Kathleen Gilbert

News

Expert: homosexuality clearly a factor in new priest abuse data

Kathleen Gilbert

NEW YORK, May 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A leading authority on the clerical sex abuse crisis has criticized those who conclude that new data has ruled out homosexuality as a significant cause in the scandal - even though the vast majority of priest abuse was perpetrated against adolescent males.

Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a top psychiatrist and expert in handling sexually abusive priests, says criminologists “crossed a line” by pronouncing on the psychological causes behind the data released May 18.

“Analysis of the research demonstrates clearly that the major cause of the crisis was the homosexual abuse of males,” said Fitzgibbons in an interview with the Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/critics-say-new-study-misses-real-reasons-for-priest-abuse-crisis/

The new study, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by the U.S. Bishops, shows that nearly 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent and adolescent males. However, the study concludes that available data “do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity ... are significantly more likely to sexually abuse.”

The report marks the third such effort by U.S. Bishops to address the causes and manifestations of the clerical sex abuse scandal since it first erupted publicly in 2002.

The data also shows that less than 5 percent of abuse involved prepubescent children, contravening rumor that the scandal largely manifested as acts of pedophilia. But homosexuality, according to Fitzgibbons, was clearly the primary sexual aberration driving the bulk of abuse.

“One can conclude that these priests have strong same-sex attraction,” said Fitzgibbons. “When an adult is involved with homosexual behavior with an adolescent male, he clearly has a major problem in the area of homosexuality.”

The psychologist said that, while the college has done good work collecting data, criminologists “lack the professional expertise to comment on causes of sexual abuse.”

“If the (U.S. bishops) conference wanted an analysis of the causes of complex sexual behavior with adolescents, don’t turn to criminologists,” said Fitzgibbons. “They are not trained to understand those causes - that training is given to mental health professionals.”

Read the full CNA report here.

See Scandal Time (continued) by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus



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