Catholic League head: Abuse not pedophilia because boys were ‘post-pubescent’

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 16:57 EDT
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The head of the influential Catholic League says that the priest who allegedly sexually abused 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin did not engage in pedophilia because ‘the vast majority of the victims [were] post-pubescent.”

Bill Donohue made the argument during a raucous debate on Larry King Live Tuesday night, during which he repeatedly pointed the finger to homosexuality — rather than pedophilia — as the cause of the church’s sex abuse problems.

“You’ve got to get your facts straight,” Donohue said, addressing sex abuse victim Thomas Roberts. “I’m sorry. If I’m the only one that’s going to deal with facts tonight then that’ll be it. The vast majority of the victims are post-pubescent. That’s not pedophilia, buddy. That’s homosexuality.”

A rather surprised panel of commentators — which included pop icon Sinead O’Connor — then began to debate at what age, exactly, does sexual attraction to children cease to be pedophilia.

Donohue argued the age at which children become “post-pubescent” is around 12 or 13.

“Post-pubescent means beyond puberty,” Donohue said. “In other words you’re an adolescent and that’s what homosexuals do and most of them — the molesters — have been homosexuals in the Catholic Church.”

“Bill Donohue is so desperate to bash gays and defend the Catholic Church that’s he’s willing to pretend that people who are attracted to 13 year old boys aren’t really child predators,” opines Bill Amato at Crooks and Liars.

That theme — that the problem is homosexuality, not pedophilia — has become a common talking point for defenders of the Catholic Church in the wake of a series of scandals involving allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.

As the Joe. My. God. blog noted on Tuesday, the Catholic League took out an ad in the New York Times arguing that the scandal should be seen as a problem of sexual orientation. The ad stated in part:

The Times continues to editorialize about the ‘pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.

The ad, signed by Donohue, then goes on to attack the Times for covering the story as an issue of pedophilia, and alleges that “issues like abortion, gay marriage, and women’s ordination” are behind media coverage of the sex abuse scandals. View the ad here.

Last week, a victim of Father Lawrence Murphy, who allegedly molested up to 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee between the 1950s and 1970s, said the pope knew about the accused serial pedophile priest and should be held accountable for Murphy’s actions.

Days later, the pope was accused of approving, in 1980 when he was archbishop of Munich in his native Germany, the transfer from one German parish to another of a priest accused of pedophilia.

And on Tuesday, a lawyer for a man who claims he was molested as a teen by a priest in Miami said the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith under then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger “lost the paperwork” when a US bishop began the process of defrocking the abusive priest.

The following video was broadcast on CNN’s Larry King Live, Tuesday March 30, 2010, and uploaded to the Web by Crooks and Liars.

With AFP

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