On her radio show of April 24, Dr. Laura Schlessinger engaged a caller on the subject of priestly sexual abuse. Dr. Laura said she was “stunned” that the penalties for abuse “were not more severe.” She continued by saying, “So because of that I no longer, you have not heard me in all these years tell anybody to send their kids to Catholic school, where in the past I did that all the time.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:
“I will not lose faith in Dr. Laura simply because she is not up to speed on this issue, but I cannot sit back and indulge her cluelessness. Quite frankly, as anyone who has read the John Jay Reports on this subject knows, the vast majority of abuse took place between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s, at the height of the sexual revolution. The bill may have come due in 2002—the year the Boston Globe exposed the Boston Archdiocese as the epicenter of the problem—but this hardly justifies the conclusion that nothing has been done to correct the situation in recent times.
“Indeed, I would challenge Dr. Laura to name a single institution—private or public—that has instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy, save for the Catholic Church. Every staff person and volunteer who works for the Church has had to undergo the most rigorous training seminars on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors, something unmatched by any other organization. Indeed, if Dr. Laura wants to know which institution is responsible for the lion’s share of this problem today, she needs to take a serious look at the public schools. And then she might investigate why so little reform has been instituted. I can save her the time—it’s called the teachers unions.
“Here’s the number of credible accusations made against the over 40,000 priests in the last few years: 2008 (10); 2007 (4); 2006 (14); 2005 (9).
“Dr. Laura’s moral compass remains one of the finest indices of sanity in the nation. Indeed, we are big fans of hers. But she does need to correct the record.”
Susan A. Fani is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League. This press release was originally issued on April 27, 2009.