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Brooklyn Diocese Demands Apology From Pete Davidson For Anti-Catholic Joke

"Disgraceful and offensive skit."

 'Rachel Brosnahan' Episode 1756 -- Pictured: Pete Davidson as a Clemson student during the 'Deal or No Deal Cold Open' sketch on Saturday, January 19, 2019
NBC / Contributor / Getty Images
 

Over the weekend, "Saturday Night Live" actor Pete Davidson made an appalling anti-Catholic joke in which he accused lay Catholics of being complicit in sexual abuse if they continue attending church.

 

"But if you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference — only one’s music is significantly better," Davidson said during a segment of "Weekend Update."

According to Fox News, the Diocese of Brooklyn has now demanded that producers for "Saturday Night Live" apologize for Pete Davidson mocking Catholics for their faith. The Diocese has denounced Davidson's performance as a "disgraceful and offensive skit."

"Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church," the Diocese said on its website. "The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose. The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again."

The Diocese went on to say it has instituted a "zero-tolerance policy" regarding sexual abuse and has cooperated with authorities to bring predators to justice.

 

"Those changes include a zero-tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry," the statement continued. "Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens. In 2004, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instituted a reporting line that sends reports directly to law enforcement authorities."

This marks at least the second time Pete Davidson has made a particularly offensive joke. Last November, he mocked then-congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) for missing an eye as a result of an injury sustained during his military service in Afghanistan.

 

"You may be surprised to hear that he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie," Davidson said. "I'm sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever."

Eventually, Davidson did apologize directly and publicly to Dan Crenshaw on another segment of "Weekend Update."

Here is the full statement from the Brooklyn Diocese:

The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from "Saturday Night Live" and NBC after Saturday night’s disgraceful and offensive skit in which cast member Pete Davidson, during the Weekend Update segment, said: "If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?" The statement clearly shocked the studio audience as gasps could be heard off camera.

Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose.

The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again.

For nearly two decades, the Diocese of Brooklyn has taken this crisis seriously and instituted widespread changes mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Those changes include a zero-tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry. Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens. In 2004, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instituted a reporting line that sends reports directly to law enforcement authorities.

The charter also mandates sexual abuse awareness training for all clergy members, teachers, parish/academy/school employees, catechists and volunteers who work directly with children. Employees and volunteers also must agree to initial and ongoing criminal background checks and must sign a code of conduct.

To help victims, the Office of Victim Assistance provides referrals for therapy, support groups for survivors and an annual Healing Mass to pray for all who have been impacted by sexual abuse. The diocese also started the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program as another possible mechanism for healing that may help bring closure to victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

It is likely that no other institution has done more than the Catholic Church to combat and prevent sexual abuse. The insensitivity of the writers, producers, and the cast of SNL around this painful subject is alarming.

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