Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Does Barring Gay Priests Solve Abuse Problem?

By Lisa Haddock
NJ Faith Forum Editor
(Copyright Lisa Haddock, 2005; please cite my name, blog, and sources if quoting.)

Does keeping gay men out of seminaries solve the sexual-abuse crisis the Catholic Church is facing? The short answer is no, but the reasons are more complex. They deserve a lengthy discussion.

The scandal that broke in 2002 is no doubt driving this attempted purge, which is based on a 1961 Vatican pronouncement.

“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty [sex between men and boys], since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers,” the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious wrote. This document, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders,” is part of Canon Law Digest 5.

In response to the scandal, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops commissioned a study; experts found that 81 percent of victims sexually abused by priests were boys, Catholic News Service reported. This percentage, as I will discuss later, is more than double the typical rate for boy victims.

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1 comment:

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