Matt C. Abbott
Gimme' some John Jay money, and I'll guarantee you get raptured...
By Matt C. Abbott
May 21, 2011

Well, golly gee, there have been a few interesting stories making headlines recently: Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs; Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted to fathering a love child with his former housekeeper; the now former head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested and indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting a chambermaid; the rapture is supposed to occur in the next 24 hours or so (if you don't see this column, I'll assume it's because you've been "raptured"); and, last but not least, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a further analysis — put together by the ultra-ultra-impartial John Jay College — of the cause(s) of the clergy abuse scandal.

The (expensive) report's conclusions? Don't blame celibacy, don't blame homosexuality, and don't blame the bishops.

Blame the sexual revolution, darn it. Now give me my friggin' $1.8 million dollars!


A number of commentators have weighed in on the John Jay report, and, not surprisingly, most are dissatisfied with its overall conclusions. Two of my favorite commentaries are by Philip F. Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, and Brian W. Clowes, Ph.D., director of research for Human Life International.

Lawler writes (excerpted):

    'As I have been shouting for well over a decade now, the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has involved two scandals, not one. First, there is the scandal of priests who molested young people: a horrible sin and a shocking crime, but the sin and crime of individuals, not an entire institution. Second, there is the scandal of the bishops and other diocesan leaders who allowed those predators to continue in ministry, thus compounding the damage and making the misconduct of a few priests into a disaster for the entire Church.

    'The John Jay report does mention the failures of the American hierarchy — but only in passing, and in the mildest possible terms. The report alludes to a 'performance gap' in the reaction to sex-abuse complaints, and then quickly adds that at their meeting in Dallas in 2002, the American bishops admitted that 'performance gap' and addressed it.

    'Yes, in Dallas the American bishops did admit a 'performance gap.' They confessed that they had not handled sex-abuse complaints properly, and instituted new standards for handling those complaints. But they did not address their own culpability for the scandal, and they did not set standards for their own future performance....

    'According to the report, homosexuality was not an important factor in the sex-abuse crisis. But that conclusion seems to be clearly at odds with the evidence presented in the text. Richard Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist who has treated many troubled priests, commented that that 'analysis of the research demonstrates clearly that the major cause of the crisis was the homosexual abuse of males'....

    'Second, the John Jay report offers the generalization that priests had more access to young men than to young women, and that difference would account for the prevalence of male victims. But that explanation is credible only if priests saw young men and young women as equally desirable sexual objects. In my line of work, I have more access to old magazines than to T-bone steaks. Still I never eat magazines, because I do not think of magazines as food. Yes, priests had more access to altar boys than to girls of a similar age. But that access would have been a determining factor only for priests who saw young men as potential sex objects. The John Jay report fails to provide an honest exploration of the role of homosexuality, and thus neglects another key factor in this scandal.'

Read Lawler's entire commentary by clicking here.

When asked by yours truly to comment on the John Jay report, Brian Clowes responded in an email (slightly edited):

    'The report's claim that homosexuality is not the primary cause of the clergy sex abuse scandal is problematic. I have studied the phenomenon of homosexuality for more than 30 years. The report corroborates the findings from my 2010 study, 'Homosexuality and the Church Crisis,' that most of the sexually offending Catholic clergy were not true pedophiles. Generally, the John Jay report recognized that pedophilia can be defined as the sexual molestation of children aged ten and younger.

    'The majority of perpetrators, as I wrote in 2010, 'exhibit[ed] these same fantasies, urges or behaviors towards post pubescent youths.' The National Review Board study defines 'ephebophilia' as 'homosexual attraction to adolescent males,' a definition that is certainly validated by the quotes of many 'gay rights' activists and the many scientific studies quoted in my 2010 study.

    'Table 3.5.4 of the John Jay report itself clearly demonstrates that, as the age of the victims rises, the percentage of victims decisively shifts from primarily female to overwhelmingly male. In fact, the John Jay table shows that a whopping 85.3 percent of all victims aged 11 to 17 were male.

    'These results stand in stark contrast to United States Department of Health and Human Services statistics, which show that male-on-male child sexual abuse in the U.S. comprises only 14.4 percent of all sexual abuse committed by males. In other words, in the general population of males who sexually abuse minors, only one in seven molest boys. In the population of priests who sexually abused minors, six in seven molest boys.

    'Scores of homosexual writers and activists have voiced their desire for post-pubescent boys, and are generally not interested in younger boys. The fact that of the victims of this crisis, only one out of seven aged 11 to 17 were girls is very significant indeed, and indicates that the foundation of the crisis was not pedophilia, but homosexual desire.

    'The sick behavior exhibited by the perpetrators during this crisis is actually quite mainstream in the homosexual community, not an aberration. As just one example, in an editorial in the San Francisco Sentinel, a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist's Association claimed, 'The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality. For the gay community to imply that boy love is not homosexual love is ridiculous. We must not be seduced into believing misinformation from the press and the government.''

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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