a plea for punishing homosexual priests. It is a plea to abide by the policy adopted by Pope Benedict XVI: men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be welcomed in the seminaries. That stricture has served the Church well since it was adopted in 2005: the decline in new cases of sexual abuse has been dramatic, and is almost non-existent in the United States today.
Two months ago, Pope Francis picked up on this discussion, strongly backing the position of his predecessor. “These tendencies, when they are ‘deeply rooted,’ and the practice of homosexual acts, can compromise the life of the seminary beyond that of the young man himself and his eventual future priesthood.” Well said.
Blaming “homophobia” is a dodge. It is employed as justification for recreating the very milieu that created the problem in the first place. We should never want to return to a time when good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity.
Donohue blaming homosexuality is also a dodge, especially since he continues to insist on deliberately misreading the John Jay report. He offers no evidence to support his claim that "good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity."
Donohue is anti-gay, and claiming he's not in favor of "punishing homosexual priests" does nothing to dispel that impression.