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Vatican cardinal links homosexuality to child abuse

April 14th, 2010
01:36 PM ET

Gay rights groups have expressed outrage over comments made by a senior Vatican official linking homosexuality to child abuse.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/14/scandal.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is seen here on the right."]

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who also serves as the Vatican's Secretary of State, made the comment during a news conference while on an official visit to Chile.

"Many psychologists, many psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have demonstrated, I was told recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia," he said.

Tony Green of the London-based Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said Bertone's comments came as no surprise given recent controversial statements by Church leaders.

"Of course we're appalled by it but not shocked - people like this are bound to say this. It's a bit like comparing attacks on the Catholic Church to the Holocaust and all that. It is desperate people trying to come out with desperate answers," he said.

We want to know what you think.

What is your reaction to the cardinal's comments?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to tell us where you're writing from.

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Tim

    It is ridiculous that your only approach to finding out if the cardinal's comments have any weight is to ask your readers for comments. The cardinal made a claim about scientific studies. It is your duty as a news organization to investigate whether or not such studies exist and are credible and then to _report_ to us these findings.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      Well worded Tim.

      Where are the studies the cardinal referred to? They should be researched. In fact, that's what I expected to find after following the link. A public poll is ridiculous.

      The merit of the cardinal's statementsdepend greatly on the existence and quality of the studies he cited; not public opinion!

      CNN this isn't reporting.

      April 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  2. danny

    Somestimes the truth is not politiclly correct, but stating the truth is not a wrong thing to do regardless of whose toes you might tread on. Gays could be wrong about their agendas but we have to tread lightly about what is said about gays because there are so many in politics and the media at this point in time so it has been forced upon the general public.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  3. Carrie

    What Tim said. Underlined a thousand times.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  4. Ian

    I think the comment is absurd and totally ridiculous. Large numbers of the Catholic sexual assaults involved men and underage girls as well as boys. How does this have any bearing on gays? This comment has to be seen as a despicable slur on a chunk of the community that the Catholic church frowns on anyway so any chance to bash them now becomes justified, especially when it helps them dodge the flak they rightly deserve. Maybe the Catholic Church will stop employing "gay" priests and then the problem will go away, right?

    April 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  5. Ericka

    Completely agree with Tim above. I clicked on the link to this site assuming there would be more info on who told these things to the Cardinal. Is there really a study about this? Who published it? how was the data collected and for what purpose? Was it scientific or is this all just anecdotal or is it made up entirely as some kind of excuse for the church's actions? Honestly, this seems like standard investigative journalism, which I, as a non-journalist, had come to expect from CNN. *I* certainly can't tell *YOU* whether or not the Cardinal's comments carry any weight unless I myself am a well-informed psychologist or psychiatrist or someone who has thoughtfully researched the issue.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  6. Orion

    I agree with Tim, what scientific studies is the cardinal referring to? Male on Male molestation is not always about homosexuality but adult molestation of children is always pedophilia in some form. Instead of trying to blame "gays", the Catholic Church needs to find out what is causing this trend of molesting young boys. Personally I believe that they need to let priests marry.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  7. Patrick

    Are you kidding me?? Does not surprise me that the cardinal said such an unfounded statement. The facts are: a vast majority of those who molest children are heterosexuals.

    And as a gay man, I can honestly tell you THERE IS NO GAY AGENDA. I've never seen one in 43 years. All we want as a group is equal rights and protections under the law. I know hundreds of gay men and not a one of them has ever expressed an agenda or interest in children - that's just plan wrong. And we know that those who do molest children, straight men in particular, are looking for domination and control, not sex itself.

    I agree with Tim - CNN, do your job and report that the cardinal's statements are unfounded and false!!!

    April 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  8. John

    Nobody's forced Gays upon you danny. That's another lie, just like the Bishop's lie. I suppose other groups are forced upon you as well. I suggest you grow up and understand people are not put here to force you to deal with them. It's a product of being born.

