Posts Tagged As: Clergy Sex Scandals

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.

The Vatican vs. The APA

Jim Burroway

November 17th, 2008

The Vatican has issued a statementcalling on Catholic seminaries to test applicants for psychological traits including “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” The document doesn’t require psychological testing, but it does suggest that psychological evaluations could be useful to detect a “sexuality identity that is confused or not yet well defined.” The Vatican had previously released guidelines barring gay men from entering the seminary unless they had been chaste for at least three years.

But as the Los Angeles Times points out, enlisting psychologists to root out gay men from the seminary could be a problem, especially considering the American Psychological Association’s guidelines:

“Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status, and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.”

So here’s the thing. The problem the Vatican is trying to solve in the aftermath of its clergy sexual abuse scandals is pedophilia, not homosexuality. Pope Benedict XVI himself recognized that distinction last April when he addressed the scandals, 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.”

So if the problem is not homosexuality, then what is this except an activity “based upon such prejudices”?

Any psychologist who cooperates with this witch hunt will find himself or herself in violation of the APA’s guidelines.

Pope Draws Distinction Between Homosexuality and Pedophilia

Jim Burroway

April 15th, 2008

The New York Times reports this morning on comments Pope Benedict XVI made with reporters during his flight to the United States. He talked about the clergy sexual abuse scandal that has affected more than 5,000 victims and cost the church more than $2 billion. He described the scandals as a “great suffering for the church” and for him personally, saying “We are deeply ashamed and we will do what is possible that this cannot happen in the future.”

During the discussion, the pontiff indicated that he recognized the distinction between homosexuality and pedophilia:

Apparently drawing a distinction between priests with homosexual tendencies and those inclined to molest children, the Pontiff said “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.”

This would be welcome news, but the rest of the church appears not to have gotten the memo. In response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2005 issued instructions barring gay men entering holy orders unless they had “overcome” for at least three years. This led to a virtual witch hunt within many seminaries, while priests faced increasing stigmatization within their dioceses. Meanwhile, abuse victim advocates accuse the pope of protecting nineteen bishops who they say have been “credibly accused of abusing children.”

You can learn more about the fals link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse in our report, “Testing the Premise: Are Gays a Threat To Our Children?”

Blame the Altar Boys – They WANTED It!!

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2007

alter.jpgThis one comes in a bit of a circuitous route (via PageOneQ‘s reference to a translation site) so I can’t swear to its accuracy.

However, the Catholic Bishop of the Canary Island of Tenerife seems to think gay folks are bad for society.

“Homosexuality harms society, and we will pay for it,” he said, adding that most homosexuals lived out their sexual leanings as if they were addicts.

No big surprise. The Church under the current Pope seems to be constantly looking for ever more outrageous things to say.

But Bishop Bernardo Alvarez has an all new take on what I assume is his response to the scandals surrounding priests molestating children and the Church covering it up. Usually it’s simply “defend the Church, blame the homosexuals that snuck into the Church.” Alvarez’ position is even more ignoble.

The bishop further stated that there are minors who desired sexual abuse and even sought it out. “If one isn’t careful, they could even provoke it,” Alvarez said. “Sexuality is more complicated than one suspects.”

So now it’s not just the Church that is innocent, it’s also the molesting priests. The ones to blame are those oversexed Lolitas, male or female, that provoked the priests.

Sure there are sexually provocative youth. No question. There are even precocious minors that are sexually active younger than thirteen, Spain’s age of consent. But isn’t it the adult’s job to set appropriate boundaries?


Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.