Distinguishing gay men from pedophiles

In almost a throwaway line from his remarks while on "Shepherd One" en route to the U.S. this afternoon, B16 distinguishes homosexuality from pedophilia. Not a big gay rights advance, but it will certainly (hopefully?) give pause to those who identified the presence of gay men in the clergy as the cause of the sexual abuse crisis.

“It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen,” he said. “As I read the histories of those victims it is difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way. Their mission was to give healing, to give the love of God to these children. We are deeply ashamed and we will do what is possible that this cannot happen in the future.”

Apparently drawing a distinction between priests with homosexual tendencies and those inclined to molest children, the Pontiff said: “I would not speak at this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia which is another thing. And we would absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry.”

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