A survivor of clergy sex abuse responded on Tuesday to the Brooklyn Diocese’s call for an apology from comedian Pete Davidson over his joke comparing the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandals to the allegations involving R. Kelly. Anthony Raiola, who grew up in Brooklyn, said the diocese’s outrage was overblown. “It’s absurd that the Brooklyn Diocese is portraying itself as victim of Pete Davidson’s Saturday Night Live joke when priests in Brooklyn and across New York preyed on vulnerable children,” Raiola said. “I am one of those Brooklyn survivors—and I’m still waiting for my apology from the Church.”
Rainola’s attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel pointed to how the church has allegedly covered-up decades of abuse by clergy members. “The Brooklyn Diocese can feign outrage in less than two days over a joke, but it takes them decades to respond to legitimate allegations of clergy abuse within their own churches,” said Tuegel. “The real outrage here is the decades of sex abuse the Church has swept under the rug and lack of justice for survivors.” Raiola was allegedly abused by his high-school principal at Bishop Ford Catholic School in Brooklyn. The abuse began when he was only 14-years-old and continued for two years, according to Raiola.