Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 myths about the Catholic abuse scandal – by David Gibson - - The News Journal

Myth: Gay priests are to blame.

Some defenders of the Catholic Church’s response to the abuse crisis say that homosexual priests are responsible for the majority of abuses, in part because more than 80 percent of the victims are male. They argue that true pedophiles — adults who are pathologically attracted to pre-pubescent children — constitute a small minority of offenders. Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone repeated this gay-pedophile link on Wednesday, and such reasoning was partially behind a 2005 Vatican policy barring gays from seminaries.

Such assertions have numerous flaws. For one thing, research shows that gay men are no more likely to molest children than straight men. (And celibacy doesn’t seem to be a determining factor, either.) Yes, 80 percent of the victims were male, but many offenders assaulted children of both sexes. Maciel abused boys and fathered children with several women. Moreover, the abusers had access to boys; an adult male couldn’t go on overnight trips with girls or take them away unchaperoned.

Finally, while critics of gay clerics fret that homosexuals dominate the priesthood and endanger children, in fact the ostensible increase in gay priests in recent years has coincided with a sharp decrease in reports of child abuse by clergy. Read complete article - by David Gibson - - The News Journal

David Gibson is the author of “The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and his Battle with the Modern World.” He covers religion for

No comments: