A Pennsylvania grand jury report was released last week detailing the child sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 Roman Catholic priests. The report claims that church leaders covered up the scandal. More than 1,000 child victims were identifiable, according to NBC News.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue has written a commentary “debunking” the report, which has been published on CNS News. According to DeadState, CNS News is an affiliate of the right-leaning Media Research Center.
Donohue begins his commentary by saying “the percentage of priests who had an accusation made against them is quite small.” He goes on to state that it is unfair to single out the Catholic Church.
He also criticizes Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who he nicknames “salacious,” for saying the priests raped their victims.
“This is an obscene lie,” Donohue writes. “Most of the alleged victims were not raped: they were groped or otherwise abused, but not penetrated, which is what the word ‘rape’ means.”
Donohue goes on to say that it is a “homosexual scandal” and not pedophilia.
The Catholic League is an organization that protects and defends the Catholic Church, according to its website. It is not an official organization of the Roman Catholic Church.
Donohue has been sharply criticized in the media for his commentary.
There is no on-going crisis—it's a total myth. Over the past two years, .005 percent of the Catholic clergy have had a credible accusation made against him. https://t.co/XUoIjVGU7h pic.twitter.com/gL9JqpscCc
— Catholic League (@CatholicLeague) August 17, 2018
“One of the most shameful, ignorant, tone-deaf, arrogant tweets I’ve ever seen,” he tweeted.
The Catholic League responded to reactions to their commentary in a tweet, saying, “It is interesting to note that the most irrational, indeed hysterical, reaction to PA grand jury report is coming from conservative Catholics. They are singularly incapable of making a cogent argument, so all they do is vent like little boys. They are a pitiful lot.”
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) August 17, 2018
CNN‘s Jake Tapper mocked the Catholic League’s tweet, according to Raw Story, saying, “Yeah, can’t believe Hugh Hewitt, Marc Thiessen and others object to credible and detailed allegations of widespread molestation and rape of up to a thousand minors by priests and other clergy, with the subsequent and systematic coverup by the Church. The effrontery!”
Hugh Hewitt is a Catholic broadcaster who had a show on MSNBC. Marc Thiessen is a columnist and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.
The Vatican has responded to the report by expressing “shame and sorrow,” according to Raw Story. The Vatican released a statement saying the Catholic Church “must learn hard lessons from its past” and that Pope Francis knows how “these crimes can shake the faith and spirit of believers.”
The Vatican stated that the Church needs to comply with mandatory reporting of abuse.