Donohue: John Jay report deficient

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue is calling into question the findings of the  John Jay "Causes and Context" study.

From EWTN:


Catholic League president Bill Donohue said that a recent study on sex abuse within the U.S. Catholic Church defies its own research in concluding that homosexuality was not a significant factor in the crisis.

"While there are many exemplary aspects to the study, the clear failure on the part of the researchers to pinpoint the role that homosexuality played in accounting for the abuse crisis is unacceptable," Donohue told CNA on May 24.

"Indeed, their own data belie their conclusion that this had nothing to do with homosexuality," he said.

Donohue released a 25-page critique on the study on his website.

The Catholic League is well-known for being able to find offense and anti-Catholic bigotry in even the most obscure places, and Donohue is often indignant toward those who don't share his idea of Catholic values. But this is an interesting and novel critique, attacking a study commissioned by the National Review Board and approved for printing by the USCCB.

The study was clear: neither celibacy nor homosexuality were factors contributing to abuse. Yet this claim seems counterintuitive to some. The conventional wisdom during much of the last decade was almost split among left-right lines. On one side, "If priests could only get married, this wouldn't have happened." The other, "Gays must be barred from seminary and the priesthood!" Both claims were repudiated by the study, apparently much to the chagrin of Donohue. It will be interesting to see if the bishops reply to this critique (several high profile Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops all offer praise on Donohue's website for his organnization).

Michael J. O'Loughlin



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Molly Roach
7 years 10 months ago
Not enough gay bashing for Bill.  Oh well!
Carolyn Disco
7 years 10 months ago
Mark Silk of the Spiritual Politics blog has a much better take:

As of course does Tom Doyle:

I suggest Tom's skills in scholarship (doctorate, five master's), hard data gathering, and on-the-ground experience are without peer when it comes to sexual abuse, related criminal law, and analysis of psychological and sociological issues.
What he brings to the table that no academician can is a working knowledge of the church's inner administration and culture, with all the lacunae that involves. His many publications on the history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is a remarkable opus.
As university faculty member, researcher, diplomatic appointee, lecturer at law schools, expert witness in countless court proceedings and legislative invetigations, his credentials are well established. As the most experienced counselor anywhere to abuse survivors, he is remarkably well informed about the matters JJ studied, and even more, a first-hand witness.
In addition, his awards for ''moral courage'' and as a ''priest of integrity'', along with 16 military awards and decorations speak for themselves - and his character.
Carolyn Disco
7 years 10 months ago
Must we endure Bill Donohue on America's website? Please, no more.
Carolyn Disco
7 years 10 months ago
I decided to run through Donohue's paper and found the usual suspects, comparisons, sources, research etc. he usually cites. A waste of time for me at least. 
Todd Flowerday
7 years 10 months ago
"That being the case, it may give us reason to question whether ending celibacy ..."

Walter, I tend to agree. Mandatory priestly celibacy has other problems, but I would not link the two. Our experience of abuse within families illustrates that spouses have their tragic blind spots. In some instances of a married priest, you would have the resistance and denials of two rather than one.

That said, the recent misadventures in Kansas City show the problem when you have a clerical culture in which priests cannot be challenged about their behavior. There is no easy way out. Parents have to confront teachers. Teachers their administrators. School staff their pastor. And a vicar general his bishop.

My wife is convinced (I am less so) I once lost a church position because I stood up for a colleague unjustly terminated. An adult makes difficult choices. It's what we do. We do it for our own sense of faith, conscience, and justice, but also because others are watching.

The JJC Study has its flaws, but not because Mr Donohue says so.
Leo Zanchettin
7 years 10 months ago
Does anyone else find it ironic that Donohue would accuse the folks over at John Jay of being ideologically driven? For him to make such a claim reveals that he really, really believes in his own objectivity. Either that or he is pretty cynical and considers his supporters to be really, really gullible. Either way, it's sad.
david power
7 years 10 months ago
@Tom Piatak,

