Catholic League News Release
April 4, 2002


Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following remarks today regarding the stance that dissident Catholics have taken in the wake of the Church’s sex abuse scandal:

“The Catholic League has an agenda: the defense of the Catholic Church.  As defined by whom?  The magisterium.  There is only one teaching body in the Catholic Church and that is the pope in communion with the bishops.

“Dissident Catholics also have an agenda: the dismantling of the Catholic Church as we know it.  Malcontents through and through, these men and women have parked themselves in the Catholic Church with the hope that their politically correct vision of religion will triumph.

“Consider Jason Berry, author of a book on sex abuse in the priesthood.  He admits to knowing active gay priests who won’t quit the priesthood because they want to reform ‘outdated moral teachings—including celibacy.’  He expresses sympathy for them blaming celibacy for ‘sexual secrecy.’  In other words, the problem is not with deceitful priests who violate the vows they voluntarily accepted.  Nor is it with priests who oppose the Church’s teachings on sexuality.  The problem is with Rome.

“By such logic it could be argued that sexual secrecy is to blame for the sense of guilt that adulterers experience.  So what should we do?  Lower the bar so cheaters won’t suffer?

“When priests get ordained and when men and women marry they do so of their own volition.  If they find that the strictures governing these sacraments are too cumbersome, they should not go forward.  If they come to this conclusion after the fact then it would be better if they quietly exited than to invoke squatters’ rights. What they should never expect is that they are entitled to sympathy for their morally delinquent behavior.”

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