The Catholic Church has far less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors than other major institutions, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Donohue told Ed Berliner and Diane Dimond — guest hosts of the "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV — that most of the sexual abuse cases bared in recent years are between 30 and 50 years old.
"We've averaged 7.6 credible accusations against 40,000 in the last six years. This problem that took place, which was an utter disgrace, was between approximately 1965 and 1985," Donohue said Monday.
"That coincides with the sexual revolution and then the discovery of AIDS in '81. What I am saying is that this problem has largely been checked.
"I don't know of a single institution which has less of a problem, proportionately speaking today, than the Catholic Church when it comes to the sexual abuse of minors."
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Donohue said many of the lawsuits being filed against the Catholic Church don't stand up.
"You’re not going to get rid of the bogus lawsuits, of which there are many. Practically every single case that we heard about in the media goes back to the 1970s," he said.
"How do I know this? Because I read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops report, which just was released a few weeks ago. It's the exact same timeline. Most of this stuff took place between 1970 and 1974."
Last week, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the sins of the church’s sinners.
“I feel that I must take responsibility for all the harm that some priests — quite a number, but not in proportion to the total. I must take responsibility and ask forgiveness for the damage they have caused through sexual abuse of children,'' the pontiff said.
"The church is aware of this damage. It is their own personal and moral damage, but they are men of the church. And we will not take one step backwards in dealing with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, I believe that we must be even stronger. You do not interfere with children.''
Some critics say the statement was not enough.
"I guess I'm a bit exasperated. What exactly do they want him to do?" Donohue said.
"I guess my own sense of exasperation [is] because of the fact that I'm not exactly certain what we're supposed to do with the problem, which is virtually nonexistent today.
"As far as the guys in the past, fortunately, for the sake of the Catholic Church, a lot of the bad guys are dead."
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