Vatican comment on paedophiles draws gay groups’ anger

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BBC News
13 April 2010

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in Santiago, Chile, 7 April
Cardinal Bertone is seen as second only to Pope Benedict

Gay rights activists have criticised a Vatican official who sought to link homosexuality to paedophilia when commenting on child sex abuse scandals.

The UK’s Stonewall group said it was astonishing gay people should still be dealing with “such an offensive myth”.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone had said homosexuality, not celibacy, lay behind the child sex abuse scandals.

The cardinal, the Vatican’s foreign minister, was speaking in Chile, where his comments were also condemned.

Cardinal Bertone was attempting to defuse the scandals currently afflicting the Catholic Church, which are largely cases of priests molesting children, mainly boys, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome.

He added that some “surprising” initiatives regarding the sex abuse scandal would soon be revealed but did not elaborate.

‘I have the documents’

Visiting the Chilean capital Santiago on Monday, Cardinal Bertone told a news conference: “Many psychologists, many psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have demonstrated, I was told recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia.

“That is true. I have the documents of the psychologists. That is the problem.”

Patricio Walker, a Chilean senator who helped draft anti-paedophile laws, said he would like to see what scientific studies the cardinal was referring to because he thought he was wrong.

A Chilean communist MP, Hugo Gutierrez, told AFP news agency: “Celibacy does more damage to a human being than homosexuality, which is a freely made choice.

“I’m shocked by these words from a senior dignitary of the Church.”

In Rome, the head of Italian gay rights group Gaylib, Enrico Oliari, said it was “worrying that the foreign minister of a state that occupies the heart of the Italian capital would use arguments that are considered passe even in the Third World”.

Aurelio Mancuso, former president of a Italian gay rights association Arcigay, said: “The truth is that Bertone is clumsily trying to shift attention to homosexuality and away from the focus on new crimes against children that emerge every day.”

The Pope’s spokesman has indicated that Benedict may have a discreet private meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse in Malta during his visit there this coming weekend.

The Pope should not feel he is under the pressure of the glare of the media if such a meeting takes place, Fr Federico Lombardi said, so that he can listen and communicate with them.

In Malta, 10 men have taken three Catholic priests to court for alleged child abuse in their youth and have asked to meet the Pope. There has been a high incidence of reported cases on the small Mediterranean island, whose inhabitants are mainly Catholic, our Rome correspondent notes.

18 Responses to Vatican comment on paedophiles draws gay groups’ anger

  1. Tim says:

    Homosexuality is seen by some as a condition from birth.
    Would that mean GOD created people to be homosexual?
    Did HE do that just so HE could condemn them?
    Do you say GOD is a CRUEL GOD?
    How is it that all other sins we would say require our consent except if you are gay?
    There are many who read and contribute to this blog who indicate they are gay- or at least gay-friendly.
    Then you hide behind the cloak of anonymity to attack all who do not admire your twisted life-style. You want equality to be different ! AMAZING. Tim

  2. Sylvia says:

    Tim, charity please.

  3. Michel B. says:

    The issue is not about sexual orientaton, it is about crime towards children and the reading above notes “The truth is that Bertone is clumsily trying to shift attention to homosexuality and away from the focus on new crimes against children that emerge every day.”

  4. Larry Green says:

    Borne always proclaimed his revulsion toward gays too!
    The catholic church is on fire and these so called leaders just keep adding fuel.

  5. Ronnie says:

    The Cardinal is only telling the truth. If a man is having sex with another male (adult or juvenile) then he is by definition a Homosexual. The ugly truth is that the Church is dealing with Homosexual Pedophilia problem and many of the heirachs in the Church are/were themselves Homosexual. Not all Homosexuals are Pedophiles, but almost all the Pedophiles involved in the scandal that is destroying all the Great things the Church has done are Homosexuals and that is something that cannot be denied.

  6. Michel B. says:

    Homsexuality is about same sexed, relatively same aged relationships between consenting adults and this does include intimacy at a sexual level along with some of the same issues and problems as men and women in relationships and these men and women can develop these relationships freely and without predjudice according to our constitution. Pedophiles criminally target children contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada for their own selfish ends. Two very very different issues

    • michael says:

      children means children under fourteen. Anyone who is older than 14nyears knew very well what they were doing. come on anyone who sues older than fourteen sue for money. That also after many many years!!! when they are in their thirties, fourties, fifities! The whole world know that it is about money. That is why 99 percentage of the people just ignore it and still go to church. If there was no money involved, there will not be any suing. Why no one sued 30 years back?? because there was no chance of getting money.

      • John Mac Donald says:

        Michael, you said in a reply to me yesterday that I must be a pentecostal minister or a yahovawitness. Let me make it clear that I am neither, but I truly think that you are a Mormon minus one m.


  7. Michel B. says:

    If the priest did not act on his urge… and the onus is on the adult to do the right thing, if these criminals acted rightly the Catholic Church would no be having to deal with this problem they created. So are you saying it’s ok for a grown man let say age forty to make advances to a youth between 14-16

    • michael says:

      Catholic church did not create the problem, it is a few in the catholic church. All these cases are over 25 years or more old! Many who created are dead and gone! Some of them only God knows whether it is tru or not

    • michael says:

      I did not say making advaces by an adult to a person who is fourteen or sixteen is wrong, but the person who is of that age very well knew what he was getting in to.There is no doubt about that.Every one knows that. Most of the cases are from kids of that age! (happend when they were of that age) Why we hear about 15year olds having sex with and having even children with a teacher of 35 years old or more??? Did he not know what he was doing?

      Why the accusers did not go when they were 21 or 25 or 30 or 35 or even 40???Were they not matured enough to sue? I think the reason is 25 years back there was no way they could get money!!!
      So also why the boys who had sex with teachers did not sue the teachers?? Because they could get any money from doing it! I am sure all of you readers read those stories which happend in the past six or seven years.
      But if it was involved catholic priests, they would have certainly sued the church !!! Some of the people simply attack the church with no reason.It is like saying all Canadians are evil or all muslims are terrorists???? White people are racisits etc !!!!??? But there who believes it to be true.!!

      But It is not going to hurt the Catholic church. It is still the strongest of all churches and religions in the world.

  8. Larry Green says:

    John Mac Donald:
    That ought to keep him busy for a month or two trying to figure out what that means.

  9. northernfancy says:

    You fine fellows sound about as knowledgeable as Cardinal Bertone.

  10. 1yellowknife says:

    Michael: If you are really honestly looking for answers here, and not just discrediting victims, I have an answer to your question why victims may delay reporting: IT HAS TO BE SAFE TO DO SO. For victims in my family circle, that meant once they were able to speak about their abuse and face the trauma of coming forward, they did. If your intent is to discredit this process and this pain, you may have selected the wrong site to do so. Dialogue and varied views are great. However, your words are beyond offensive, Michael. I would like to think this action is unintentional. Your reply will probably make that clear.

  11. Stephen Parisien says:

    Sylvia this is just test

  12. Sylvia says:

    Stepehen! What a surprise this is 🙂

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