In the “Weekend Update” segment on the show, the comedian noted that Kelly, a singer facing multiple charges of sexual abuse, “is a monster who should go to jail forever.”
“But if you support the Catholic Church,” he continued (as seen in the clip above), “isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference, except like one’s music is significantly better.”
The Diocese of Brooklyn blasted the routine in a statement.
“The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions,” it said. “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 church is facing a wave of child sex abuse scandals globally while Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some of which allegedly involved underage girls.
“Saturday Night Live” and NBC declined comment.