Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Oh boy, the Catholic League is on the warpath again. Their target this time: Robin Williams, who apparently told jokes about Catholic priests and pedophilia on the Tonight Show recently.

Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says Williams would never bring up the fact that most priests involved in sex scandals were homosexuals.

“You don’t hear anything about that,” she states. “You don’t hear comments about homosexuals from these comedians [because homosexuals are] pretty much a protected class ….” And that, she says, poses a problem. “They say, ‘it’s off-limits to mock gays, [but] it’s perfectly okay to go after priests.’ Now, what about gay priests? That’s a tricky situation. You know the answer — let’s just label them all pedophiles.”


Wow, where do you even begin? First of all, pedophilia is not typically associated with either homosexuality or heterosexuality; most pedophiles will happily go back and forth from boys to girls as long as they are pre-pubescent. That is the nature of pedophilia, a unique form of sexual dysfunction that is independent of sexual orientation. Take a look at this paper by Mark Pietrzyk. He cites research by numerous psychiatrists and psychologists who have worked with pedophiles their entire careers. He writes:

According to Groth, child molesters can be divided into two types: “fixated” and “regressed.” The fixated offender is attracted primarily to children and has little or no interest in adult relationships; such a person is known in clinical terms as a “pedophile.” The regressed offender is interested in and capable of adult sexual relationships; however, this person may on occasion regress to sexual encounters with children, often as a result of difficulties and frustration in his adult relationships.15

Groth writes that the fixated offender, or pedophile, tends to select boys more often than girls, but for reasons having nothing to do with homosexuality:

In general, fixated child molesters are drawn to children sexually in that they identify with the child and appear in some ways to want to remain children themselves. It is for this reason that the trend for fixated offenders is to target boys as victims. . . . They see the boy as a projected representation of themselves. They feel themselves to be more child than adult – more boys than men – and therefore find themselves more comfortable (especially sexually) in the company of children. . . .16

Groth stresses that “these same individuals are uninterested in adult homosexual relationships. In fact, they frequently express a strong sexual aversion to adult males, reporting that what they find attractive about the immature boy are his feminine features and the absence of secondary sexual characteristics such as body hair and muscles.”17 The second type of offender, the regressed offender, is predominantly heterosexual. However, he may temporarily turn to boys or girls as a result of complications in his adult relations.18 Although regressed offenders are more likely to choose girls than boys as victims, writes Groth, what attracts the regressed male offender to boys are the feminine characteristics of pre‑ pubescents. Groth found no cases of boy molestation in which the offender had an adult homosexual orientation.

Secondly, what bizarre standards the Catholic League has. They’re far more concerned about comedians making fun of pedophile priests than they are about the Church covering up their crimes and moving them from parish to parish so they can continue to commit them. It is telling that in not a single case, evidently, did the Catholic Church even once turn over a priest to the police after finding out that they had molested a child under their authority. That itself should be criminal and many bishops should be in prison for covering up these things.

And where does the Catholic League aim their outrage? Not at the criminals in their church but at a comedian for making fun of the Church. Get your moral priorities straight and then maybe you’ll be taken seriously.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    June 29, 2007

    I watch The Tonight Show fairly often, and Leno himself regularly makes much the same sort of jokes. I wonder why they focused on Williams?

  2. #2 Jim Ramsey
    June 29, 2007

    “You don’t hear anything about that,” she states. “You don’t hear comments about homosexuals from these comedians [because homosexuals are] pretty much a protected class ….” And that, she says, poses a problem. “They say, ‘it’s off-limits to mock gays,

    Except this is specifically not true about Robin Williams. Homosexuals are not a protected class.

    He has a hilarious routine that begins with something about ballet being the fairies’ football and then he wonders aloud about switching jobs so the choreographer gets to work with the Dallas Cowboys and Tom Landry gets to work with the dancers.

  3. #3 dogmeatib
    June 29, 2007

    Jim’s right, this Kiera McCaffrey is using the victim’s claim to cover for the fact that the actual victims were the kids. I love how they try to cloud the issue by mentioning homosexuals in general and then claim that the church pedophiles were homosexual as well. As Ed states clearly, the big difference is, when a pedophile is caught outside the church’s jurisidiction (homo/hetero) they are charged with a crime and sentenced to jail, within the church’s jurisdiction they get an all expenses paid free relocation to some other parish and the accusers are pressured or paid to shut up.

    A lot of the anti-gay crowd equate homosexuality to pedophilia. I think it’s right up there with uncontrollable sexual urges (the GAY BOMB… woohoo!) and “man sex” as there touch button (is that appropriate?) issues.