Brett is indeed entirely right, but maybe he is missing the point.
Bill Donahue does absolutely nothing but reduce catholicism to a ghetto.It is the same type of ghetto that the Irish,Jesuits,Democrats ,Republicans,Gays ,straights,vatican have tried to propose.
Those with same-sex attractions deserve a lot more than what they are given.
I think it is ridiculous that because I like women and of a certain variety ,I am never seen as intrinsically evil.
The lord Jesus spoke of sexuality only when pushed , reducing it to a secondary position. The Creator of man was under the impression that all of that sexuality was just a sympthom and not a cause.The Church and the Gay Lobby contradict the Lord Jesus.
Catholicism is capable of a far greater understanding and compassion not to mention wisdom than Donahue would ever allow. 
Chesterton said that "when a man knocks on a brothel door he is in reality seeking God".
This is a layman who has surpassed all theologians in understanding.The reality is that many fragile catholics are homosexuals. Through circumstance they have been cast with us and we fail them as much as the jewish,Muslim,Hindu,secular communites do.The secular communites fail them the most.
Many of them have a great  spiritual longing that does not fit easily into papal dogma but is the stuff of God.
Gays ,who are children of God, belong to the Catholic Church.This is what Oscar Wilde intuited and it will in generations be seen as prophetic.           
david power
7 years 10 months ago
@David Smith,

You are welcome.


The Church has to do a lot of discerment on this issue. If the Church turns back to God in prayer and adopts a more humble approach it will be a cause of good again but the mode for too long was  hubris. Pope Benedict realizes that God in Jesus Christ should be centre stage and that the teaching of the Church should not go down any interesting alleyways but that the encounter for us all is with Jesus and not with Kant.
It will take a lot more scandals for the Church to face it's own problems on this matter and believe me they are serious.
The experience of people in Courage will someday be a treasure for the Church. 
The trouble is that if the many many Priests with SSA were to attend meetings with  Courage they would never be promoted to Bishop and those who are usually have a desire to be bishop.Catch 22.  
Either way , the truth will be teased out in time.    
Charles Erlinger
7 years 10 months ago
This whole discussion, including the original study that gave rise to the discussion, is very enlightening to me.  I thought that individual predatory acts were caused by individual predators.  I didn't know that abstract descriptions of societal mores could be attributed as causal if they did not affect more than a small fraction of the members of that society.
david power
7 years 10 months ago
This is sad. I think that Bill Donahue soothes his ego with the thought that there was some great big malignant other out there that was all about doing the bad and those like me with the side parting and blue eyes are  just sheep.
The sad truth is that the Priesthood is warped.
 I respect Fr Martin and don't want to offend many of the good priests who read this blog as many of my friends are good priests but in general the company they keep or the priesthood is warped.It is similar to a prison.How many totally heterosexual men in prison turn to other men out of a need for affection? Biology plays it's part too.
I have homosexual friends too and they would sooner jump off a cliff than harm a child.To link homosexuals with the sociopathic tendencies often found in the priesthood is wrong. 
It is like saying every virile or high libidoed heterosexual male is akin to a rapist .
I say shame on the American Bishops for not realizing by now that Donahue should be replaced. There are many thoughtful catholics who could do the job a lot better  and not feel the need to create an evil "other" at every turn. 
The Church is overrun with narcissists and this could have been foreseen if we had read the report by Andrew Greeley about the Priesthood.
Those who live in a hierarchical set-up might feel the urge to express it sexually. 
Until virile Heterosexual males are allowed into the priesthood we will simply have to squint at the local priest's flailing hands and see the same flailing hands as God's reproach for having gone back on the original plan...
ed gleason
7 years 10 months ago
Donahue has to bluster every month or so in print or cable about something. He does this to keep the $500k salary money coming in. Say hello to Trump, Palin and Sharpton while you are at it. but don't take them serious
Thomas Piatak
7 years 10 months ago
Brett Joyce is exactly right.
Charles Murphy
7 years 10 months ago
Bill is some Catholic Cleopatra who clasps an asp to his bosom and then bemoans its bite. It is seldom about Catholic civil rights, but usually about a hyper-sensitivity to a perceived offense. That Timothy Dolan has taken up cause with him only diminishes +Himself. I feel embarrassed and begrimed by Donahue's approach, attitude and artifice.
david power
7 years 10 months ago
@David Smith,

He also said that he should have joined the church earlier as "the fragrancies of her teachings could have cured my degeneracies".


I agree with what you write as did Oscar Wilde. To counter the obviously wrong and harmful approach of the liberal teachings we need a lot more than a conservative stance. The Church could fall into the same  trap of reduction.By placing the accent too strongly  on the sexual we no longer have a holistic approach to people and any encounter with Christ has to wait. 
Basically I think that the church should try to announce more and denounce less.No matter what some people think they do not amount to the same thing,they are not interchangeable.
The Culture wars and warriors leave no space for Christ, even if both sides name him .
As for Chesterton, I imagine him looking at the man as he approaches the door of the brothel and where the Church or some in the Church of today would see a man about to fall into sin he sees deeper .He sees a man who probably doesn't really "see the better " and so "turns for the worse".There is a knowingness in the phrase of Chesterton that contains a lot.     


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