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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cardinal Bertone is wrong

A good post today by Fr. James Martin SJ at American magazine's blog, written in response to the recent assertion by Vatican official Cardinal Bertone that pedophilia and homosexuality are linked.

Here's a bit of Fr. Martin's post ....

[...] First of all, nearly every reputable mainstream psychologist and psychiatrist (Catholics included) rejects the conflation of homosexuality and pedophilia (and ephebophilia). Pope Benedict XVI himself, in a mid-air news conference with reporters en route to his first trip to the United States in 2008, also remarked that the two (homosexuality and pedophilia) he considered separate matters. (H/T: Grant Gallicho at dotCommonweal). (And the pope was speaking in regards to the sexual abuse crisis specifically.) There are countless pyschological studies that demonstrate that pedophilia (which centers on pre-adolescent boys) is more a question of a malformed sexual orientation, more a question of a stunted sexuality, more a question of proximity, more a question of power, than of homosexuality per se. (I'm no psychologist or pyschiatrist, but this is what the best experts attest to: that is, homosexuality does not lead to pedophilia; other factors do.) ......

One reason that there aren't more public examples to counter the argument, of course, is that many celibate gay priests are unable, unwilling or simply not permitted to speak about their own orientations. (See "The Church and the Homosexual Priest" in America.) In the absence of public models of healthy gay priests, therefore, the image of the gay priest-pedophile predominates, and so can lead to such misunderstanding. There is also the clear witness of millions of emotionally mature and psychologically healthy gay men who have never, ever abused a child (nor would ever think of it, nor are inclined to do so, nor are at all attracted to children). Finally, and perhaps more importantly for the church at this critical moment, there is the witness of thousands of emotionally mature, psychologically healthy, celibate gay priests, who have never, ever abused a child (and, again, would never think of doing so) and who lead lives of quiet service to the People of God.

For more info on this subject, check out Homosexuality and Pedophilia: The False Link from Psychology Today


Anonymous Henry said...


Not only is he wrong he is stupid! The problem of priests abusing children has to be attacked on two fronts: helping the victims heal and ensuring that the errors committed in the past are not repeated.



12:19 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...


Not only is he wrong, he is stupid!

The problem of priests abusing children has to be attacked on two fronts. First, the viticms need healing and everything we, as a Church (including you and me), has to be done to foster that; 2) anything we can do to ensure that the errors committed in the past - e.g., transfering abusive priests -must be implemented.



12:23 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Hi. Thanks for the comment. I saw a number of post about this today at America magazine's blog too.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Liam said...

I would not say only "wrong" or "stupid," but also... Oh, I can't use that kind of language in the comment section of your blog, Crystal.

I will say the Vatican is showing a great deal of cowardice in their bunker-mentality denial of responsibility in this issue.

8:05 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Liam,

Well put.

I'm keeping up with your tweets so I can see what food item you'll next compare the little one to :)

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Thank your for gentle correction Liam - I appreciate it. I agree that my comment was unnecessarily derogatory and dismissive - mea culpa.



5:35 AM  
Blogger Liam said...

Henry, perhaps it was and you're right that we should keep up the level of our discourse. But the truth is, I was thinking of saying something much worse.

Crystal -- yeah, the site I've been following for the info seems hooked on the fruit metaphor.

5:50 AM  

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