The Pope's second-in-command did little to calm the furor surrounding the Vatican sex-abuse scandals yesterday by insisting that homosexuality, not celibacy, is to blame for priests attacking children. Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone told reporters in Chile—where, AP notes, the highest-profile church scandals have involved priests abusing young girls—that many psychiatrists have found a link between homosexuality and pedophilia, but not one between celibacy and pedophilia.
Gay rights organizations were quick to condemn the cardinal's remarks. "Neither Bertone nor the Vatican has the moral authority to give lessons on sexuality," said the chief of one Chilean group, noting that no reputable study exists to back up Bertone's claims. "This is a perverse strategy by the Vatican to shirk its own ethical and legal responsibility by making a spurious and disgusting connection." (Read more Tarcisio Bertone stories.)