The Roman Catholic World
April 14, 2010
by Marielena Montesino de Stuart
Vatican secretary of state says homosexuality, pedophilia related
VATICAN CITY – April 13, 2010 (CNS) — The Vatican secretary of state told reporters in Chile that no serious study has ever shown a connection between celibacy and pedophilia, but many psychologists and psychiatrists believe there is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was visiting Chile April 6-12 to participate in events marking the country’s bicentennial and to demonstrate Pope Benedict XVI’s solidarity with victims of a Feb. 27 earthquake, made the remarks to reporters in Santiago. “Many psychologists and many psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, and they told me recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia,” the cardinal said after giving the opening talk at a meeting of the Chilean bishops’ conference. Cardinal Bertone told reporters that pedophilia is a pathology that “touches all categories of people,” including priests, but “in a lower percentage” than the general population. Still, he said, “it is very serious, it is scandalous” that there are priests who abuse minors. The cardinal also confirmed that Pope Benedict is reviewing the church’s universal norms for handling accusations of sex abuse against clergy. He gave no details about what revisions would be made.”
Today, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, had this to say:
Vatican Statement Regarding Comments by Card. Bertone
In response to journalists questions regarding the debate in the aftermath of an interview by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, in Chile on issues of sexual abuse by clergy members, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi said:
Holy See Press Statement
Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, issued a statement today to respond to journalists’ questions following remarks by the Vatican Secretary of State made during an interview yesterday. Cardinal Bertone was speaking from Chile, where he is currently on a visit.
In his statement, Fr Lombardi said:
Church authorities do not consider it within their competency to make general statements of a specifically psychological or medical nature, but refer to research studies undertaken by specialists in these matters.
With regard to their competency in the area of the causes of abuse of minors by priests in recent years, they refer to statistical data quoted by Bishop Scicluna of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in an interview that addresses this issue..
According to the data, 10% of abuse cases can be classified as pedophilia in the strict sense. 90% of cases are better defined as ephebophilia (ie attraction towards adolescents). Of these, approximately 60% are reported as same-sex attraction and 30% of a heterosexual nature. Obviously this data refers to the problem of abuse by priests and not to statistics regarding the general population.”
Today, here is what Benedict XVI had to say (click on image below to view video):
© Marielena Montesino de Stuart
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