  4. #4 Oskar
    June 29, 2007

    The churches stance on those men makes me sick to my stomach, crimen sollicitationis anyone?

  5. #5 Jonathan
    June 29, 2007

    @ Dave S.

    …Leno himself regularly makes much the same sort of jokes. I wonder why they focused on Williams?

    Williams is playing a priest in License to Wed. And while I don’t blame Catholics, or anyone breathing, for being insulted by Williams in that role, I’d say it has to do with the obvious lack of humor in the movie, rather than anything that Williams did on the Tonight Show.

  6. #6 Dave S.
    June 29, 2007

    That makes more sense then. Thanks Jonathan.

  7. #7 yoshi
    June 29, 2007

    “You don’t hear anything about that,” she states. “You don’t hear comments about homosexuals from these comedians [because homosexuals are] pretty much a protected class ….

    The other false thing about this comment is that comedians make jokes about homosexuals all the time. I can only assume that the Catholic League is perfectly ok with singling out a class of people as long as its not them.

  8. #8 Justin Moretti
    June 29, 2007

    Interesting stuff. I didn’t know that’s why fixated paedos went for boys. That agrees wiht what I read somewhere once, that paedos who prefer boys are harder to cure.

  9. #9 Brandon
    June 29, 2007

    I see way too much of this sort of rhetoric among conservatives. A few years ago, when the Catholic priest scandal first got out, Senator Santorum got on a podium and blamed it on Massachusetts’ “liberal, anything goes scandal.” And we all remember what happened when Mark Foley was outed, right? Even if there was a corellation between homosexuality and pedophilia, it makes me sick that there’s a counsel somewhere whose meetings consist of, “Some children were horribly molested. How can we use this for our political agenda?”

  10. #10 Jim Ramsey
    June 29, 2007

    What really offended me about the whole mess the Catholic Church got into was that the real problem was a greater interest in protecting the church organization that in exercising their pastoral obligation to actually care for their members.

  11. #11 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 29, 2007

    Their target this time: Robin Williams, who apparently told jokes about Catholic priests and pedophilia on the Tonight Show recently.

    I wonder who he stole those jokes from…..

    I kid.

  12. #12 Judy
    June 29, 2007

    Perfect, absolutely perfect. Your words describe the issue perfect!!! thank you, Judy

    “Secondly, what bizarre standards the Catholic League has. They’re far more concerned about comedians making fun of pedophile priests than they are about the Church covering up their crimes and moving them from parish to parish so they can continue to commit them. It is telling that in not a single case, evidently, did the Catholic Church even once turn over a priest to the police after finding out that they had molested a child under their authority. That itself should be criminal and many bishops should be in prison for covering up these things.

    And where does the Catholic League aim their outrage? Not at the criminals in their church but at a comedian for making fun of the Church. Get your moral priorities straight and then maybe you’ll be taken seriously.”

  13. #13 kehrsam
    June 29, 2007

    I wonder who he stole those jokes from…..

    Why, were they funny?

  14. #14 David
    June 29, 2007

    This problem is simple…Its about children being sacrificed, to protect those in power, and the image of the Catholic Church. This isn’t about homosexuals, bisexuals, or straits… its about adults, from the top down, that knew what they were doing to children was criminal, and covered it up, for their own selfish reasons.

  15. #15 SharonB
    June 29, 2007

    And, David, what is worse, they then blame it on an innocent class of people they despise, in an effort to eradicate that identity from the populace.

  16. #16 GH
    June 29, 2007

    I can only assume that the Catholic League is perfectly ok with singling out a class of people as long as its not them.

    Correct. It’s not as if the RCC doesn’t single out people/groups to bash condemn if they don’t follow this archaic rule or that archaic rule. A more legalistic bunch one will not find.

  17. #17 Andrea
    June 29, 2007

    So … child molesting life destroying innocence killing priests as a protected class within the Catholic Church, no problem. Consenting adults in a homosexual relationship as a protected class within society – damnable.

  18. #18 John
    June 29, 2007

    Google “Jewish Rabbi Molestation boy” and you will find many hits about Rabbi’s who are pedophiles (mostly local papers and Jewish journals). Where is the Major National Media coverage on this? It is supressed to prevent anti-Semitism. But it is open season on Catholics. Phil Donohue, Ted Kennedy, and Rudolph Gulianni are liberal pro gay pro choice Catholics. They go to church. Hollywood and The Media lie.

