Expert: Donohue’s claim that most abusive priests are gay is “unwarranted”
Blog ››› April 2, 2010 11:23 AM EDT ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN
One of the researchers responsible for a landmark statistical study of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church saysthat Catholic League president William Donohue “drew an unwarranted conclusion” from her work when he claimed that “most” of the clergy who committed the abuse have been “gay.”
In a March 30 ad published in The New York Times, Donohue described the sex abuse scandal as a “homosexual crisis.” Donohue added: “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.”
During a March 31 appearance on CNN, Donohue elaborated on his claim, specifically citing a 2004 study produced by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which found that 81 percent of the alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests were male. During the CNN segment, Donohue repeated his assertion that “most of the molesters have been gay.”
But in an interview with Media Matters, Margaret Smith — a John Jay College criminologist who worked on the 2004 study — said that while Donohue “quoted the study’s data correctly,” he “drew an unwarranted conclusion” in asserting that most of the abusers were gay.
Explaining that it is an oversimplification to assume to that priests who abuse male victims are gay, Smith said: “The majority of the abusive acts were homosexual in nature. That participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man.”
As an example, Smith pointed to the case of Marcial Maciel Degollado, a prominent Mexican priest who allegedly abused male children and also allegedly carried on affairs with multiple women. Smith noted that while Maciel allegedly abused boys, most people would not think of him as a gay man.
In a November 18, 2009, Politics Daily column about Smith’s research, David Gibson reported:
“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.”
A second researcher, Karen Terry, also cautioned the bishops against making a correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys rather than girls — a ratio found to be about 80-20.
“It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior,” Terry said. “Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.” Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage.
Such conclusions, moreover, are not unique to analyses of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. As Think Progress noted, Gregory Herek, a psychology professor at the University of California-Davis, analyzed a number of studies and concluded: “The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so.”
Dying abuse victim celebrates giving bedside testimony to Royal Commission
By Alyssa Allen
15 April, 2014 6:22PM AEST
Barry Wilson waited fifty years to tell his horrific story of child sexual abuse. It was years of abuse while in the care of the Christian Brothers at St Augustine’s Orphanage in Highton, Geelong that saw Barry’s life spiral out of control. Barry found out six weeks ago that he had liver cancer and only had a few days to live. Amazingly, he found the courage to tell his story of child sexual abuse to the Royal Commission last Tuesday.
Barry died on Sunday but his brother Peter Wilson could not be more proud of him.
Peter says members of the SANO Task Force (Victoria Police sex-crimes squad) took a recorded statement from Barry’s bedside in Kerang hospital in Northern Victoria.
“The detectives were very gentle with Barry, allowing him time to have breaks, so he could get his breath, that took probably an hour or a half or so, they were passionate.”
Peter, also a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers, was asked by his brother stay in the room for his statement.
But Peter says he didn’t stay due to his own ongoing investigation with the Royal Commission.
“I didn’t want to hear them, as much as I wanted to hear them, I knew that later on this year I’m going before the Royal Commission myself, we don’t need stories to be conflicting.”
Peter says it meant everything to Barry to be able to share his story before he died.
“Barry knew that when he died, everything died with him, he would never have the chance to be heard in court or his story couldn’t be told to the Royal Commission.”
“Barry didn’t want anyone to know but he had the courage to say ‘Ok I want to tell my story, because if I go to my grave at least I know I’m dying a happy man’, so that’s why we organised it.”
Once Barry gave his statement, he celebrated with a fist pump.
Fifty years of keeping a dark secret to himself was finally set free.
“I went in with my wife and Barry closed his fist and put them up in the air, he goes ‘I done it.’”
“We gave him a hug and congratulated him.”
Peter says he is grateful for the work of Leonie Sheedy, Chief Executive Officer of Care Leavers Australia Network for organising Barry’s Royal Commission visit.
“She worked miracles that lady, she made it so much easier for me and Barry.”
Peter says there is no need for victims of child sexual abuse to carry their trauma alone.
“Eventually it will bring you down, it will affect your family life, it could cost you your marriage.”
“These people from the Royal commission and the SANO taskforce,they’re very sensitive, they understand, they will not pressure you, they will help you and guide you and give you all the support that you would need so you could get through without having any major problems or breakdowns over it.”
ABC’s Nicole Chvastek spoke to Peter Wilson
Vatican Faces Second UN Hearing On Sex Abuse Policies; Compliance To Convention Against Torture
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican next month will face yet another crucial United Nations hearing that will scrutinize the Catholic Church’s response to clerical sex abuse.
The U.N. committee responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention Against Torture treaty will hear from Vatican officials on May 5-6 during three weeks of hearings to be held in Geneva, starting on April 28.
