Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gay Doesn't Mean Child Molestor

The U.S. council of Catholic bishops commissioned a study into clergy sexual abuse by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the early results confirm what non-homophobes have been thinking all along. Homosexuality in priests (or anyone else, for that matter) is not a predictor of pedophilia. Even though the majority of rape victims have been boys, the percentage of rapists who are also homosexuals isn't statistically significant. This is good news, since a huge number of ignorant people believe homosexuals (especially homosexual men) are prone to pedophilia, and that the priesthood offers a veritable boy buffet. As a result of this study, the church probably won't begin to consider homosexuality a factor in selecting priests. Another positive from this study? Incidents of clergy sexual abuse seem to be on a sharp decline since the mid '80s. Most of the current allegations are from decades old incidents. Hopefully all of this will help clear up the clergy's reputation. As awful as many Vatican policies are and as much damage as the church has done over the centuries, the fact is that most Catholic priests are very decent people who do good work for the community. Take any random program to clothe and house the poor in your city, and there's a good chance it's being sponsored by the local Catholic church. Pope Ratzo may be trying to roll back that kind of service in the interest of pinching pennies, and I've heard from more than a few priests who are upset about this. But that's another story. No matter how silly their beliefs or fashionably questionable their clothing, I'm all for the clergy moving past this sex abuse business and getting on with good deeds. After all, it's not like all the other religions don't have their fair share of pedophiles. More details here.