Vatican Notes Context of Abuse-Homosexuality Link

Says Cardinal Bertone’s Comments Do Not Infer a Societal Trend

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By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 14, 2010 ( When Benedict XVI’s secretary of state noted a link between pedophilia and homosexuality, he was referring specifically to the fact that 60% of cases of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy involve adolescent boys, and not to a trend in society in general, the Vatican clarified today.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s comments during a press conference Monday in Chile set off a firestorm of comments in the media, among homosexual organizations, and even by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry.

In response to a question asking if there is a link between celibacy and sexual abuse by the clergy, Cardinal Bertone responded: «Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, and have told me recently, that there is a link between homosexuality and pedophilia.»
In a communiqué released today, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, clarified that the cardinal was referring to scientific studies that have been conducted within the context of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, and not in society at large.
«The ecclesiastical authorities do not hold as their competence to make general affirmations of a specifically psychological or medical character, for which they naturally refer to studies of specialists and to research under way on the matter,» Father Lombardi noted.
The Vatican spokesman clarified that «in so far as the competence of the ecclesiastical authorities goes, in the area of the causes of the abuses of minors by priests addressed in recent years by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it is simply the statistical fact referred to in the interview of Msgr. Charles Scicluna, [] in which mentioned was made of 10% of cases of pedophilia in the strict sense, and of 90% of cases to be described rather as ephebophilia (namely in confrontations of adolescents), of which close to 60% referred to individuals of the same sex and 30% were of a heterosexual character.»

Father Lombardi concluded by clarifying that «referred to here obviously is the problem of abuse by priests, and not in the population in general.»
These statements are backed by the report published in 2004 by John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, regarded as the most complete report on the sexual abuse crisis.

On studying the charges of sexual abuse presented against clerics between 1950 and 2002 in the United States, the report stated that an overwhelming majority of the victims — 81% — were males.
The John Jay study also said that pedophilia — an attraction to pre-pubescent children diagnosed as a psychiatric disease — was a smaller part of the sexual abuse problem, as the majority of the victims were also adolescents.
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Interview of Monsignor Scicluna:

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