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One in Four comments upon newly published Vatican report on Gay Priests

One in Four, the national charity that supports women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence, today called upon the Vatican to make a clear statement that demonstrates their understanding that there is no link between clerical paedophilia and homosexuality. The Charity is concerned that the Roman Catholic Church continues to “blame” recent clerical sexual abuse scandals on homosexuality, therefore deflecting from and denying the institutional failure that is in fact responsible for clerical sexual abuse.

Speaking today, Colm O'Gorman, Director of One in Four, said, “Who the Roman Catholic Church or any other faith chooses to ordain to ministry is appropriately a matter for them, our only concern is that any admission to ministry should centrally consider child protection. We are concerned that the Vatican has thus far failed to respond to the findings of the Ferns Report which held the Vatican responsible in part for clerical sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns, instead we have seen comment upon issues as diverse as Harry Potter and now the ordination of homosexuals.”

The Ferns Report was clear in its view that homosexuality had little relevance to the issue of clerical paedophilia. It stated;

“The Expert Group was unanimous in its view that homosexuality is not a factor in increasing the risk to children.  It would be seen as a factor in increasing the risk to adolescent boys but no more than a heterosexual priest would be a risk to adolescent girls. They advised that it was better to see child abuse for what it was and not focus on issues of sexual orientation or victim profile.  In terms of treatment and recidivism, the sexual orientation of the child abuser makes no material difference. Mr Joseph Sullivan stated to the Inquiry: “It’s easy to make the link between someone abusing boys and being homosexual but would we call someone who sexually abuses 12 and 13 year old girls heterosexual?  No we wouldn’t; we’d call them a child abuser.”

 The Ferns Report, Chapter 2, page 22


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