At issue is whether the church’s handling of the sexual abuse scandal violates international norms against subjecting minors to torture, something that the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, skirted on Tuesday (April 15).
“The Holy See continues to carry out its obligations undertaken on behalf of the Vatican city state and present periodic reports, according to procedures under the convention,” he said.
The Holy See will present its initial report on adherence to the Convention Against Torture, alongside Cyprus, Lithuania, Guinea, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay.
“It is a normal procedure to which all ‘state parties’ to the convention endorse,” he said. “Taking account of the obligations under the convention, the Holy See endorsed the convention in the name of and on behalf of the Vatican in 2002.”
It will be the second time this year that the Vatican’s global response to clerical sexual abuse has faced intense scrutiny from the U.N. In January, Vatican officials testified for eight hours before a U.N. watchdog for children’s rights in Geneva.
That committee’s report, released in February, denounced the Vatican for adopting policies that allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children, and the report called for abusers to be removed immediately.
In a rare interview with an Italian newspaper to mark his first anniversary as pontiff, Pope Francis strongly rejected the report’s findings, saying that no other organization had done more to fight pedophilia and that the church had acted with “transparency and responsibility.”
He has also said dealing with abuse is vital for the church’s credibility and perpetrators should face sanctions.
Last Friday (April 11), Francis said he took personal responsibility for the “evil” of clerical sex abuse, sought forgiveness from victims and said the church must do more to protect children.
The pontiff has established a committee to look at the issue of sex abuse. Half its members are women; among them is Marie Collins, an Irish victim who was abused by a priest as a child.
DOCUMENTARY: “SINS OF FATHER MARCIAL MACIEL” – LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST
“It won’t be possible to save the Legion from its greatest Legionary, pederast Marcel Maciel, a sex abuser for sixty years disguised as a priest. The networks of collusion that allowed this monster to hide his perversions implicate former Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI. The scandal has shaken Mexico and the wound in the Church won’t easily heal over.” Jorge Alonso
In 2006 Mexican academic Fernando González published Marcial Maciel. Los legionarios de Cristo: testimonios y documentos inéditos (The Legion of Christ: unpublished testaments and documents) (Tusquets, 2006), a meticulous investigation into the pederasty of the Legion’s founder and the network of accomplices to it both in that organization and the Catholic ecclesiastical elite. Later, he gave another turn of the screw with revelations and analyses of these criminal practices in the book: La Iglesia del Silencio. De mártires y pederastas (The Church of Silence. Of martyrs and pederasts) (Tusquets, 2009). In the second part of this book González offers new data and new sources about the sexual abuse of Pope John Paul II’s protégée. Emphasizing how difficult it is to investigate the sexual activity of the clergy, he documents accusations that have been made all over the world in recent years by those who have suffered sexual abuse, silence and subterfuge from priests.
Published on Mar 11, 2014
DUBLIN, IRELAND – The following is an exclusive interview with the first victim to ever go public with an accusation against Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and current Archbishop in Dublin Diarmuid Martin. As you will hear, Owen Felix O’Neill is bringing a historic lawsuit before these two Catholic officials and he states that “he will not be stopped”.
The Vatican is being exposed for what it is: The most criminal organization in existence. The crimes that they have managed to commit against humanity for 2000 years via its criminal priests, nuns, and evil religious leaders are now being discovered worldwide.
The Protect Your Children Foundation is documenting and exposing all of its crimes worldwide, alerting entire nations of the dangers that the Catholic Church poses to our children in our communities, as they have been implementing crime schemes of rape, torture, starvation, human experiments, abuse, exploitation and more in its religious institutions, while claiming to ‘help children’. The Vatican has utilized its false appearance of mercy, claiming they are representatives of Christ, when in fact, they do this to gain trust and commit crimes. For more info, visit: http://www.vaticancrimes.com
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League being sued for defamation against priest abuse survivor
Missouri (USA): Catholic church dares to defame a man after he accuses priest of sex abuse, claiming he is a drug-abusing murderer
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI (USA) — The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights defamed a man who says he is a victim of priestly sex abuse as a drug-abusing murderer and a Catholic-hating bigot, the man claims in court.
Jon David Couzens Jr. sued The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, its President William Donohue, the KC Catholic League, KC Catholic League President Joe McLiney and KC Catholic League Capacity Secretary James O’Laughlin, in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Couzens claims Donohue defamed him in statements responding to the Kansas City Star’s three-part series on priestly abuse, written by Judy Thomas in December 2011.