    These pedo-priests are looking for any excuse to shift blame from the church or themselves. It's too late for that though because most people understand it has been a Conspiracy of Silence that must end now.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  9. Steev

    If Churches get caught doing anything wrong, the first thing they say is "Oh look, there's a gay person over there!" and then all the idiots look in the other direction instead of addressing the real issue. I saw this in many other religions and always said "Catholics would never do that", well what a fool I've been!
    This is a pathetic attempt by the perverts in the vatican to make you take your eyes off of them... How pathetic!!! Pedophiles are Pedophiles, no matter whether they are straight or gay!!! (Most are straight, read your materials!!)
    It is just that normal people are not in the habit of protecting them and the vatican is!!!! That is the only problem here.
    They got caught after protecting these weirdos for years and now they are looking to place blame on someone other than themselves. That is what churches are the best at, blaming others for their own problems.
    And they blame it on GAYS?!!! What about all of the old perverted men who live alone with each other in the life of luxury in the vatican while all of the hardworking Catholics out here are struggling?!! And many are loosing their homes and going hungry. What a pathetic group to lead the Catholics of the world. Step down Pope almighty! You are not God! You serve him like the rest of us do. Catholics should rise up, demand that this be dealt with by an outside organization and get rid of the current monarchy and start over!
    -A really pissed off Catholic

    April 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  10. Liz

    The research shows that most pedophiles are heterosexual and CAN NOT be 'cured' or treated. They continue to perpetrate and victimize where ever they go. the leaders of the Church have NO EXCUSE for not knowing that fact. I believe they did know and don't care. The pomp, prestige and money of the Church are all that is important to the cover up, not the words or teaching of Jesus. The leaders of the Catholic Church who continue this deflection and arrogant protection of evil deeds and evil cover ups are all criminals and should be treated as such.

    Only this approach will stop the crimes against children and the cover ups.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  11. chuck

    I think that it's irresponsible of CNN to be asking the readers to argue over whether or not what Bertone said carries weight. All CNN has done here is create a flame war, and that isn't the role of a news org.

    The fact (since CNN decided to omit mentioning this part) is, what he said is in direct conflict with the stances of pretty much all of the health organizations in most developed nations; Homosexuality isn't a disease, and it's not linked to pedophilia in any way.

    In short, these are the ramblings of an utter lunatic.

    These men are just trying to blame someone else for their mistakes, so that people don't see that the pope isn't as "infallible" as the church makes him out to be.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  12. Michael

    CNN is such a shoddy news organization these days. They seem to push a social agenda (really, what is up with all of the TED atheist stuff they keep publishing?) and leave questions of fact up to the general public to vote on. I get the feeling they expected us to come here and whip ourselves into a frenzy over this rather than providing us with a little more depth into why the Cardinal said all of this. Did he actually have a study? Who is the source of his information? Was he lying to misdirect our attention away from the Church?

    No wonder the national enquirer is up for a Pullitzer, the mainstream competition isn't even worthy of muckraking.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  13. Ian

    "Many psychologists, many psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have demonstrated, I was told recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia,"

    Let me rewrite this:
    Many priests, many bishops have suggested there is no relationship between celibacy and pedophilia, but many students of Catholic Schools have stated very recently there IS a relationship between homosexual priests and pedophilia. Additionally it has been going on for far too long, with the full knowledge of the Catholic Church who have always tried to keep it under wraps, pretend the problem is minor and point blame anywhere else apart from where it is rightfully due.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  14. Dan

    I'm with Tim on his comment; I was somewhat disappointed when I clicked on the link to find out whether there was any scientific study confirming or refuting what the cardinal had said and found out that it was only based on readers' opinions.
    That said, however, my friend K. is a family psychotherapist, and said to me a while ago that he was yet to find a single case of homosexuality without links to pedophilia or child abuse. He said to me that when a child is sexually abused at this age gets confused about his or her own sexuality. Although this is, of course, not scientific evidence, it is his own experience and observation and he concluded that homosexuality and pedophilia are very much linked. I'm also not submitting it as scientific evidence but only as my personal opinion. And I think that scientific data should be published on this matter when found.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  15. Boltonism

    This is ludicrous. There is no more a connection tween homosexuality and pedophilia than heterosexuality and pedophilia. Ask any woman who has been molested by a family member, and I doubt her comment will be "But I thought he was gay." If child molestation was related to being gay, then why don't we allow men to lead Girl Scout Troops?

