Sexual orientation and child sexual abuse.
posted on 14 April 2010
The following statement has been issued on 14 April 2010 by the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse.
The consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is not a question of sexual ‘orientation’, whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attraction or ‘fixation’.
Many abusers of children have never developed the capacity for mature adult relationships. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or both.
In the sexual abuse of children the issue is the sexual fixation of the abusers and not their sexual orientation.
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have adopted policies which ensure that all candidates for the priesthood undergo a thorough psychological screening. All candidates for the priesthood and diaconate are required to demonstrate the capacity for mature relationships and a fully integrated sexuality appropriate to their celibate or married way of life.
Rev Fr Marcus Stock
VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following declaration yesterday afternoon:
'Ecclesial authorities do not consider it within their competency to make general affirmations of a specifically psychological or medical character and therefore naturally must refer to the study of specialists and the inquiries they carry out.'
'Concerning the competency of ecclesial authorities, in the area of the causes of abuse of minors on the part of priests, which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has faced in recent years, the statistical data related by Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna states that in 10% of cases of pedophilia, in the strict use of the term, 90% should rather be defined as ephebophilia (that is, with adolescents). Further, 60% of those are of a same sex and 30% of a heterosexual character. This, of course, references the problems of abuse on the part of priests and not of the population in general.'