As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the conservative Catholic Leauge placed a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday that claimed that the sexual abuse scandal currently roiling the Catholic Church is a crisis of “homosexuality,” not “pedophilia.” On CNN yesterday, Catholic League President William Donohue defended the assertion by pointing to a study that found that “three out of every four” of the male victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests were “post-pubescent, meaning that it’s homosexuality driven.” “It’s not a matter of my opinion to say that this is a pedophilia crisis. It’s been a homosexual crisis all along,” said Donohue. He then asserted that “there’s a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse of minors”:
SANCHEZ: Well, let me just stop you right there, because immediately as you say that, there are people watching this show, and I can hear them saying this, Bill Donohue, shame on you. Are you saying all gays are pedophiles?
DONOHUE: As I said in the ad, which I wrote, most gay priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters have been gay. And I also said, that there’s no such thing as a — that homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior.
Let me give you a quick example. I’m Irish. Everybody who has half a brain knows that the Irish have a bigger problem with alcoholism than the Italians or the Chinese, for example. Does that mean because you’re an Irishman, therefore, you are driven to become an alcoholic? Of course, not.
What it means, though, if your group is overrepresented in a particular problem area, you ought to explore it. Yes, there’s a connection between Irish and alcoholism, and, yes, there’s a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse of minors.
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Later in the segment, when pressed to defend his views, Donohue proclaimed of gay priests: “They can’t keep their hands off the boys, don’t you get it?” In the New York Times yesterday, Maureen Dowd wrote that “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.”