Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259

Pope's number 2, who covered up Murphy case, says homosexuality cause of child sex abuse

Also claims, also with no supporting evidence, that there are less abusers in the priesthood than other occupations

It’s telling as the Vatican attempts to roll out its “new and improved” image with supposedly “new rules” coming out of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on child abuse by clerics, and the Vatican’s newspaper praises the Vatican for its “exemplary” handling of abuse cases, the Vatican’s chief spokesman for the Pope is repeating the same old nonsensical and unfounded excuses for not addressing these crimes against children.

Apparently Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, and the man who ran point for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in covering up the now world famous Fr. Murphy case, where 200 deaf boys were sexually assaulted in Wisconsin, has not acquainted himself with the five year John Jay Study commissioned by the American Catholic Bishops which concluded, definitively, that there was absolutely no link between the homosexual orientation and the sexual assault and abuse of children by priests (

Presumably, these same unnamed and mysterious psychiatrists and psychologists who he is today claiming are telling him there is such a link must be the same ones church leaders are trying to blame for telling them to reassign and conceal known sex offenders into parishes and churches. Maybe it’s time the Vatican hire some new experts. But first, how about checking their licenses and university credentials.

As for the percentage of clergy, as a profession, involved in criminal acts against children, comparative evidence is very difficult to come by, so claims of a greater or lesser percentage are suspect, not to mention irrelevant as to the criminal and moral question of accountability for covering up these crimes. Other societal institutions may have irresponsibly cut loose employees who they suspected committed child abuse but only the catholic hierarchy, as a group, have had a policy of concealing and transferring known child molesters, taking them out of one job with children and families and setting them up in another job with children and families.

The only numbers compiled so far of clergy offenders has been by the US bishops and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( see fact sheet: 5.1 percent of all Catholic clergy since 1950 have been accused of molesting children in the US, or about 6,000 clerics. This does not include numbers from many of the catholic religious orders. Where there has been grand jury investigations in US districts, the percentages have been closer to 10 percent; 97% of these clergy were never prosecuted. In fact, in the initial John Jay study, only 3 percent of all abuse reports were deemed “unsubstantiated”).

At the very least, for the U.S. you would need to compare this clergy percentage to the percentage of professionals reported to their respective licensing or credentialing boards for child sex abuse. A few US states have complied and published numbers of such complaints against teachers and the American Psychological Association has issued occasional figures. The percentage of reported abusers in these occupations, contrary to the Vatican claims, appears much lower than among Catholic clergy (less than 1 percent).

While there has been sustained attention on the problem of abuse by clergy, in which one might argue that it has led to higher reporting by clergy victims, this can hardly explain the magnitude of the difference. Six thousand is a startling and staggering number of identified child sex offenders in a credentialed occupation, no matter how you try to explain it. And, it appears to be the greatest percentage ever reported by an occupation that specifically works with children and families.

If the Vatican had figures to support Bertone’s irresponsible and unfounded claims today, why haven’t we heard about them? Why has this not been broadcast from every pulpit, published in every catholic newspaper, and brought out in every interview?

Because, they simply don’t exist.

And Bertone, who refuses to answer questions as to his involvement in the Murphy cover up, is probably not in the best position to school the world about sex offenders.

Priest pedophilia not linked to celibacy: Pope's No.2

Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:23pm EDT

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - It is homosexuality, not celibacy, that is linked to pedophilia, the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said on Monday, seeking to defuse the sex scandal that has battered the Roman Catholic Church.

On a visit to Chile, Bertone, dubbed the Deputy Pope, also said Pope Benedict would soon take more surprising initiatives regarding the sex abuse scandal but did not elaborate.

"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia," he told a news conference in Santiago.

"This pathology is one that touches all categories of people, and priests to a lesser degree in percentage terms," he said. "The behavior of the priests in this case, the negative behavior, is very serious, is scandalous."

Bertone's visit to Chile comes as the Catholic Church has been buffeted by scandals concerning sexual abuse of children -- most of them boys -- by priests. There also have been allegations of cover-ups and even that the Pope mishandled cases when he was a bishop in Germany and a Vatican official before his election in 2005.

(Reporting by Juana Casas; Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Bill Trott)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests