Cardinal Peter Turkson has claimed that Africa doesn't experience the same levels of clergy abusing children as other areas because of African's firm stance against homosexuality. Not only does this show a remarkably naive understanding of the sexual abuse of children (something disturbing considering his senior position within a Church still trying to recover from sexual abuse scandals which have often been made worse by Church authorities "misunderstanding" the causes and effects of such abuse) but it also makes a not too subtle suggestion that homosexuality is a cause of child sexual abuse.
I have for many years ignored this sort of slur. But I decided that, finally, I must find out whether I'm more likely to abuse children than you, Dear Constant Heterosexual Reader.
I have trawled through the right-wing "gays are paedophiles" articles and the liberal "right-wingers are nuts" articles but I've not found a more concise summary of the studies supporting or opposing than this one from Gregory M. Herek.
Thankfully it confirms exactly what I wanted it to (hence why I like it, I suppose) and shows there is not a link between homosexuality and child abuse.
It really is concerning that the Catholic Church is still trying to avoid taking the blame for the child abuse that is still being uncovered. The Catholic Church did not abuse any children but it often engaged in covering up the abuse, protecting abusers and it continues to make compensation claims difficult for those abused. Rather than face this reality many senior figures continue to seek to blame others.
And who better than the current convenient whipping boys: gay men!
If Cardinal Turkson is representative of the calibre of the "candidates" for Pope, then things are even worse than I imagined. Unlike many liberal sorts I've no expectation of the next Pope being any better than Benedict XVI but I do hope they aren't even worse.