    Let's see ... Create an institution where only males are allowed to participate, females are treated as unworthy to represent God, males are expected to be completely celibate (against all physical bodily design), create deeply rooted sexual stigmas and call them sin. A man growing up gay end up deeply conflicted about who he is, and goes to the Church seeking resolution. What he ends up being is frustrated, unresolved, unfulfilled, uncleansed (from the perspective of 'I should be better now') and desperate. He cannot engage his fellow priest or any woman, but he can find an outlet that is available, manipulatable and is taught to honor and fear authority. I am not excusing such behavior, it is truly deplorable, but the very design of the system contributes to it's participant base.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  16. Joe

    The AMA and the APA have published the difference between homosexulaity and pedophilia, and have all the back up anyone needs to know that the two are not related. The Cardinal is simply employing very weak rhetorical tools to try to deflect blame. Hopefully his followers take the initiative to research his claims.

    Homosexuality is the attraction and relationships between people of the same gender. Pedophilia is the attraction and relationship between people of drastically different ages. Gender does not play a role in Pedophilia.

    If a kleptomaniac is in a candy shop, he will shoplift candy – that doesn't mean he has a sweet-tooth. As a matter of convenience, most pedophiles find that they have easy access to children of the same gender – priests, coaches, youth group leaders. The exploitation of same sex children logically follows. That doesn't mean the pedophile is a homosexual.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  17. Reese

    Count me as another who agrees with Tim. Shoddy journalism, CNN. A poll does not qualify as a 'scientific study'. I am really insteresting in finding out about this research, as in my own interaction with the gay community, I've found that every single gay or lesbian person I've gotten to know was molested as a child by someone of the same sex. And I've always been curious as to why I've never seen a study into this phenomenon.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  18. Luis

    I am a catholic, but I am ashamed by the behavior of the church. The rule of law can not be overlooked for the benefit of the church. In the long run this policy of church proctection has made the church complicit in a terrible criminal act. The church will not come unharmed, faith in the church requires trust in the church. Today, the trust of many catholics has eroded. However, I urge others to remember the good deeds of the church, the principles of its founders, and above all the importance of faith (in god, church, or whatever you chose to call it, but faith in a higher power).

    April 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  19. larry

    i also clicked the link expecting to be directed to science behind the question. its a good idea to have these links anticipating the readers' questions, but it would be an even better idea to have the links point to resources, or articles.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  20. Stephanie McCutcheon

    Obviously, my parents did me a great service by NOT raising me Catholic, as they were. The Catholic Church & its members never cease to amaze me with their ignorance. Why are these priests who have abused these children not in jail? Why are they above the law? And then, to state that homosexuality & pedophilia are essentially, one in the same? Hmmmm, I wonder, WWJD?

    April 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  21. Dr Manic

    Should anyone be surprised that the organization that practices censorship of science does not bother with facts?

    Homosexuals are JUST AS LIKELY to be pedophiles as heterosexuals. However, because "heteros" outnumber "gays" by 9:1, there are NINE TIMES more heterosexual pedophiles as gay ones.

    Bottom line: Don't trust your children with just ANYONE – especially if that person is not in a healthy adult relationship.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  22. Scooter

    Nicely stated Tim. Although I'm sure CNN would retort that they simple want to hear opinions from their readers. However it's another example of how CNN is so afraid to take a stand on any type of controversial issue. I no longer find CNN to be a reputable source and go to task each time someone states it must be fact because I saw it on CNN, as well as when conservatives state that all media is liberal.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  23. flip

    The Vatican is in full damage control mode; the people who are mouthing off believe everyone else in the world are as insipid as their congregents, and thus will cower at their words. For an organization that is as powerful as the RC Church, it is being run by some pretty dumb people. All this points out to how deeply corrupt the church is, and the only thing keeping it from being disavowed from millions of Catholics worldwide is how deeply mired the (faithful) are in its dogma.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  24. Joe

    While I agree with Tim that CNN should do a story on the facts behind the Cardinal's claims and maybe refer us to the AMA and APA studies in question, let's not beat on them too bad. This is their blog page, and as such intended for public debate. They are asking us what our reaction to the Cardinal's comments are... perhaps they could've worded the question better. But there's nothing wrong with them creating a space for public discourse. That's actually worth a little praise.

