• Pete Davidson, Catholic Church are feuding; Diocese of Brooklyn demands apology

    Pete Davidson is in the news (again), this time for feuding with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s Diocese of Brooklyn released a lengthy statement calling for an “immediate public apology” from Davidson and SNL for a joke the comedian told on last Saturday’s Weekend Update.

    Davidson was brought on for a segment about R. Kelly and his alleged abuse of young women. The SNL star then told a joke comparing him to Catholic priests. “This guy is a monster and he should go to jail forever,” Davidson said, “But if you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference, except for one’s music is significantly better.”

    He continued to talk about not going to mass with his mother and, instead, listening to Kelly’s Remix to Ignition.

    Diocese claims Catholic Church is leader against sexual abuse

    The Diocese of Brooklyn said in their statement they support the victims of abuse by the hands of the clergy, but not before saying, “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 statement ends by calling out SNL for the joke, saying, “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.”

    Pete Davidson called to apologize for jokes…again

    This is not the first time Davidson has been pressured to apologize recently. Back in November, he publically apologized to Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) after making fun of the combat veteran’s eye patch. There is no word yet about if Davidson or anyone at Saturday Night Live plans to apologize to the Catholic Diocese, but knowing Davidson, it will probably feed into a stand-up bit or SNL segment.

    Diocese of Brooklyn’s Full Statement

    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.

    Rosa Escandon

    I am a stand up comic and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. When I'm not on stage, I am Comedy Editor for The Tusk, sit on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival, and writing my next project. I am passionate about writing about feminism and comedy as well as how women, LBGTQ people, and minorities are changing the face of comedy and entertainment. You may have seen me on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, aplus, or maybe just on twitter.

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