Vatican on Gay Uproar: 'Cardinal's No Expert'
But comments are 'backed by studies,' officials say
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 15, 2010 4:57 AM CDT
Controversial Cardinal Bertone gesticulates while making some point.

(Newser) – Vatican officials moved clumsily to quell the uproar over a top cardinal's comments blaming homosexuality for the church's sex abuse scandals—by acknowledging that he probably didn't know what he was talking about. Church officials "do not consider it their competence to make general statements on matters that are specifically psychological or medical in nature," a Vatican spokesman said yesterday, referring to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's comments that homosexuality, not celibacy, is to blame for the raft of sexual assaults on children by clergy.

The Vatican's comments were hardly a mea culpa, however, notes the Guardian. The spokesman also pointed out that Bertone was merely quoting, "naturally, studies by specialists and research"—a comment that's bound to unleash fresh controversy. A spokesman for the Catholic bishops of England issued a statement in a challenge to the Vatican that "no empirical data concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse."