Abstract: Due to clergy sex abuse scandals centered primarily in the Northern hemisphere, the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church has been subjected to an opportunistic siege by prominent individuals and organizations who see the chance to advance their goals, including the ordination of women and the suspension of the requirement for priestly celibacy.
There is also a strongly defensive element to this strategy. Opponents of the Church know that there is a well-documented and strong correlation between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse, but claim that there is no evidence supporting this connection.
And, of course, those who are currently attacking the Church hope that they can undermine its moral authority to preach on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and weaken its opposition to ersatz homosexual "marriage."
This paper demonstrates that there is indeed a very strong link between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse. It also shows that there is a similar rate of child sexual abuse among other very large groups of adult males (e.g., Protestant clergy, who are usually married), thus proving that celibacy is not the root of the problem - homosexuality is.
A very small number of Catholic priests and other leaders have taken advantage of their positions of authority and influence in order to gain sexual favors or to take advantage of the helpless. The problem of clerical child sexual molestation, particularly in the United States and Europe, has been widely exposed and publicized over the past decade.
During the crisis currently being discussed, homophile activists within and outside the Catholic Church have done everything they can to divert attention away from even the possibility that there may be a higher percentage of homosexuals among the priesthood than in the general public, and that this may be the root cause of the problem of child sexual molestation within the Church. These activists particularly seek to deny the link between homosexuality and child sexual molestation.
For example, the dissenting organization "Dignity USA" kicked off its "Stop Blaming Gay Priests" campaign in 2002. The group said "Dignty USA [sic] is calling on the U.S. Catholic bishops to stop blaming gay priests for the clergy sexual abuse scandal. All credible evidence discounts any link between the molestation of children and homosexuality."1
More recently, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Holy See's Secretary of State, suggested that there is a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. "Gay" groups all over the world reacted with horror and fury, and echoed what Dignity USA had said years before. As one example, Rolando Jimin?z, president of Chile's Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, said that "No reputable study exists to support the cardinal's claims."2
The situation has become so charged that anyone who even suggests that there may be a connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse is instantly and reflexively labeled a "homophobe" and a "gay basher." The powerful homosexual lobby reacts instinctively to negative publicity and information by "ritually defaming" those who dare raise their voices. Organized homosexual groups and their supporters first attempt to ignore the evidence, or, if it simply cannot be disregarded, aggressively smear and discredit those who produced it.3
Such wholesale dismissal of documented facts, and the accompanying refusal to even discuss the possibility of a link between an active homosexual lifestyle and child sexual abuse, is a grave disservice not only to the victims, but to society at large. Obviously, a proven link between homosexual orientation and child sexual molestation would badly damage the carefully crafted public relations image of the "gay rights" movement. Therefore, instead of calmly and rationally discussing the issues, homosexual rights leaders subscribe to the axiom "the best defense is a good [and loud] offense." They remain in a permanent attack mode.
In general, the media and liberal groups seem almost pathologically careful to avoid stereotyping an entire group of people because of the actions of just a few. For example, we are told repeatedly that we must not perceive jihadists as representing Islam. Yet, when dealing with the Catholic Church, the media and others cast even the vestiges of decency and restraint to the wind. As one example, a writer described the Vatican as "an international criminal conspiracy to protect child rapists."4 Naturally, the Pope is singled out for the most vicious and ridiculous abuse. According to The Irish Times, "Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests."5
The only way to get at the root of the problem of priestly child molestation is to ignore this smear campaign and proceed methodically. We must first objectively study all facts relating to the situation, and then muster the courage to respond by taking the appropriate steps. If this is not done, any effort to address the problem, no matter how well intentioned or vigorously pursued, will be utterly squandered.
Certainly we owe it to the victims - and to the Catholic Church itself - to determine the truth behind this volatile topic.
Dignity USA and other homosexual groups strenuously deny any connection whatever between a homosexual orientation and child sexual molestation. They repeatedly claim that "All credible evidence discounts any link between the molestation of children and homosexuality."6
Yet these groups seem curiously reluctant to cite this "credible evidence."
In fact, a number of studies performed over a period spanning more than half a century - many of which were performed by homosexuals or their sympathizers - have shown that an extremely large percentage of sexually active homosexuals also participate in child sexual molestation.
This is not "homophobia" or "hatred." This is mere scientific fact. For example:
There are occasional desultory attempts to deny or obscure the fact that a disproportionately high percentage of active homosexuals sexually molest children. These studies are invariably afflicted with one or more fatal flaws.
A typical example, oft-quoted by "gay rights" activists, is the July 1994 Pediatrics article by Jenny, Roesler and Poyer that says "Using the data from our study, the 95% confidence limits of the risk children would identify recognizably homosexual adults as the potential abuser, are from 0% to 3.1%. These limits are within current estimates of the prevalence of homosexuality in the general community."14
The fatal flaw of this study is that it examined sexually abused children with a mean age of just 6.1 years. Children this young are usually targets of true pedophiles, those persons with no sexual attraction to adults of either sex. By contrast, homosexual pedophiles are usually classified as "ephebophiles," persons sexually attracted to pubescent or post-pubescent children.
The John Jay study on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States defines "pedophiles" as people who "exhibit recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges or behaviors related to sexual contact with a prepubescent child over a period of at least six months duration."15
When people speak of the current crisis being a problem involving "pedophile priests," they are addressing only a small portion of the situation. According to the John Jay study, most of the sexually offending priests are not true pedophiles. They are in fact "ephebophiles," who "exhibit these same fantasies, urges or behaviors towards post-pubescent youths."16 Generally, the John Jay study recognized that pedophilia can be defined as the sexual molestation of children aged ten and younger. The National Review Board study defines "ephebophilia" as "homosexual attraction to adolescent males," a definition that certainly is validated by the quotes of "gay rights" activists later in this article.17
Table 3.5.4 of the John Jay Study is reproduced below. It clearly demonstrates that, as the age of the victims rises, the percentage of victims decisively shifts from primarily female to overwhelmingly male.
The results shown in Table 3.5.4 stand in stark contrast to United States Department of Health and Human Services statistics, which show that male-on-male child sexual abuse in the USA comprises only 14.4% of all sexual abuse committed by males. In other words, in the general population of males who sexually abuse minors, only one in seven molest boys. In the population of priests who sexually abuse minors, six in seven molest boys.18
Figure 1 graphically depicts Table 3.5.4, and shows the numbers of alleged victims of sexual abuse incidents grouped by gender and age. One can clearly see that the percentage of victims is overwhelmingly male.
Many experts have claimed that there is a much higher percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood than there is in the general population. Let us assume for a moment that the concentration of male homosexuals in the priesthood is four times greater than it is in the general population - about ten percent.19
If we assume that this number is correct, using the figures given in Table 3.5.4, we find that a homosexual priest is (85.3%/10.0%)/(14.7%/90.0%) = 52 times more likely to molest a child than a heterosexual priest.
If we use the more reasonable assumption that five percent of all priests are homosexual (still about twice the average in the general population), we see that a homosexual priest is (85.3%/5.0%)/(14.7%/95.0%) = 110 times more likely to molest a child than a heterosexual priest.
It is logical that homosexuals who sexually desire young children deliberately seek employment that will bring them into proximity with the greatest number of children possible. The most "promising" jobs of this nature include clergymen working in youth ministries, Boy Scout leaders and schoolteachers.
This is primarily why homosexual teachers have been involved in a hugely disproportionate number of all recorded cases of teacher/pupil sex. A nationwide survey of school principals showed that they received 13 times as many complaints about homosexuals sexually molesting students than they did about heterosexuals molesting students.20
Other studies have shown that homosexual teachers are from 90 to 100 times more likely to molest students than heterosexual teachers.21
As further evidence of the strong connection between active homosexuality and child molestation, many homosexual leaders have openly admitted that there is a natural link between a homosexual orientation and child sexual abuse.
Many "gay" organizations and leaders not only admit to, but support, the sexual abuse of children by homosexuals.
An editorial in the San Francisco Sentinel, a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist's Association, claimed that
The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality. For the gay community to imply that boy-love is not homosexual love is ridiculous. We must not be seduced into believing misinformation from the press and the government. Child molesting does occur, but there are also positive sexual relations. And we need to support the men and the boys in those relationships.22
The notorious North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), one of several major organized pederast groups, always has a drawing or a photo of a pre-teen boy on the cover of its NAMBLA Bulletin, as well as many other such depictions within each issue.
