The New York Times' Maureen Dowd's most recent anti-Catholic hit piece (Sun., 5/19/11) contains a number of falsehoods. However, her article's biggest eye-opener is her apparent claim that homosexuality is a direct cause of child sex abuse.
Dowd's article lashes out against New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan's stance against the implementation of gay 'marriage' in New York. Dowd takes issue with a recently released report commissioned by the United States Catholic bishops that sought to examine the "causes and context" of the Catholic Church abuse scandals from past decades. Dowd belittles the report and writes, "It concluded, absurdly, that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality were causes."
Whoa! Her opinion seems pretty clear: Homosexuality was a direct cause of the sex abuse of minors in the Catholic Church.
Indeed, the heralded 2004 John Jay report, which thoroughly examined Church abuse data from 1950 to 2002, reported that over 80 percent of abuse victims were male, and the vast majority were teenagers. (In society as a whole, most abuse victims are female.)
Most clear-headed observers reached the obvious conclusion that the scandals largely entailed criminal homosexual priests preying upon innocent adolescent boys. However, you would be hard-pressed to hear that conclusion in the politically correct "liberal" or "progressive" circles in which Dowd resides. (Even the authors of the study went out of their way to publicly state that homosexuality was not a cause, even though their own data suggested otherwise.)
Will Dowd be criticized for "demeaning" and/or "stereotyping" gays? Will there be a demand that Dowd retract her claim?
A couple other quick points:
1. The all-male/celibacy requirements had nothing to do with the scandals. Dowd is wrong. There is no evidence whatsoever that Catholic priests abused more than clergy of other denominations where celibacy is not a requirement. (One of many sources: Newsweek, 4/7/10.) In addition, there are massive abuses and cover-ups happening today in our public schools. Obviously there is no celibacy requirement to be a teacher.
2. Dowd refers to the scandals as an "unending horror" to imply that abuse is still a rampant problem in the Catholic Church today. It isn't. In 2010, there were seven credible contemporaneous accusations of abuse against Catholic priests in the entire United States. While even seven is seven too many for any caring person, this figure is indicative of an organization that has worked hard to put a serious problem behind it. (In 2009, the number was six.)
-- Dave Pierre is the author of the book, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church. Dave is also the creator of TheMediaReport.com and is a contributing writer to NewsBusters.