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Catholic Report: Homosexuality Not a Factor In Clerical Sex Scandals

Jim Burroway

November 17th, 2009

How about this?

A preliminary report commissioned by the nation\’s Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal has found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.

The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won\’t be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now.”

It looks like the report’s authors are coming to the same conclusions I did when I tackled the question in our report, “Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?”I poured through the professional literature and found no connection between homosexuality and child molestation. The Catholic Bishops commissioned a $2 million study in response to the clerical sexual abuse scandals which came to the same conclusion. Here’s the money quote:

At the meeting Tuesday, Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., asked the researchers whether their study indicated that homosexuality should be considered when evaluating a candidate for the priesthood. In 2005, the Vatican issued a policy statement that men with “deep-seated” attraction to other men should be barred from the priesthood.

Smith said: “If that exclusion were based on the fact that that person would be more probable than any other candidate to abuse, we do not find that at this time.”

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI drew a distinction between homosexuality and pedophelia, saying “I would not speak at this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia which is another thing. And we would absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry.” Yet the Vatican’s instructions barring gay men from entering holy orders unless they had “overcome” for at least three years still stands.



Richard W. Fitch
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

The earth is flat; Galileo was wrong; the landing of the Eagle was a hoax;…

November 17th, 2009 | LINK

Karen Terry, a John Jay researcher, said it was important to distinguish between sexual identity and behavior, and to look at who the offender had access to when seeking victims.

To me this is a very big frigging DUH! That’s why the homophobic theory doesn’t float for a millisecond. Who the hell else would they have access to besides altar boys? Priests pretty much have no business being around girls in most circumstances.

Ben in Oakland
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

Access has ALWAYS been the issue. That’s why Daddy– or Father– have always been the most likely perpetrators.

November 17th, 2009 | LINK

I must have missed this one. They did a report in 2004 that I’ve had thrown at me as “proof” gays are more prone to molest kids than straights quite a number of times.

Frankly, it was the Vatican’s outrageous reaction to the scandal after their own dealings that made my “lapsed” status permanent – or at least still ongoing 5 years later.

So this is another report or an amendment of the 2004 report?

Lynn David
November 18th, 2009 | LINK

The final report isn’t due out by December 2010. Likely by that time the Catholic Church will get it to say what they want it to say.

I seem to remember an older report from that period (2004-05) which named ephobophilia as the problem. I think it was the report that gave the RCC the impetus to ban gay men from the priesthood. But I could be wrong.

November 18th, 2009 | LINK

If having gay clergy were, in itself, the cause of abuse, then those churches which are perfectly happy to have openly gay clergy, and which, furthermore, do not impose the burden of compulsory celibacy on them (e.g. the Protestant Church in the Netherlands) would be putting the Roman Catholic Church into the shade in this respect. They are not.

November 18th, 2009 | LINK

There is nothing remarkable in this report – similar reports have been made by independent observers for years. Still, I think this particular report is of major importance, because it was prepared for the bishops themselves.

Left to themselves, I suspect they will simply ignore it, or even to distort the findings, as Archbishop Thomasi did with a previous report on the same subject by the same John Jay College. We must not allow this.

The report must be publicly discussed and disseminated, They won’t do it themselves – it is up to us to do it for them


November 18th, 2009 | LINK

Duh. Pedophilia is more about power and getting off than anything else. Don’t they have any psychiatrists or psychologists involved in the church that they could’ve consulted?

November 18th, 2009 | LINK

“Pedophilia is more about power and getting off than anything else.”

I don’t believe that is true. Source?

Craig L. Adams
November 18th, 2009 | LINK

Ha! They should have given you the 2 million, Jim.

November 18th, 2009 | LINK


The earlier John Jay report did not in fact claim that the perpetrators were gay. That was the spin put on it by the bishops, to the finding that most of the complaints investigated (by the bishops themselves)came from boys. But there were good reasons why girls simply did not bother to report – and note that a significant proportion of the complaints were simply not investigated, especially in some specific dioceses.

This report is not a new study, but the second stage of the same research, designed s an update. One of the other findings was that “nothing has changed” since the first report. This clearly implies that if gay priests are not to blame now, they were not to blame then – as all independent observers and researchers have always concluded.

Blaming “homosexuals” by the bishops has always been a smokescreen designed to deflect attention away from the true culprit: the institutional structure and systems of the church itself.

This is why, as I have argued elsewhere, it is essential that this new report be discussed and disseminated as widely as we can – to blow that smokescreen clear away, forcing them finally to look at those real causes.

November 18th, 2009 | LINK

I guess that the Vatican will now stop trying to weed out gays from becoming clergy?

Ben in Oakland
November 19th, 2009 | LINK

Nothing will ever force them to look at the real causes. I don’t think the church has much interest in truth, only The Truth, becuase only the latter has monetary and political rewards.

November 24th, 2009 | LINK

Okay, I’ve been thinking about it for a bit and here’s what I got.
Rape is about power and access, and occasionally sexual attraction.
Pedophilia is the act of raping a child of either gender. So therefore, pedophilia can be understood as a power play with one-sided sexual attraction.

January 7th, 2011 | LINK

“won’t be completed until the end of next year”

This is now. It is completed?

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