    Now get back to work CNN and give us some reporting on this topic.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  25. Eric

    You notice that the cardinal and this gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said two COMPLETELY different things.

    There is a link between homosexuality and pedophilia, according to studies cited by the cardinal.

    "There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between pedophilia and loving, consenting adult gay relationships," [Tatchell] added.

    The difference is, and Tatchell sidestepped it masterfully, as many activist-types do, that one is led to believe that ALL homosexuals are in "loving, consenting adult gay relationships." Even homosexuals will tell you that promiscuity is extremely high in their community, and what Tatchell is talking about includes the MINORITY among homosexuals.

    Everyone knows that they are talking about two different things, and Tatchell knows it most of all.

    It's sick on both sides.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  26. flip

    I'm going to start a church, dress up in a red gown and have the media hang on every word I say.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  27. Alex

    You're asking the READERS if homosexuality has a link to pedophilia?? How are your readers supposed to know? Are they all scientists who have done case studies? I'd rather see CNN do some investigation to find out if these claims are true. How about that?

    April 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  28. Jack

    Dan - What about the millions of gay and lesbian people out there that were never molested as a child. Explain that. I think this is nothing more than an organization on the edge of losing all credibility trying to find some. Grasping straws is what desparate people do. I do not respect anyone or any organization that cannot stand up and say "we made a mistake".

    April 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  29. flip

    By the way, I don't want to be cured!

    April 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  30. Rose

    Even Jesus Christ has Judas among the 12 deciples. The Pope is not an exception. The priest has resigned and the Pope apologised. Why make more troble suggesting the pope being arrested, where were such layers when abortion was legalised. The Catholic Church will stand forever no matter what.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  31. Sara

    I think it would really help clarify things if we could first dial down the rhetoric on both sides. Then, maybe some explanation, because I think a lot of people, including myself, don't really know much about sexual molesters. I agree with earlier posters who said CNN (and other media) should do a better job of covering the background facts/research on this topic, so as to better inform the American public. We can't have a reasonable, rational conversation about topics that we know little about.

    For example, I think a lot of people have a fundamental disagreement about the following, and yet it's never clearly addressed (with specific credible research citations) - Adult men who molest underage boys are pedophiles, by definition. Does that mean that this population is necessarily gay, because they chose boys to victimize? Are adult male pedophiles who victimize both girls and boys bisexual? I am asking this questions in sincerity, I really don't believe that I know the answers. I don't know much about the psychological understanding of pedophilia, and I doubt I'm alone.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  32. Jim Washburn

    Tim nailed it: Why not do what news organizations used to and instead of just presenting opposing talking heads, do the work of reporting on the accuracy of their comments? I recall a 60 Minutes report a few years ago addressing the question of gays and pedophilia, and found that the great majority of the men who molested boys identified as heterosexual. Perhaps you'd find the same if you did the reporting.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  33. Bill Wilson

    Bertone is displaying an egregious amount of ignorance. Pedophilia and gender orientation have no correlation.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  34. Shane

    CNN, this is an excellent question... for a tabloid infotainment program. I don't read news articles for opinions but rather to formulate them. So, go to the library and do the research I would expect of a news organization.

    Kudos to Tim for stating it first.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  35. Lisa Miller

    Catholic Church = Ignorance

    I wish I could say the statements coming from the Catholic Church were unbelievable, but once again they've decided to pull up their frocks and bare their ugly reailty once again.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  36. TA

    If these studies are true and homosexuality NOT celibacy is the cause for the widespread abuse of children of the Church, shouldn't it stand to reason that the offending priests be excommunicated? Doesn't the Church have a "zero tolerance" stance on homosexuality?

    April 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  37. Alex

    While I would like CNN to have investigated whether or not the studies the Cardinal mentioned exist and how scientific they were. For example, were they studies by actual scientists using scientific methods or was it a study done by a few jailed priests using surveymonkey.com?

    A good follow up question to the Cardinal would have to be, "If that is the case why do you not see numerous Gay and Lesbian groups being faced by mass infiltration of child abusers, but, the single biggest celibacy advocacy group in the world, the Catholic Church, is not only filled with child abusers, but goes to great lengths to protect those abusers thereby condoning the activity?"

