On Monday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone made statements which attempted to link the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal to homosexuality. Said Bertone: "Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. That is the problem."
The BBC reports that the Vatican is pushing back against Bertone:
"The Vatican has distanced itself from remarks made by a senior cardinal, who linked homosexuality with paedophilia in the abuse scandal facing the Church.
It was not the responsibility of the Church authorities to make 'assertions of a specifically psychological or medical nature', a statement said."
"On Tuesday, the Vatican issued a statement questioning the cardinal's decision to discuss the matter, but also detailing its 'statistical data' on the abuse of minors by priests.
Ten percent of the cases referred to Church authorities concerned paedophilia in the 'strict sense' and the other 90% concerned sex between priests and adolescents, it said.
Of those, 60% had to do with homosexual acts and 30% with heterosexual acts, it added.
Earlier, France – where an estimated 60% of the population are Catholic – criticised Cardinal Bertone's remarks.
'This is an unacceptable linkage and we condemn this,' foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters in Paris.
'France is firmly engaged in the struggle against discrimination and prejudice linked to sexual orientation and gender identity.'
In Italy, gay rights activist Aurelio Mancuso accused the cardinal of 'clumsily trying to shift attention to homosexuality and away from the focus on new crimes against children that emerge every day'."