Pedophile Philip Hutchinson's poem entitled "Choirboy" is entirely typical of the fare found in the Bulletin;
You look like a cherub, but you're worldly-wise.
You'd love to have me think you're newly-born,
but I can spot the twinkle in your eyes;
you know damned well how much you turn me on.
Between us, you're the satyr - I'm the saint,
so shed your sacred robe and bare your skin,
surrender to my touch without restraint,
and later, put your halo on again.23
One of NAMBLA's flyers says that
There is no age at which a person becomes capable of consenting to sex. The age of sexual consent is just one of many ways in which adults impose their system of control on children ... Amazing as it may seem in this child-hating and homophobic society, boy lovers find boys attractive and like their spontaneity and openness.24
Convicted pederast and NAMBLA member David Thorstad has said that "I think that pederasty should be given the stamp of approval. I think it's true that boy-lovers are much better for children than the parents are ..."25
NAMBLA is by no means on the fringe of the "gay rights" movement. For years, it was a member in good standing of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and was only jettisoned by ILGA when the parent organization applied for United Nations consultative status in 1993. Years earlier, the ILGA itself had resolved that "Young people have the right to sexual and social self-determination and that age of consent laws often operate to oppress and not to protect."26
Homosexual defenders of NAMBLA declared that "man/boy love is by definition homosexual," that "man/boy lovers are part of the gay movement and central to gay history and culture," part of "the Western homosexual tradition from Socrates to Wilde to Gide," and part of "many non-Western homo-sexualities from New Guinea and Persia to the Zulu and the Japanese."27
In fact, one of NAMBLA's "gay" defenders got right to the point when he said that "Homosexuals denying that it is 'not gay' to be attracted to adolescent boys are just as ludicrous as heterosexuals saying it's 'not heterosexual' to be attracted to adolescent girls."28
"Gay" leaders and researchers have recognized and publicized the natural relationship between homosexuality and pederasty [adult male sexual molestation of boys] for decades. NAMBLA and similar groups may be in the forefront of promoting "gay" sex with young boys, but many other prominent homosexuals have transmitted the same message;
Like the "ten percent" myth, the modern-day concept that adults can legitimately have sex with children originated with the Alfred Kinsey team. Sex educator and Kinsey collaborator Wardell Pomeroy said that "People seem to think that any [sexual] contact between children and adults has a bad effect on the child. I say that this can be a loving and thoughtful, responsible sexual activity."34
Interestingly, while the mainstream press and liberal groups systematically pillory the Catholic Church, they entirely ignore the well-organized and determined efforts by professional associations to decriminalize and normalize child sexual abuse.
For example, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently sponsored a symposium in which participants discussed the removal of pedophilia from an upcoming edition of the group's psychiatric manual of mental disorders. At about the same time, the Archives of Sexual Behavior published a special edition in December 2002 discussing whether pedophilia should remain classified as a mental disorder.35
As early as 1988, a leading American psychological journal, Behavior Today, claimed that "Pedophilia may be a sexual orientation rather than a sexual deviation. This raises the question as to whether pedophiles may have rights."36
It is clear, even without reference to the numerous reports throughout the recent years, that homosexuals have infiltrated the ranks of the clergy to an astonishing degree. In some corners of the Church, such behavior has long been seen as acceptable.
To cite just one recent example, Msgr. Richard Sniezyk, appointed to head the Diocese of Springfield-in-Massachusetts after its bishop resigned amid sexual abuse allegations, said in an interview that the recent scandal in the Catholic Church stems from a belief among some priests during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that sex with young men was "acceptable;"
Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, 66, the leader of the Springfield Diocese until the Vatican names a bishop to replace Thomas L. Dupre, said that as a seminarian and then a young priest ... he heard of priests who had sex with young men, but "no one thought much about it" because priests didn't recognize how mentally and emotionally damaging their behavior was ... "It was that era of the '60s - most of it took place from the mid-'60s to the early' 80s - and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do."37
This is not a statement by an anti-Catholic or homosexual activist, but rather an admission from none other than the duly-appointed shepherd of souls in this Massachusetts diocese.
It is easy to look back on the crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States and place blame on the Vatican, on the bishops, on the seminaries, or even on our society's permissive attitude toward sexuality in general. But much terrible damage has already been done - to the victims, to the Church, and to the souls of many whose faith has been shaken or even destroyed by the scandal.