    April 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  38. jeramy

    First of all.. it's a sickness that is learned. And so everyone knows.. the facts are facts that most pedophiles are straight men and priests who are forced to not marry..... DUH! instead of complaining, why do we get them help.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  39. Mark

    The final summary of the review of scientific studies on the topic:

    "The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children."

    End of story. But ironically, where CNN should have started. Really turning into a hack "news" organization.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  40. bob

    So, how does he explain pedophilia committed by heterosexuals???

    They don't get it. A simple, "We have made heinous mistakes, we are terribly sorry and we will take steps to hunt this down and try to never let it happen again" would be a good start.......

    April 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  41. Monay

    Is anyone else tired of all the attempts at PR by the Catholics and by the homosexual community? Some in the church are guilty – obviously – but most are not; the GLBAs don't really have a leg to stand on when it come to explaining their deviate behaviors, so it is what it is. What's sad is no one wants to say that the kettle is black anymore. Denying the obvious doesn't make us a progressive society, it makes us stupid.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  42. Lindy

    I agree that we should know what studies the Cardinal is referring to but it appears to men preying mainly on young boys. I don't care about gay outrage if men are preying on boys that is pedophilia and homosexuality. Call a spade a spade, these men should be tried and placed in prison.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  43. VRinA2

    Does anyone really care what Catholic clergy has to say at all these days?

    April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  44. bob

    Pedophilia and gender orientation have no correlation.????

    NAMBLA enough said?

    April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  45. Mark

    Although the Church claims to teach the importance of the Word, I am not sure they understand what the Bible (especially the New Testament) is trying to teach. Unfortunately, the Church's administrators seem to only be worried about maintaining the power of the Church, not the teaching of the Word.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  46. Pete

    Well it is obvious to be a cardinal you do not need to be intelligent-just shady, ignorant, and pompous. Good to see a church official incite hate and ignorance amongst the masses. This is yet another fine example of why I have pulled away from the Catholic church. I am the product of Catholic elementary, high school, and university. My faith in God remains strong but my faith in the Catholic church has disappeared. What saddens me the most is that the Lord is looking down at his very own church leaders and weeping because this is not what he wanted the church to become-full of petulant and pompous cardinals and leaders living in opulent palaces.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  47. Paul R Wilson

    Perhaps the endless bicker is due to there being many types of homosexuals. There are monogamous gays who keep their private lives private -and there are gays who would have sex in public, in front of children, if permitted. I'm referring to the drunken street orgy of homosexuals in San Francisco where all the police did was to keep the public festival confined to certain strreets and non-participants out.

    It is estimated that 10% of men are gay. I came to the same conclusion by noting how many gay magazines clutter public newstands.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  48. Michelle

    Any time you have something extreme, be it overindulgence, or abstinence, it leads to problems. This is not a gay issue, or a heterosexual issue, it's a human issue. When you force people to live in isolation away from human contact, you are bound to have problems. It's the policy of celibacy that's causing the problems here. If the Catholic Church allowed priests to marry, we wouldn't have these issue. Why is it in every other religion where religious leaders are allowed to have spouses and families, there is no rampant sexual abuse? And why is it only in an institution that forces men and women into lives of isolation from physical and emotional contact? That's the real problem. Not sexual orientation.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  49. Natasa

    The Cardinal's comment is ridiculous and hurtful. To me it seems as if he is pointing the finger at anyone he can possibly find. The world needs to realize that this has been going on for decades and put an end to it. I think it's ironic that the people who claim to be righteous and free of any sins are committing such terrible crimes. Maybe the churches should worry less about how others live their lives and focus on what their priests are doing behind closed doors. I would like to know what the Pope and other Catholic religious figures are doing about the HUGE number of pedophiles in their churches. I do not understand how a man who claims to be as holy as the pope can even try to stand behind any of the men who committed these horrible crimes (crimes which they should be inprisoned for). Dawkins is right when he calls for the arrest of the pope. Why shouldn't he have to face the same punishment as any other person would get? This goes for the pedophiles in the Catholic church as well; they should be in jail for life!

