Recently, the Catholic Church — and even the Pope himself — have been coming under increasing criticism for failing to appropriately discipline church officials who had sexually abused thousands of children. On March 24th, the New York Times characterized “Pope Benedict XVI’s latest apology for the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests,” as inadequate, noting that Benedict “
The Catholic League responded the op-ed by running an ad in the New York Times criticizing the paper for its editorial and blaming the scandal on homosexuality:
The argument itself is confusing and contradictory. If “homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior” then why is is the “pedophilia crisis” a “homosexual crisis”? Most of the molesters were also over the age 30 but the Catholic League does not rename the “pedophilia crisis” an “older man crisis” or an “white older man” crisis or anything of the sort. But all this misses the point. What the Catholic League is trying to do is imply that there is a connection between homosexuality and molestation, just like segregationists once accused African Americans of raping white women, and Jews were accused of murdering Christian babies.
In reality, pedophilia has little to do with the gender of the child or the orientation of the molester; pedophiles are attracted to youth and control. “Accessibility is more the factor in who a pedophile abuses,” psychotherapist Joe Kort writes. “This may explain the high incidence of children molested in church communities and fraternal organizations, where the pedophile may more easily have access to children.”
Last night on Larry King Live, Catholic League President Bill Donohue tried to dismiss this argument by claiming that “it’s not a pedophilia” because “most of the victims were post pubescent,” as old as 12 or 13 years of age. Anything older than that is the fault of gays.
Maureen Dowd writes, “Donohue is still talking about the problem as an indiscretion rather than a crime. If it mostly involves men and boys, that’s partly because priests for many years had unquestioned access to boys.”
,The Interfaith Alliance strongly denounced the ad today. “I find [Donahue’s] reasoning repugnant. To claim this is a ‘homosexual crisis’ rather than a ‘pedophilia crisis’ is a misguided insult to the millions of gay men and women who find this scandal as devastating as their heterosexual counterparts,” the group’s President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, said in a statement. “Rather than pointlessly pointing fingers, Mr. Donahue should start focusing on the need for accountability and transparency,” Gaddy added.