The series centered around Couzens’ claims – and subsequent lawsuit against the KC Diocese, Msgr. Thomas O’Brien and Fr. Isaac True – that he and three other altar boys, one of whom committed suicide, were sexually abused in the early 1980s.
“Thomas’ entire soap-opera yarn concerns the allegations of Jon David Couzens,” Donohue said in a statement posted on the Catholic League’s website.
“He says that a priest molested him and three other altar boys back in the early 1980s. But why should we believe a man who only now is coming forward with his tale – he never told a single soul – especially given the fact that he has been implicated in a murder? Thomas never told readers that on the night Mark Trader was murdered about a dozen years ago, Couzens got into a fight with him over a botched drug deal, and although another man was convicted, on appeal it was alleged that Couzens and two other men had ‘motive to commit the murder and the opportunity to do so.’ This is public record, so why the cover up?”
Couzens’ attorney, Rebecca Randles, told Courthouse News she has no idea where Donohue came up with the drug and murder implications. Randles said in an interview that that to her knowledge Couzens has never been subject to any drug or murder-related charges.
In the lawsuit, Couzens claims that he reported Trader’s murder in April 1992 to police, after the killer confessed to him. He claims in the lawsuit that he received a commendation from now-Sen. Claire McCaskill for his good citizenship in the murder investigation and trial.
Donohue ramped up his criticism in another statement on Dec. 8, 2011, speculating on the timing of Couzens’ abuse lawsuit with the emergence of a lawsuit filed earlier that year against the K.C.
Diocese and priest Shawn Ratigan. That lawsuit claimed the Diocese waited nearly 6 months before reporting child pornography found on Ratigan’s computer.
“Couzens may be a hero to the Star, but his character is indeed questionable: he was implicated in a murder,” Donohue said in the statement. “Why hasn’t the Star revealed this to its readers? Does it want to ‘silence’ its critics? Why did Couzens wait 30 years before he told his ‘wrenching’ tale? Because the time was ripe to cash in after Fr. Ratigan’s name hit the papers?”
Randles said her client is not a gold-digger, and that the 30-year delay that Donohue finds suspicious is actually quite normal.
“If the memories are repressed or suppressed, there is no way to bring forth the accusations earlier,” Randles said in the interview. “Also, the average age of (priest) abuse is 12. The average age to report is 42. So 30 years is a common time frame.”
Couzens claims that Donohue’s statements falsely portray him as a drug-abusing killer and a Catholic hating bigot. Donohue’s statements were intended to incite and inflame people to confront Couzens, the lawsuit states.
As a result, Couzens says, he has been physically assaulted, cursed at on the streets, suffered emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
Couzens said in a statement that he did not come forward just for himself.
“In the big picture it is a very sad thing that William Donohue and the Catholic League are attacking those who the Priesthood has already abused,” Couzens said in the statement. “I am not doing this just for me. I now understand why other victims don’t come forward. The things said about me are so cruel and offensive they cut to the core of my being. Others who don’t have my support would cower under these attacks.”
Randles said that statements such as Donohue’s are a common tactic by the Catholic League against those who claim to be abused by priests. She said the Catholic League attempts to bully and harass victims to deter them from moving forward.
Catholic League officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Couzens seeks actual and punitive damages for defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Mr. Donohue has been an outspoken and pugnacious defender of the church,” Randles said. “It’s our hope that he will align himself with things that are factually true.”
Randles said Couzen’s abuse lawsuit filed in 2011 against the KC Diocese and O’Brien is set for trial in April. The suit against True has been settled.
After six years of seminary training I worked as a celibate priest for the past 20 years with the Catholic Diocese of Paramatta. During that time I made multiple complaints to the Catholic Church hierarchy, as well as numerous police reports regarding fellow priests and Brothers who I believed were paedophiles, openly gay, or corrupt. To this date, very little action was taken against these alleged offenders.
In 2011 I married and decided to conceal the fact I was married, to prove to people just how easy it was to live a secret double life as a priest, something until then the Catholic hierarchy refuted, saying they monitor their priests too closely for that to occur.
When I broke news of my marriage to the media, and that I was writing a book exposing these priests, I was sacked.
My meagre stipend of a little over $250 a week was stopped immediately, my church credit card cancelled, my health cover cancelled, my life insurance stopped, and my personal bank account with $77 left was closed by the Church!
Even my remaining personal possessions were inacessible, as they changed all the locks on the house I built, preventing me from even gaining access to my own pets!
I was financially destitute.
My book “Unholy Silence”, due for publication in 2013, is where I am about to take the veil off the tabernacle and let you know what happens on the inside of the cloisters.
My work in continuing to expose alleged paedophiles and child-abusing Catholic priests and Brothers, and also caring for victims has become a full-time job.
