John Jay Study Finds No Link Between Homosexuality and Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests

A new John Jay College of Criminal Justice study, called “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” finds no connection between homosexuality and Catholic priest abuse of minors, debunking a major talking point of Catholic Church defenders like Bill Donohue.

Says the study: Johnjay

[T]he researchers found no statistical evidence that gay priests were more likely than straight priests to abuse minors—a finding that undermines a favorite talking point of many conservative Catholics. The disproportionate number of adolescent male victims was about opportunity, not preference or pathology, the report states.

What’s more, researchers note that the rise in the number of gay priests from the late 1970s onward actually corresponded with “a decreased incidence of abuse—not an increased incidence of abuse.”

So what were the reasons?

…emotionally immature and psychologically maladjusted men entering seminaries; the difficulty of dealing with cultural upheaval in which priests found themselves in the 1960s and 1970s; as well as, again, the issue of proximity–young men and boys were abused because priests were more likely to be working with them, rather than with young women and girls.  But simply put, being a homosexual priest does not make one an abusive priest.

John Jay Report: On Not Blaming Homosexual Priests [america, the national catholic weekly]