Vatican Scapegoats Gays and Leaves Criminals Unaccountable

The Human Rights Campaign derided a new instruction to Catholic seminaries to look for "evidence of homosexuality" in seminarians and priests. According to a New York Times article, the instruction is tied to church officials' insistence that gay clergy are responsible for the sexual abuse scandal even in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary.

"The real debate around this witch hunt isn't between us and the Vatican, it's between the Vatican and the truth," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "When the church makes gay men a scapegoat for pedophiles, it ignores one problem and creates another. It does nothing to keep children safe or punish criminals."

"The church is not following its own teachings. Jesus told the truth in love," said Harry Knox, M. Div., director of the HRC Religion and Faith Program. "This is contrary to Christ's admonition to love our neighbors with the same care we give ourselves."

Several scientific studies show no tie between gays and pedophilia.

  • "The belief that homosexuals are particularly attracted to children is completely unsupported by our data." (Groth and Birnbaum, "Adult Sexual Orientation and Attraction to Underage Persons.")
  • "A gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children." (Stevenson, "Public Policy, Homosexuality and the Sexual Coercion of Children.")
  • "A child's risk of being molested by his or her relative's heterosexual partner is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian or bisexual." (Jenny and Roesler, "Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?")

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