According to Bill Donohue, president of the inaccurately-named Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, if you are age 14 or over you are not a child. Don’t take my word for it, he makes the argument in a full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times.
“The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight — they weren’t children and they weren’t raped,” writes Donohue. “We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape).”
Here are the undisputed facts, reprised from a column I wrote last year in response to Donohue continuing claims about kids and rape: “According to the 2004 study by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice commissioned by the U.S. bishops, nearly half of the cases of abuse by clergy in the United States involve victims ages 12 or younger -- and about 20 percent of the victims were girls. Add 13- and 14-year-olds to the mix and 73.4 percent of the clergy molesters and rapists are accounted for.
Bottom line: Nearly half of the victims were sixth-graders or younger, while three-quarters were junior high age or younger. These victims, barks Donohue, are not “kids.’”
Nearly three-quarters junior high age or younger. Got that? Bill Donohue apparently doesn’t. The issue, he writes, “is homosexuality, not pedophilia.” A sign, perhaps, of the bully’s true agenda?
Donohue continued, “That some are exploiting this issue for ideological and financial profit seems plain.”
Indeed it does. And on the narrow question of "exploiting...for profit," the rightwing Catholic Midtown Manhattan money machine posing as a “civil rights organization,” knows whereof it speaks.