But now as a married man, I also have a wife and two step-children to provide for. Victims continue to come forward, people who need counselling and support. Please help me continue full-time in this ministry by contributing towards a salary, staffing costs, office costs and other bills associated with my work to try to stamp out child-abuse in Catholic churches, and to make the Catholic education system a safer place for all our children.
Please donate to GoFund Me & you will enable me to continue in this vital work. Thank you.
Pope hits out at criticism of Church over sexual abuse
5 March 2014 Last updated at 11:40 ET
From the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26448075
Pope Francis has strongly defended the Roman Catholic Church’s record on tackling sexual abuse by priests.
In a rare interview with an Italian newspaper, the Pope said “no-one else has done more” to root out paedophilia.
He said the Church had acted with transparency and responsibility, yet it was the only institution to have been attacked.
Last month, the UN strongly criticised the Vatican for failing to stamp out child abuse and for allowing cover-ups.
In his interview with Corriere della Sera published on Wednesday, Pope Francis said: “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility.
“No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”
The Pope, who will celebrate his first anniversary of his election later this month, also praised his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, for changing the Church’s attitude towards predatory priests, saying he had been “very courageous”.
He also questioned the focus of the debate, saying: “The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also clearly show that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighbourhood environments.”
A UN report into the abuse scandals published last month called on the Pope to “immediately remove” all clergy who were known or suspected child abusers.
It also accused the Vatican of systematically placing the “preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims” – something it has strenuously denied.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the Holy See should open its files on members of the clergy who had “concealed their crimes” so that they could be held accountable by the authorities.
Pope Francis has set up a commission to investigate sex crimes committed by priests and to care for victims, but so far he has made very few public comments about the scandals that have rocked the Church in recent years.
No ‘big changes’
The leader of an Italian group representing victims of clerical sex abuse claimed there had been little action from the Vatican and said there had been no “big changes” under Pope Francis.
Francesco Zanardi of Rete L’Abuso, told the BBC: “The cases of child abuse by priests continue to happen, all around Italy, and of the cases that we’ve denounced we have seen no results.”
“The Pope may make this statement, but then the Vatican doesn’t reply to the UN or impose the obligation that bishops should denounce accused priests in the courts and not deal with the cases internally.”
The founder of the US-based website, BishopAccountability.org, Terence McKiernan, was more direct in his criticism, complaining that the Pope had not merely failed to apologise to the children who had been abused but had not even expressed sorrow.
“It is astonishing, at this late date, that Pope Francis would recycle such tired and defensive rhetoric,” he said.
Pope Francis also used the interview with Corriere della Sera to admit that he was uncomfortable with the depiction of him as a “superman” who leaves the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.
He told the newspaper: “The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person.”
His comments came as a new weekly magazine devoted entirely to his life, called Il Mio Papa – or My Pope – hit the news-stands in Italy.
Church Sex Abuse Survivors Criticize Pope
“The Catholic Church is possibly the only public institution that acted with transparency and responsibility. Nobody else did more. Still, the Catholic Church was the only one to come under fire.” said Pope Francis.
Wow I actually started liking this Pope until he spewed the above words from his mouth the other day.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS NEVER ACTED WITH TRANSPARENCY AND RESPONSIBILITY WHEN IT COMES TIME TO THE PRIEST AND NUN ABUSE CRISIS IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. THEY STILL DO NOT. THEY STILL FIGHT US VICTIMS USING EVERY MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL TO EVADE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS. THEY LOVE TO USE THE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS TO AVOID THEIR PAYING FOR THEIR CRIMES AGAINST US.
Transparency? Is that for when you moved child rapist pedophile priests from parish to parish, not warning anyone, some of these priests being moved up to a dozen times? You dare call this transparency Pope Francis? These pedophile priests files were hidden from all of us, so please explain to us how this made you so transparent?
Pope Francis, the ONLY thing the Roman Catholic Church has done to us survivors of priest rape, soul torture and nun abuse is to shit on us. You deny us justice at every step of the way, you keep protecting the Pedophile Pimp Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops and Pope Emetrius Benedict for their parts in the cover-ups. Your church and its lawyers use every means available to deny us victims true justice and recompense for our shattered lives…especially the Statue of Limitations.
You have sick and twisted attack dogs like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League whom blames us victims for our rapes and tells us we enjoyed being raped and are homosexuals for it.
No Pope Francis, the Catholic Church still does NOT act with transparency and responsibility towards us survivors of your disgusting priests and abusive nuns. You should be ashamed of yourself for speaking such outrageous, bald faced lies…but this is what we survivors have come to expect from the leadership of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps and Priests.