Still defensive about the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in myriad diocese in multiple countries, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, read a ridiculously juvenile and bigoted statement following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva during which Keith Porteous Wood, representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, asserted that the church had breached several articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by continuing to cover up sexual abuse of children.
The statement petulantly complained that other religions had problems with sex abuse, too (true, but irrelevant in terms of the Catholic Church's need to account for its endemic sex abuse), that Protestant churches' and Jewish communities' problems were worse than the Catholic Church's problems (probably not true, but also irrelevant), that "only" 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse (there are about 1,500,000 Catholic clergy worldwide; "only" 1.5% of that is still about
In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.Okay, first of all, ephebophilia is not specific to people with same-sex attraction. Tomasi's implication that it's a uniquely "homosexual attraction" is patently false. The Catholic Church has been trying to blame its sex abuse problems on gay men since day one, in order to avoid its own responsibility for ordaining and protecting pedophiles, but that shit's been publicly debunked so resoundingly that the Holy See can't just scream "homo priests!" anymore.
…The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.
"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."
So this is their new spin: Gay ephebophiliacs—which not only allows them to do an end-run around accountability for ordaining pedophiles, but also conveniently allows them to do an end-run around accountability for engaging in the vicious homophobia of gay-blaming for the sex abuse scandal for two decades.
And if this bit of rhetorical parsing weren't already pathetic enough in its attempt to redirect blame, it's not even accurate: Ephebophilia is not, in fact, the correct term for people who "sexually engage" with children ages 11-17. Ephebophilia refers to people who have a sexual preference for advanced adolescents; hebephilia refers to people who have a sexual preference for those in early puberty; and pedophilia refers to people who have a sexual preference for pre-pubescent children. Most 11-year-old are not advanced adolescents, and many, especially boys, are still pre-pubescent.
The Catholic Church has a problem with priests who rape children below the age of consent. That is a fact which is not changed by what name it's called. And, at this point, the last thing any thinking person with a conscience wants to hear from the Vatican is a bunch of bullshit technicalities being substituted for any serious acceptance of accountability.
But, as usual, that's all we're gonna get.
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