What was Bill Donohue thinking when he decided to devote 24 pages to attacking the Jay Report for exonerating gay priests of responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis? The report contends that because homosexuals became a major presence in the priesthood only in the 1970s, they could not have brought about a crisis that began in the 1960s. Donohue claims that homosexuals actually began flooding the priesthood in the sixties, and so were indeed responsible. And according to him, a homosexual is not someone with a particular sexual identity but someone who performs certain acts. So given that four out of five child abuse cases involve male victims, it’s homosexuals in the priesthood who were responsible.
I leave it to others, Fr. James Martin for example, to make clear how peculiar Donohue’s views on the subject of homosexuality are. (As for my view that the Jay report misapprehends the crisis, it’s over at the Guardian.) What I’m curious about is exactly how this screed, against a report commissioned and embraced by the Catholic bishops, serves the Catholic League’s stated purpose of defending Catholics against defamation or discrimination.
It could, I suppose, be understood as defending the Catholic known as Bill Donohue against the charge that his longstanding contention that homosexuals in the priesthood caused the crisis is nonsense. Or maybe Donohue’s idea is to defend the Catholic Church against the charge that non-homosexuals in the priesthood were responsible for the abuse. However, according to him, sexual abuse of boys by definition can only be committed by homosexuals.
By the same Donohuvian token, if the current number of abuse cases is approaching zero, as the current diocesan reports indicate, then there are no more homosexual priests. Voilà!