Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, has emerged as one of the most vigorous defenders of Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, as the Catholic Church reels from revelations that Ratzinger was made aware of a priest who molested more than 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin, and yet declined to punish him.
Donohue's method has been to attack the source of the story, the New York Times, accusing the paper of waging a concerted campaign to discredit the Vatican's authority.
Perhaps Donohue's most controversial claim is that this is not a pedophilia crisis but a homosexual crisis; since most victims of molestation were "post-pubescent"," that means the priests were not child molesters but some kind of gay predators. Donohue wrote in a full page ad in the New York Times:
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.
It's unclear where Donohue is getting his statistics, but this is sure to increase the belief among critics that the church is more interested in protecting its own interests and reputation than innocent children. In a heart-wrenching Times follow-up story, it was revealed that the deaf boys tried for decades to report the sexually abusive priest, but no one would listen.