After reading the three-part series on the sex lives of Catholic priests in the Kansas City Star, Catholic League president William Donohue said today:
“An examination of the data shows that exactly one-half of one percent of priests have HIV or AIDS, and exactly 3.6 percent are critical of the way the Church has responded to this problem. What is striking about this is that the narrative offered in the series is written from the perspective that AIDS is rampant in the priesthood and that the clergy are furious with the way the Church has handled this problem. In essence, what could not be accomplished by citing the data had to be done by substituting anecdotal commentary drawn from a handful of angry priests and former priests.
“It is also striking that 70 percent of the priests said that changing the Church’s teachings on homosexuality would not prove effective in dealing with this problem and two-thirds said that changing the celibacy requirement would not prove effective. Yet the narrative states that ‘the Catholic Church’s condemnation of homosexual acts, its requirement that priests be male and its unique demand of celibacy make the issue all the more vexing for its followers.’ However, this conclusion is not supported by the data. Once again, the agenda is evident: by citing unnamed ‘experts’ who urge the Church to change its teachings, the editors invent support for their position that their own data do not allow. And notice, too, that they even throw in a shot about the male clergy, as if that contributes to AIDS.
“It is also amazing that they cite the work of Richard Sipe. He previously reported that 2 percent of priests were pedophiles, yet an examination of his data showed that he was speaking simply of those who have such tendencies, and not actual behavior. Finally, the paper is correct to say that the Catholic Church has no policy on AIDS. A phone call to the newspaper revealed that neither do they; nor does either have a policy on diabetes. We await the results of their own in-house sex survey so we can make a ‘scientific’ comparison and then send the results to Howard Stern for analysis.”