Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Outrage as Vatican tries to link pedophilia with homosexuality

"Gay groups and politicians condemned Pope Benedict's number two on Wednesday for calling homosexuality a pathology and linking it directly to sexual abuse of children."

Reuters reports:
The comments made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone during a visit to Chile, and the controversy they caused, were splashed on mainstream Italian newspapers on Wednesday. The French foreign ministry and in some Catholic blogs that support the pope also condemned the cardinal's remarks. As the scandal over sexual abuse of children by priests has spread, some in the Catholic Church have called for a review of the Church's rule that prohibits priests from marrying, saying marriage would allow priests to enjoy a healthy sex life.

Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, who is sometimes called the "deputy pope," told a news conference in Santiago on Monday:

"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia."

"This pathology is one that touches all categories of people, and priests to a lesser degree in percentage terms," he said. "The behavior of the priests in this case, the negative behavior, is very serious, is scandalous."

Gay rights activists reacted with derision and outrage. "This is a scientific absurdity. The World Health Organization calls homosexuality a variation of human behavior. It is pedophilia that is a pathology, a crime, not homosexuality," said Franco Grillini, a former parliamentarian who was at the vanguard of Italy's gay rights movement. READ MORE

(BBC) The Vatican has distanced itself from remarks made by a senior cardinal, who linked homosexuality with pedophilia in the abuse scandal facing the Church:

It was not the responsibility of the Church authorities to make "assertions of a specifically psychological or medical nature", a statement said.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said it was homosexuality - not clerical celibacy - which lay behind the abuse of children.

Earlier, France condemned the cardinal for making "an unacceptable linkage".
Earlier this month, Pope Benedict's personal preacher apologised for having compared criticism of the Roman Catholic Church over abuse allegations to "the collective violence suffered by the Jews".

In a sermon, Father Raniero Cantalamessa likened allegations that the Vatican had systematically hushed up cases of sexual abuse of children by priests to the "most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism", with the use of stereotypes and the spreading of collective guilt.

The Vatican said his remarks did not represent its official view.