Our primary responsibilities at this point are not blame and condemnation, but reparation and prevention. We must compensate the victims, and we must reassure them by making certain that there are no more future cases of child sexual molestation by clergy or other Church workers.
Some researchers assert that just because an activity is homosexual in nature does not mean that the person committing the act is a homosexual. For example, criminologist Margaret Smith said that "The majority of the [clergy] abusive acts were homosexual in nature. That participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man."38
This is like saying that someone who steals is not a thief, or that someone who races his car down a crowded city street at 200 kilometers per hour is not a reckless driver.
Men who sexually molest boys may claim not to be homosexual, but this assertion is disingenuous at best and deliberately deceptive at worst.39
A number of sex offenders against male children in Behavior Research and Therapy found that male pederasts are sexually attracted to "males of all ages." Compared to non-offenders, the offenders showed "greater arousal" when viewing slides of nude males as old as twenty-four: "As a group, the child molesters responded with moderate sexual arousal ... to the nude males of all ages."40
In fact, a large percentage of pedophiles consider themselves to be homosexual. A study of 229 convicted child molesters in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "eighty-six percent of [sexual] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual."41
Many opportunists claim that, if the Catholic Church would simply relax its rules on celibacy, the sexual abuse crisis would be greatly ameliorated.
This assertion simply makes no sense.
Those priests who sexually molest boys have just as much access to adult women as other men. In fact, since priests are admired and respected professionals, we might reasonably say that they have more ready access to women than do other men.
The most certain proof that there is no correlation between celibacy and child molestation comes from the fact that married men commit child sexual abuse at about the same rate as Catholic priests.
There are about 260 reports each year of children under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members. By comparison, 4,392 priests (out of 109,000) were accused of sexual abuse during the time period 1950 to 2002, an average of 84 per year.42
These numbers are backed up by a comprehensive study by Professor Philip Jenkins of Penn State, which found that between 0.2 percent and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles, and 2 to 3 percent of Protestant clergy are pedophiles, a somewhat higher rate.43
Since Protestant clergy are free to marry, it is obvious that allowing priests to marry will not solve the problem.
We often hear from the homosexual-rights movement that "gays" are "born that way." This may or may not be true, depending on which of the hundreds of conflicting studies we choose to believe. Some experts believe that, in many cases, homosexuality is an acquired condition due to the lack of an effective male role model.
In the most fundamental sense, this point is irrelevant. We are all born with weaknesses, a direct result of our fallen natures.
We can deal with these weaknesses in one of two ways.
We can accept them as crosses given to us by God, and we can glorify His Name by struggling to overcome them with the aid of His grace. Or we can simply give in and use the "born that way" excuse, the weak and cowardly road that is a vote of no-confidence in God's grace and its ability to save us.
A person can have a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism. Yet our spouses do not accept the "born that way" excuse if we arrive home drunk every night. Kleptomania may indeed also be genetic, yet no court in the world has ever accepted the "born that way" excuse as a defense against shoplifting charges.
Alcoholics and those tempted to steal can be good and holy priests - just so long as they recognize their weaknesses, avoid near occasions of sin, and fight to overcome them on a daily basis with the help of God's grace. Men who are sexually attracted to women or to other men can also become saintly priests - but only if they do not give in to temptation and act out their desires.
A man who is living an active homosexual lifestyle, or who even experiences homosexual tendencies, should never be ordained a priest.44 The danger to souls and to lives is just too great, as the sexual abuse crisis in the Church has amply demonstrated.
Ephebophilia, or the sexual desire for adolescent boys, has always been a hallmark of homosexuality, as shown by numerous scientific studies, and as admitted by "gay" leaders themselves on many occasions.
Homophile groups are exploiting the current crisis in the Church in order to achieve their goals, a classic strategy of infiltration and subversion. Many of these groups vocally supported "man-boy love" in the 1960s and 1970s. Now the same groups are attacking the Church because pedophile priests followed their advice and became "boy-lovers!"
The primary goal of those attacking the Church is to publicly destroy its moral authority so that people will not heed its teachings that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that homosexual "marriage" is a fraud.
