Monday, April 7, 2003

John Allen on last week's "secret" meeting on abuse

Experts on sexual disorders told a private Vatican symposium this week, attended by officials charged with handling the abuse crisis that has rocked the Catholic Church, that homosexuality is a risk factor but not a cause of the sexual abuse of minors.One Vatican official who attended parts of the four-day symposium on pedophilia told NCR that this message came through “loud and clear” and predicted that it might help delay, or even derail, a much-anticipated document on the admission of homosexuals to Catholic seminaries. The same official said Vatican observers were struck by questions raised by the experts about “zero tolerance” policies, suggesting that it may lead to guidelines about support of priests after they are removed from ministry.