    April 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  50. Patricia

    Was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools with nuns from 1953 to 1965. My mother and father worked hard to support our family of four. When I think how during their lives they contributed money every Sunday, well into their 80's, to support these men who think they're above it all, it makes me sick. I stopped believing a long time ago when I was watching some ceremony in Rome on tv and a good number of the cardinals were sleeping through it. Why would I let a group of old men dictate to me what I should/shouldn't do/wear/think, etc. Sounds more like a cult to me now than ever before.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  51. Jimmy

    I dont believe he had any credible sources, merely because it would be suicidal to admit,but if there is one wire crossed in the brain it makes sense that more may be crossed as well.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  52. Jules Ohrin-Greipp

    What else would you expect from a pedophile hierarchy??? Are they saying they have an inordinate number of homosexuals in the priesthood??? The Pope, himself, is a pedophile enabler – is he a homosexual???

    The church is the most evil corporation in the world. They protect their own, and play "Whack-a-Mole" with abusive priests. Catholicism would make great strides if the Vatican were closed down.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  53. Pat Loomis


    April 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  54. Yosi

    What about the MALE priests that have molested little girls... are they gay or just horny celibate men? Cardinal Tarcisio Baritone’s comments do nothing but show that the church is out of control, out of touch and looking for a scapegoat for their huge problems. This is very sad and I hope that people can see through his gross, irresponsible, and miss-guided rhetoric.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  55. Dave

    Well the first thing that came to mind was exactly what Tim said, and it looks he and I are not the only ones who felt this way. Is this what journalism has come to?

    April 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  56. doug

    The amount of child molesters and their crimes seem to dominate the news these days, to the point of nausea. But they are overwhelmingly straight, it seems to me.

    As far as I know, it isn't gays locking youngsters in home-made dungeons for years, trolling the bus-stops and snatching children from their own front yards.

    I'm a religious person, and I'm gay. The subtlety of Rome using basic homosexual-taboos as a convenient hook to hang their dirty laundry on, doesn't explain why they have a history of : moving the molesting priest to a different parish rather than getting rid of him. 2) Denying it ever happened. 3) Paying off the most outspoken victims and ignoring the more passive ones . It's pretty sickening. They don't even own up to their own failings, just blame others.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  57. Keira

    This is ridiculous & infuriating, not to mention NOT TRUE!! Do they even know the statistics? The majority of child predators/molestors are STRAIGHT males. It's obvious the Vatican's PR dept is NOT very good at their jobs! Instead of owning the mistakes the church made by covering all the abuse and looking to take action to "fix" the problem, they point the finger at the gay community. Because we all know that's exactly what Jesus would do!! (sarcasm). How people still have faith in this institution (and anyone who hijacks religion) is beyond me!!!

    Rant over 🙂


    April 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  58. Armand

    The Empire is crumbling as all eventually do especially those built on superstition, fear, manipulation and lies. This abuse has not been going on for decades but for more than a millenia. The accusation blaming homosexuality is just another desperate attempt to deflect the resposibility for the blatant cover up in line with the Vatican's prime directive: for the "better good" of the church. This is similar to the former Pope's idiotic assertion when these allegation first came out that it's society and its moral degeration that is to blame, not forced celibacy. Cover up, Deflect, Deny, the main rules for fighting the war against the truth. All this in the name of the mythical big Daddy in the sky.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  59. Mike

    Do your job, CNN, and find out if what the Cardinal said has any actual and factual backing. By asking your readers for their comments does nothing more than invite opinion and, judging from many of the responses you've already received, emotion. Give us some background rather than just anger bait. CNN claims to be comprised of journalists rather than pundits looking for controversy. Very disappointing.

    You're welcome.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  60. DallasTex

    I was raised Catholic. I now consider myself an Atheist, and I happen to be gay. I rejected the Catholic church over 30 years ago, and couldn't be happier. Lies, hypocricy, and fear. That's what the Catholic church is all about.

    If they and all other religions want to really contribute to society, they should be forced to pay taxes just like everyone else. Just think... All the good and righteous Christians, who profess to love everyone, could wipe out our deficit, pay for the Iraq/Afganistan wars, and the health care bill, in one fell swoop!

    If Catholics/Christians spent all of the energy they use against 'anyone not like them', on real constructive social assistance, perhaps there wouldn't be so much hate in the world.

