By: Sophie Lewis | CBS News
March 12, 2019
Catholic officials are demanding an apology from "Saturday Night Live" after Pete Davidson compared the church's sex abuse scandals to the allegations against R. Kelly. His comments were part of a "Weekend Update" skit on Saturday.
"This guy is a monster and he should go to jail forever," Davidson said about Kelly. "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, only, like, one's music is significantly better."
The Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement about the episode Monday, calling for an "immediate public apology" from NBC and "SNL" for the "disgraceful and offensive" skit.
"Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church," the statement said. "The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions."
Diocese officials criticized Davidson for making light of sexual abuse scandals that have plagued the church for years. "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 statement said.
In the past six months, abuse allegations against over 2,600 priests and church workers across the U.S. have been revealed by 96 dioceses — more than half of the 178 archdioceses and dioceses across the country. The issue prompted Pope Francis to invite church leaders from around the world to the Vatican for a summit last month. Abuse survivors have come forward to demand accountability and transparency from church leaders, refusing to allow the cover-up to continue any longer.
In February, Kelly was indicted by a grand jury in Chicago on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, three of which were underage girls, according to prosecutors. There have also been claims that Kelly has beaten, starved and held other women against their will in a so-called "sex cult." Kelly denies the allegations.
In its statement, the Diocese of Brooklyn says, "It is likely that no other institution has done more than the Catholic Church to combat and prevent sexual abuse," and it adds, "The insensitivity of the writers, producers, and the cast of SNL around this painful subject is alarming."