Bill Donohue: Priest Sex Abuse Victims Were "Not Children" And "Not Raped"

Really, he's been saying the same thing for years...but it's still sickening

None so blind as those who will not see

It would serve Bill Donohue and the Catholic League well if they went through some basic public relations training. Their latest attempt at bomb-throwing is a full page ad in the New York Times that blames the sexual abuse crisis on an overzealous media, scam artists, and, of course, "the gays."

The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight—they weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe correctly said of the John Jay report that “more than three-quarters of the victims were post pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.” In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

Abuse took place in the Church and it handled it very poorly. It doesn't matter whether it was pedophilia or homosexual or heterosexual in nature. People were abused and the Church did nothing for decades. The Church failed not only the victims, it failed its flock.

The rhetoric isn't entirely new...the video above is from this time last year, and there are others from 2008 and 2009. The careful parsing of words ("It's not pedophilia if they're adolescents") is yet another turn of the knife in the back of the victims, and so typical of Donohue. After all these years, he still doesn't get that the refusal to take responsibility is part and parcel of why people lost faith in the Catholic Church.

I'm pretty sure that the official Church would much prefer that Donohue (who is not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church in any way) would just shut up, because he's certainly not helping them bring people back to the flock.

Donohoue likes to alienate people - not welcome and accept. He's looking to make enemies and fight battles over things that don't always make sense. Much of the apologetic work that Donohoue and his organization does hurts the greater Catholic cause. Donohue doesn't represent the Catholicism I know and practice. He is not formally affiliated with the Catholic Church in anyway, something I wish more people knew. He represents the extreme conservative wing of the Church that thinks Church teachings revolve around sex and nothing else. He comes across as a hack that uses his well-funded bully pulpit for self-promotion. He should be dismissed by Catholics who want the Church to grow and not shrivel into some fundamentalist sect limited to pre-Vatican II adherents.


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