A new study from the Ruth Institute has demonstrated a high correlation between the proportion of homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood and the incidence of sexual abuse by the clergy.
The study conducted by Father Paul Sullins, a Catholic University sociologist, found that the percentage of homosexual men in the priesthood has risen sharply. The study also found a disturbing increase in the number of sexual-misconduct reports lodged against priests since 2010, “amidst signs of complacency by Church leaders.” The incidence of new charges (as opposed to charges involving alleged misconduct in past years) is now nearly as high as in the 1970s.
An earlier study by the John Jay College, commissioned by the US bishops’ conference, had denied a connection between homosexuality and clerical abuse. But the John Jay study had not examined the change in the number of homosexuals entering the priesthood. Father Sullins, using data from the same report, shows a very strong statistical correlation between a rise in the proportion of homosexuals in the priesthood and the number of abuse charges.
The rise in the proportion of homosexual priests has been striking, the Ruth Institute study found. In the 1950s, the homosexual presence within the American Catholic priesthood was estimated to be roughly twice that of the overall population; by the 1980s, it was eight times the level of the overall population. To buttress this estimate, the study notes that the number of young priests who reported encountering a homosexual subculture in the seminary doubled between the 1960s and 1980s.
Father Sullins estimates that if the proportion of homosexual priests had remained that the level of the 1950s, the surge in abuse might not have occurred and “at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse.” In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the priest-sociologist acknowledged that his report will be criticized as hostile to homosexuals. But he said: “I would say that if it’s a choice between being called homophobic and allowing more young boys to be abused, I would choose to be at risk for being called homophobic.”
Full story at Catholic Culture.