Amid Outrage, Cardinal Bertone clarifies statement on homosexuality-sex abuse link
Amid worldwide cries of protest that greeted Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s statement that the Church’s sex-abuse problem is linked to homosexuality, the Vatican has issued a clarification of that statement by the Secretary of State.
“We refer here of course to the problem of abuse by priests and not in the general population,” said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office. He pointed out that the Church does not “make general statements of a specifically physiological or medical character,” and Cardinal Bertone did not intend to speak on the relationship between homosexual orientation and pedophile offenses.
However, Father Lombardi continued, in a statistical examination of reports on clerical abuse, the Vatican’s chief prosecutor has found that only 10% of the cases involved true pedophilia (abuse of small children), while 90% were cases of ephebophilia (abuse of adolescents). He added that 60% of all cases involved same-sex victims.
That 60% figure falls significantly short of the statistics for the United States, where a thorough analysis in the John Jay report showed that more than 80% of the reported instances of abuse by American Catholic priests involved boys.
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