A new study that had been commissioned by the Catholic Church in the USA has confirmed child abuse by priests was not caused by homosexuality or celibacy.
$2 million dollars was spent on the report, headed by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, instead blames the sexual revolution post-1960 was to blame, along with poor training and a lack of emotional support.
The authors of this new study wrote: “The rise in abuse cases in the 1960s and 1970s was influenced by social factors in society generally. Factors that were invariant during the time period addressed, such as celibacy, were not responsible for the increase or decline in abuse cases over this time. The suggestion that only gay priests abuse boys within the church is often repeated. However, the study found no evidence for this and authors wrote that clinical data “[does] not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity … are significantly more likely to sexually abuse”.
The study also claimed the rates of child abuse, started to see a decline after a significant rise in gay men entering the priesthood in the mid 1970s.
So far the responses to this special report were rather mixed. Some child abuse survivors accused the church of trying to shrug off blame, while one conservative church figure claimed gay priests were the perpetrators. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League said: “The report says that 81 per cent of the victims were male and 78 per cent were post-pubescent. Since 100 per cent of the abusers were male, that’s called homosexuality, not paedophilia or heterosexuality.”
Abuse victims’ groups also are none too happy with the study, they seem to believe that the study is the Church’s way to shift the blame. As is study into why something happened, that could help to prevent similar things happening in the future is a bad thing. The believe the church is refusing to take responsibility for allowing paedophile priests to continue working. Joelle Casteix of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said: “They want us to fixate on abusive priests, not callous bishops.”.