November 28, 2005

The Vatican's new directives

Scripps Howard News Service

Scripps Howard News Service

The Vatican's new directives on seminary reform, if followed strictly, will discourage capable gay men from studying for the priesthood. Worse, the directives fail to confront the church's real problem, which has bankrupted dioceses and cost many millions of dollars paid to victims of child abuse by clergy.

That problem is pedophilia, which must not be confused with homosexuality. Pedophiles are sexual predators, attracted to boys, girls or both. A pedophile can be either straight, gay or bisexual.

By contrast, ordinary gays and straights are capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. They have consciences. Whereas pedophiles are sociopaths, blissfully unaware of doing any harm. They can be almost infinitely patient, "grooming" an intended victim for many months before molesting the child.

A tendency toward pedophilia is not easily unmasked or tested. Pedophiles suffer from cognitive dissonance, a distorted view of reality, producing simultaneously held beliefs that are inconsistent, producing conflict between belief and behavior.

There is no indication that there are more pedophiles entering the Catholic priesthood than exist, proportionally, in the general population.

Posted by kshaw at November 28, 2005 01:11 PM