Very few cases of clerical abuse of minors involved true pedophilia: the sexual abuse of pre-pubertal children. Pedophiles often claim not to be homosexuals, and they may well be correct is this claim, but pedophilia is not the main problem in clerical abuse.

Most cases involved children at or above the age of puberty, and the vast majority of the reported victims were male. Decades of studies by criminologists and psychologists have shown that boys are far less likely to report abuse than girls are, because boys fear the stigma of homosexuality and because males are supposed to suffer and not complain.

The John Jay report claims that is the abusive priests had equal access to females, they would have had equal number of male and female victims. This I doubt. I won’t go into the nature of the sexual acts that priest did with boys, but let us say that they were focused on the male genitals. Many abusers seem to have been initiated into the culture of abuse by other priests, often in the seminary.

The priesthood is not the equivalent of prison; most parishioners are female, and a heterosexual cleric who wants to can find many partners among young adult women, Homosexual priests have few young men at their disposal, since young men rapidly distance themselves from church. The only available males are, in general, married men and adolescent boys.

A homosexual priest may not be more likely to offend than a heterosexual priest. But when he does offend he is almost certain to have many more victims. Priest whose victims were males sometimes had scores, even hundreds, even thousands (Cardinal Groër) of victims. Again studies by psychologists have shown that homosexuals have far more partners than heterosexuals do, as one would expect, given the nature of male sexuality.

Political correctness should not prevent us from seeing the role that clerical homosexuality played in the abuse; but even more important was the failure of the bishops, including the bishop of Rome, to discipline criminal clergy and to protect children.



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