  19. #19 wrpd4
    June 29, 2007

    The catholic league would yell “Anti-catholic” if a video of the pope was a little out of focus. The reason that pedophila among RC priests is an issue is that it is widespread and the RC hierarchy has condoned it by not reporting cases to the authorities.

  20. #20 raj
    June 30, 2007

    The “Catholic League” is obviously short of cash. Hence their diatribe.

    Follow the money.

  21. #21 Andrea
    June 30, 2007

    John, molesting a child is a CRIME, and using even more twisted logic to excuse the priests just hurts the victims more. Anyone who molests a child should be punished. Anyone who molested one of MY children would be punished severely. And anyone who uses religion as an excuse, justification, or an easy position of trust should be assisted in their ultimate journey to final judgment by the god they love so very, very much.

    But your post seems to imply that it isn’t fair that Catholic priests are getting attention for their molestation. I hope that isn’t what you mean, but if it is, you’re just as foul as the priests and rabbis who molest the children.

  22. #22 Lee
    June 30, 2007

    John,

    I did that google search. What I find is a list of Rebbim who have been charged, tried, often convicted, sentenced, fired, or otherwise dealt with. There is no indication of a massive coordinated nationwide cover-up of an endemic problem in the ‘church’ – there is instead coverage of individual isolated incidents, which have been dealt with as the problem they are.

    The US Catholic church, on the other hand, had a nationwide problem, they knew it and they covered it up, they protected priests from discovery and prosecution, they facilitated continuing child abuse by priests, they transferred bishops out of country to protect them from prosecution. By any analysis I can see, the Catholic church participated in a criminal conspiracy to abet and cover up child abuse. That is a different thing,a nd pointing to individual cases of abuse in other religions does not in any way alter the heinous nature of what the Catholic church did.

  23. #23 raj
    June 30, 2007

    John | June 29, 2007 11:25 PM

    I doubt very seriously that anyone would deny that child molestation goes on in many religious organizations. A few years ago, during an Internet search, I discovered a web site that was replete with descriptions of child molestation in Protestant places of worship. In some cases, the Protestant places of worship were so crass as to indicate that they would welcome back the molester.

    The issue isn’t whether or not it goes on, but whether the establishment of religion is complicit in covering it up. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, Inc., it was the establishment that was complicit in covering it up. Oftentimes, by the way, with a wink and a nod to civil authorities that we’ll take care of it ourselves, and the civil authorities refused to intervene.

  24. #24 SharonB
    June 30, 2007

    And the criminal organization known as the Roman Catholic Church has been conspiring to break the law for over 55 years. That church has NO moral authority.

  25. #25 llDayo
    July 2, 2007

    The Roman Catholic Church has obviously never seen ‘The Birdcage’.

  26. #26 Colin
    July 3, 2007

    Mr Brayton
    The fact remains that 80% of the child sex abuse committed by Catholic priests was homosexual in nature. You can put as much Gay spin on this fact as you like but it doesn’t change the fact that nearly all priests guilty of sexually abusing children were Gay.

    The study done by Groth which you use to support your positon seems to be full of illogical conclusions. I also find it hard to believe that “Groth found no cases of boy molestation in which the offender had an adult homosexual orientation.” Maybe Groth like you was just trying to protect the homosexuals of the species.

  27. #27 Ed Brayton
    July 3, 2007

    Colin wrote:

    The fact remains that 80% of the child sex abuse committed by Catholic priests was homosexual in nature. You can put as much Gay spin on this fact as you like but it doesn’t change the fact that nearly all priests guilty of sexually abusing children were Gay.

    No, that they molested boys rather than girls does not make them gay – it makes them pedophiles. If they were gay, they would be attracted to male adults and they’re not. There is a distinction between being gay – which means having a homosexual orientation – and being straight but engaging in gay sex. The fact is that in the Catholic Church, most of the children in a position to be molested are going to be boys rather than girls because the church has more opportunities for boys to be under the tutelage of a priest than they do for girls.

    The study done by Groth which you use to support your positon seems to be full of illogical conclusions.

    Which you are, of course, free to point out. That you didn’t suggests that you’re blowing smoke.

    I also find it hard to believe that “Groth found no cases of boy molestation in which the offender had an adult homosexual orientation.” Maybe Groth like you was just trying to protect the homosexuals of the species.

    “I find that hard to believe” is hardly a compelling response to the evidence found in a study. You have no idea what Groth’s motivations were or are, you just don’t like his conclusions. What you have not done, or even attempted to do, is coherently dispute them.

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