A secondary goal of these groups is to eliminate the requirement for celibacy among priests. However, married Protestant clergy have a larger rate of child sexual molestation as Catholic priests, proving that celibacy has nothing at all to do with pederasty.
In summary, there are many attacking on the Pope specifically and the Roman Catholic Church generally because of the sex abuse crisis. However, these individuals and organizations are not motivated by a desire to enlighten mankind or protect the innocent, since the crisis has already largely subsided, and stringent means have been enacted to prevent the abuse from reoccurring. Rather, the motivation appears to be more one of bigotry and a desire to muzzle and sideline the Church's moral opposition to the "gay rights" movement.
Brian W. Clowes, Ph.D., is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1995 he became the Director of Research and Training for Human Life International. He has written and edited eleven books and over one hundred articles in several fields of discipline. Dr. Clowes, his wife Kathy, and their seven children live in Front Royal, Virginia.
1 Dignity USA Web site, February 6, 2004. This campaign was begun during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops annual meeting in Washington, D.C., November 10-13, 2002. We should point out that the very existence of a group that supports sexually active "gay priests" is a great source of scandal. [Back]
3 Laird Wilcox. "The Practice of Ritual Defamation." Editorial Research Service Web site at http://www.lairdwilcox.com. Homophiles will inevitably use these tactics in attempts to discredit this report. Defenders of the Catholic Church must ignore these attacks and emphasize the quotes, statistics and conclusions contained in this work. [Back]
7 Alfred Kinsey data described in P.H. Gebhard and A.B. Johnson. The Kinsey Data. Saunders Publishing, 1979. Table 443, "Homosexual Sample: Age at First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact," and Table 444, "Homosexual Sample: Age of Partner in First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact." Even though much of Kinsey's research has been thoroughly discredited, his enduring primacy in the field of ‘sexology' means that sex educators and others involved in human sexuality study his material intensively, and have therefore been aware of the strong link between homosexuality and pedophilia for more than six decades. [Back]
9 A. Zebulon, Z.A. Silverthorne and Vernon L. Quinsey. "Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women." Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2000 [Volume 29, Number 1], pages 67-76, p. 73. [Back]
11 Kurt Freund, Robin Watson and Douglas Rienzo. "Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Erotic Age Preference." Journal of Sex Research, February 1989 [Volume 26, Number 1], pages 107-117, p. 115. [Back]
13 Alan P. Bell, et. al., Institute for Sex Research. Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women [New York City: Simon and Schuster], 1978. Appendix C, Table 7, "Sexual Partnerships," page 311. [Back]
15 John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States. April 2004, Section 3.1, "Introduction to the Problem of Child Sexual Abuse by Adult Men." [Back]
18 United States Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau. Child Maltreatment [annual reports, 1995 to 2008]. [Back]
19 One of the "articles of faith" of the "gay rights" movement is that ten percent of any population is homosexual. In fact, the numbers are much smaller. There have been a number of major studies gauging the percentage of homosexuals in the general population. The aggregated results of these studies surveyed more than 218,000 men in several countries and show that 2.6 percent of the male population has ever had a homosexual experience in their lives [for a list of these studies, see Brian W. Clowes and David L. Sonnier. "Child Molestation by Homosexuals and Heterosexuals." Homiletic & Pastoral Review, May 2005, pages 44-54]. [Back]
25 David Thorstad, quoted in Joseph Sobran. "The Moderate Radical." Human Life Review, Summer 1983, pages 59-60. "Pederasty" is generally defined as the sexual molestation of a boy by an adult male not in his immediate family. [Back]
33 Gayle Rubin, quoted in Leaping Lesbian, February, 1978. This article originally appeared in an article entitled "Sexual Politics, the New Right, and the Sexual Fringe" in The Age Taboo [Alyson Press], 1981, pages 108-115. [Back]
35 Lawrence Morahan. "Psychiatric Association Debates Lifting Pedophilia Taboo." CNSNews.com, June 11, 2003; Archives of Sexual Behavior article discussed in Linda Ames Nicolosi. "International Academy of Sex Research Joins the Debate: Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?" NARTH, June 26, 2003. [Back]
39 Zebulon, Z.A. Silverthorne and Vernon L. Quinsey. "Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women." Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2000 [Volume 29, Number 1], pages 67-76. [Back]
44 Congregation for Catholic Education. Instruction "Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in the View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders," November 4, 2005. [Back]