When right-wing, anti-gay Catholic Bill Donohue declares he's going to assess "gay priests' role" in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal -- as he does in his Feb. 21 CNSNews.com column -- you can be assured that it will not be a fair and balanced assessment. Indeed, he asserts at the very start that "every effort to downplay the role of gays is being made."
Donohue does, surprisingly, offer the illusion that he's not being as anti-gay as he usually is, though said in an unusually passive voice for him:
Let it be said emphatically that it is morally wrong to blame all gay priests or to bully someone who is gay, be he a priest or a plumber. It is also wrong to call on all gay priests to resign: such a sweeping recommendation is patently unfair to those gay priests who have never violated anyone.
However, it is not helpful to the cause of eradicating the problem of sexual abuse in the priesthood to dismiss a conversation about the obvious. We can begin by talking honestly about who the victims are.
Then, for the first time that we've seen, Donohue acknowledges that the researchers in the John Jay report commissioned by Catholic bishopshave pointed out that at least some of the abuse committed by priests were crimes of opportunity not necessarily driven by sexual orientation -- then goes on to blame gays anyway:
The John Jay researchers try to protect homosexuals by saying that not all the men who had sex with adolescent males consider themselves to be homosexuals. But self-identification is not dispositive. If the gay priests thought they were giraffes, would the scholars conclude that the problem is bestiality?
It was the John Jay researchers who first floated the "opportunity" thesis that Cardinal Cupich picked up on. This idea is flawed. Predator priests hit on boys not because they were denied access to girls, but because they preferred males. More important, there is something patently unfair, as well as inaccurate, about this line of thinking.
It suggests that many priests are inclined to have sex with minors—and will choose the sex which offers them the greatest opportunity. There is no evidence to support this unjust indictment. Also, girl altar servers date back to 1983, after Canon law was changed. They became even more common in 1994 when Pope John Paul II ruled that girls can be altar servers.
If the "opportunity" thesis had any truth to it, we should have seen, over the past few decades, a spike in altar girls being sexually abused by priests, but this has not happened. Indeed, 80 percent of the victims are still male and postpubescent.
Donohue offers no evidence to substantiate his argument.
Donohue then rants about the "homosexual subculture in the Church," which ultimately tells us that, despite his semi-conciliatory wording earlier in his column, blaming gays for everything remains Job 1 for Donohue.