A preliminary report commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in response to priest sex abuse scandals finds no evidence that gay priests are more likely to abuse minors than their straight counterparts.
This is in rather striking contradiction to a Vatican statement issued September 28 of this year, placing the blame for the sex abuse scandal squarely on the shoulders of gay priests.
Once again, reality and science have come to the rescue of the persecuted- whether it will have any effect is another story.
I've written on this before on my blog, and I believe that priestly sexual abuse is mostly an issue of shame, impotence (sexual and institutional), and psychological repression. Many priests are caught in the middle. Gay? Maybe. But more importantly, the glaring and unspoken issue for me is this: What goes through the mind of a man who (ostensibly or obviously) cares for people, in order to justify the systematic dismembering of a child's innocence, and what is its cause? The church seems uninterested in this question.
There has never really been a healthy attitude about sex in the church - to my mind, nor a realistic one.
As an example: the genuine experience of hundreds of thousands of LGBT human beings has been dramatically shelved in favor of principle - an argument that only makes sense if the church isn't really very interested in the experience of human beings in the first place. Ironic, huh?
These findings may begin to heal some of the wounds created by ignorance and willful repression, but without full participation and investment by the hierarchy, it will mostly be ignored. Unfortunate and sad, but probably true if the past is any indication.
This report justifies what therapists and psychologists have long known and understood. This particular form of abuse is a disease of repression: repressed anger, frustration, etc. - emotions that the church has done little to address, by the way - not of sexual orientation.
And with the guilt and shame that will be created by more forceful suppression or willful avoidance and denial, it's not going to get any better.