Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who has been a crusader against LGBT rights, insisted on Tuesday that Pope Francis’ call for Christians to apologize to gay people did not apply to him.
During a recent return flight from Argentina, the pope said that “the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.”
“The church must say it is sorry for not having behaved as it should many times, many times — when I say ‘the church,’ I mean we Christians, because the church is holy; we are the sinners,” the pontiff added. “We Christians must say we are sorry.”
On Tuesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Donohue if he planned on following the pope’s advice and apologizing to LGBT people.
“No,” he Donohue replied. “As a matter of fact, I want an apology from gays. I’ve been assaulted by gays. I’ve never assaulted a gay person in my entire life.”
“The idea of a blanket apology because you are a member of some demographic group, I mean, I don’t know what church teaching is it that you have a problem with that maybe the church should apologize for?”
Cuomo observed that the pope was instructing Donohue to be “out there fighting for the poor, to be fighting for things that are good, and not spending so much time fighting to get gays from getting married.”
“Why did you spend so much energy on this?” the CNN host wondered. “Why is so important to you?”
Donohue suggested that CNN was to blame for repeatedly interviewing him about his anti-LGBT views.
“Your producers only want to talk about LGBT,” he charged. “I don’t care what gay people do. I don’t want to have a lifestyle thrusted in my face though. That’s a different kind of thing altogether.”
“What do you mean thrusted?” Cuomo asked. “How are they putting their gay on you?”
Donohue explained that businesses should only be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people to provide services for a “wedding ceremony.”
According to Donohue, Pope Francis intended to say that Christians could “condemn certain manifestations” of sexual behavior “though he didn’t complete the sentence.”
“You know you have a hostility and an animus toward these behaviors,” Cuomo noted. “You might as well own it.”
“Show me where Jesus said we should spent time saying we should not let people be who they are?” the CNN host pressed.
“There are mobster lifestyles,” Donohue quipped.
“A mobster is not a gay person,” Cuomo shot back. “A terrorist is not a gay person.”
“I just want the apology,” Donohue concluded. “They could send it by Fedex.”