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This is a very succinct way of putting it:

It is not the homosexually-inclined priest who is at risk of abusing: almost all gay priests lead healthy celibate lives. The ones who are most at risk of abusing are emotionally stunted men whose psychosexual development has gone awry.

That does not make them paedophiles. Only a handful of clerical abusers have been authentic paedophiles, seeking out pre-pubescent children (male or female; paedophiles don't usually care) as victims. Those that there have been have had a very large number of victims and have wreaked havoc.

But most accused priests fall into a different category. Almost all the accused are alleged to have molested one minor (only three per cent of the accused in the John Jay study had more than ten alleged victims); the classic perpetrator was a priest in his thirties who spent some time, mostly less than a year, sexually involved with a boy in his early teens. That boy has usually been someone who has had his boundaries violated early in life, probably by a relative.

Are those priests paedophiles? No – although the damage they cause is considerable. Are they homosexual? Possibly – but not healthy ones. And to claim that their homosexuality is a cause of their abusing is as daft as suggesting that paedophilia is linked to heterosexuality. Cardinal Bertone should be more prudent.

Photo via TDW.

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