    I suspect alot of hate will be thrown my way, but, no surprises there. It's the way of religion. Because I am not like you...

    April 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  61. Dan

    How sad. Sounds like classic projection on the Cardinals part. When "the church" gets caught, "they" have always blamed others for their actions, why should this be any different. After all, isn't that what Christ did???? Come on, if this church is the chair of Peter, act like it. I would encourage the faithful to check out some of the other Catholic Communities like The United Catholic Church. We need reform.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  62. notyourmotherscatholicism

    The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has always considered itself the foremost authority in the world on matters of faith and now it seems they seek to add medicine and psychology to the list of arenas in which they can claim expertise. The Vatican is causing the same problem for the public as political pundits do– they give an opinion (a human, fallible, subjective, uninformed, ignorant) opinion which others, unfortunately, take as fact or at least credit as being based on data. The thing about data is that it can always be interpreted different ways and in and of itself, means nothing. I would posit that the data this cardinal refers to having is shoddy at best and totally fabricated at worst. Regardless, he should not be speaking to matters of science. That is not the role of the Vatican. The role of the Vatican is to preserve, defend and govern the faith of Catholicism and lead those who practice it. They cannot even perform these duties acceptably, so perhaps they ought not to be branching out at this time.

    There are many priests practicing Catholicism who are good, honorable people and who truly can live the lifestyle they have vowed to uphold, and who take seriously their mandate to be god's representatives here on earth. I do not speak against priests as a whole or against the masses of catholic people around the world who are probably equally as horrified by these events as everyone else. I do not belittle the religion itself because though it is not my own, I think messages of peace, love for oneself and others and moral living are good messages and apply universally to almost any religion I have ever studied. too often allegations such as these become about ridiculing people who believe differently than we do– the problem is not the different beliefs or belief in the first place, but rather the selfish ends to which the belief is executed by one of the oldest "old boys club" there is- the vatican administration. They have committed horrific crimes against humanity, on a massive scale. They should pay. They are lucky indeed that we will not extract our punishment in pounds of flesh or with an eye for an eye. After all, the Vatican would run out of eyes long before we would run out of victims.

    April 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  63. Nonso. Kaduna, Nigeria.

    Thats totally outrageous, coming from a secretary of state. The vatican should accept these scandals and deal with them.

    April 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  64. Smith in Oregon

    Pope Ratz should Resign.

    The Vatican should be sued back to the Dark Ages.

    April 15, 2010 at 4:09 am | Reply
  65. banffboy14

    The Vatican and the Pope are dead in the water. The church is irrelevant. These are desperate people who are alienating the general public and any chance they had to clear the situation, apologies and repent. How can anyone truly be followers of such lying and deceitful people? They do not live in the real world. Have real love in your heart and your own personal relationship with your Master, your Lord, your God. But leave this bunch to their own fate. No need to follow them or give another penny to their evil empire. They are a CULT! Free yourself from them and pursue your own personal relationship with the almighty.

    April 15, 2010 at 4:35 am | Reply
  66. Juan

    If pedophilia is linked to homosexuality, and if homosexuality bothers catholics, then what do they have to say about the the thousands of priests who have molested children, who are not only pedophiles, but homosexuals as well?

    April 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  67. Joanne Kerin

    People are outraged by this comment linking homosexuality to paedifilia however CNN and most of the world are so politically correct these days to investigate whether this is actually true. They will just get some person to go along with their safe view to appease all the gays right movements who are 'outraged' In my opinion the 'truth' will never come out anyway. I have read with much interest from people actively involved in this field and they say there is a strong link and many homosexual people were themselves abused as children however the opiniions of these people will no doubt fall on deaf ears. It seems obvious to me that it would take a homosexual to want to rape someone of their own sex regardless of age. Also I think there is a link with celibacy and child abuse. Celibacy is not a biblical principal and the Catholic church should give it up.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  68. Joanne Kerin

    About 20 to 39 percent of homosexually oriented males have experienced unwanted sexual acts (sexual abuse, sexual assault) by the age of 17 (Doll et al., 1992; Caballo-Dieguez and Dolezal, 1995; Holmes, 1997, Lenderking, 1997, Remafedi et al., 1991), and such experiences have been linked to a lifetime higher incidence of suicidal behaviors, including suicide attempts, in adolescent and young adult males (Bagley et al., 1994; Bagley et al., 1995), and in young adult gay males (Nicholas and Howard, 1998). The international incidences for boys being sexually abused ranges from 2 to 11 percent, with up to 16 percent results in Alberta, Canada (MacMillan et al., 1997). Homosexually oriented males may also be at greater risk for sexual abuse at younger ages given that one study reported that boys sexually abused before the age of 13 were 4 times more likely to be homosexual than boys not sexually abused (Finkelhor, 1979).

