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Vatican official: Most clerical abuse not pedophilia, but homosexual abuse of adolescents

September 29, 2009

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, has defended Catholic efforts to remove abusers from the ranks of the clergy following an attack by Porteous Wood, international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

“The many thousands of victims of abuse deserve the international community to hold the Vatican to account, something it has been unwilling to do, so far,” said Wood. “Both states and children's organisations must unite to pressurise the Vatican to open its files, change its procedures worldwide, and report suspected abusers to civil authorities.”

Archbishop Tomasi responded, “As the Catholic Church has been busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it.”

Archbishop Tomasi added that the majority of clerical abuse should not be characterized as pedophilia, but as ephebophilia, or homosexual attraction to adolescents. “Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17,” he said.


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