    April 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  69. barryH

    Nothing like a misdirect statement to send everyone howling off in the wrong direction. All scientific evidence shows no connection between pedophilia and homosexuality. In fact, it’s been established that homosexuality is determined by how “one’s brain is wired”. But, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good “boogieman” scare. It’s clear that the vast majority of Christian religions promote the view that homosexuality is a “choice”, i.e., “what color shirt or dress should I wear today?”, which, with the proper amount of humble self-flogging & re-training can be “cured”, instead of acknowledging that one’s sexual choice is as predetermined as one’s eye color or height. My, oh my.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  70. Jada

    What most people fail to look at that the church is, homosexuality by definition is a continual sexual or affectionate attraction to the same sex. There is no age limit. So it is a homosexual matter. End of story. Period!

    April 17, 2010 at 5:31 am | Reply
  71. Jamie Lynn

    This is rediculous and an afront against the LGBT community.

    It is a Catholic Church Men's Club (hundreds and thousands of years old now) not allowing priests to marry or inviting peole who don't want to have wives to be priests, putting them in a position of responsibility and respect, and then allowing them to misuse that responsibility and respect - without allowing them to get married and have a family of their own - and then having them preach about family values in church. It is against the SAME Church which doesn't even allow WOMEN (for heaven's sake why not, why not????) to be priests, bishops, pope, etc. I think it is sick and that the current pope just continues this sick tradition and lack of respect for legitimate LGBT peoples and women who have a calling to be priests. It has been a grand cover-up and I think that the Catholic Church and all the individuals reviewing the cases to be held directly responsible for continuing such policies and not reporting the cases to authorities to be handled as any other citizen misusing power and taking advantage of kids should be.

    It was a BAD mistake to promote this pope to continue the old pattern downswing of the Catholic Church - instead of getting someone in there who could really update and give some real meaning to current world's needs.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  72. Hinton J Lowe

    Cardinal Bertone is a propagandist to whom even Goebbels might have deferred, as the contemporary paragon of the profession. As in this case of homophobia, so with euthanasia: tthe sin of of lying ('bearing false witness') is no impediment in the Catholc Church'e pursuit of its aims to impose its pseudo-christian quasi-morality on society. It is impossible to believe that the Cardinal does not know that what he has said about the link between paedophilia and sexual abuse of children is false. No surprise, of course. The Naxis learnt these techniques from the Catholic Church in the first place!

    In any case, the deception is transparent. We are to be distracted from applying the procedures and provisions of the criminal law to the alleged offences by priests and their superior prelates: both those of abusing the children; and also, those of concealing those crimes, or protecting the perpetrators from investigation, charge and trial by concealment or other means. Evidently there is no good reason why any priests or prelates who may have committed any of these alleged crimes should be exempt from prosecution.

    The law, rightly, does not recognise the religion of perpetrators as a defence. .

    April 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  73. Paco

    First, I am a gay man and find the notion of pedophilia utterly disgusting and abhorent. Nothing, in my mind, is more base.

    That said, I frankly don´t see the Vatican´s statements as that polemic.

    Look at the facts:

    Almost all exposed cases of child molestation stem from clergy members 65 years or older. It is also very well documented, even today, that to avoid a "sinful" existence, many gay men chose a life of the cloth, in an attempt to reconcile themselves with God, avoid a life of ridicule and shame, etc. This is especially true for men from a generation past, when homosexuality was explicitly considered an abomination, more so that it is today.

    Given these circumstances of self hatred and oppression, it doesn´t take a leap of logical faith to see how some clergy members would prey upon the innocence and fragility of young boys.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply

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