Brussels, 14 April 2010
Vatican press release on Bertone’s statement
A Clumsy Disavowal as worse as Bertone’s words
Today’s statement by the spokesperson of the Vatican Press Room, Federico Lombardi, seems to disavow clumsily Tarcisio Bertone’s outrageous comparison between paedophilia and homosexuality. Federico Lombardi said that “the Church authorities do not believe it to be their competence to make general statements of a specific psychological or medical nature” adding that these are to be looked for in the specialised literature.
At a first impression, Lombardi’s words look almost like a complete disavowal of Bertone’s statement. Unfortunately then Lombardi adds that the “statistical data” mentioned by Bertone were to be seen in the context of the abuses by the priests and not in the context of the “general population”. This a clumsy back-off which seems to put a remedy to Bertone’s words, but in reality confirms their substance.
In other words, the Church still insists on blaming gay priests for the child abuses covered by the hierarchies in the past and thus maliciously confuses once again homosexuality and paedophilia.
Fortunately, the prompt reaction of many intellectuals, members of the civil society and government officials around the world against the words of Bertone has shown that very few are willing to follow the Vatican in this desperate attempt to solve its crisis by throwing muck onto other people.
It is a sad tactics of distraction from the real problem at the bottom of all this: the need for a strengthened protection of the rights of all children in the world and for the legal certainty that whoever violates them will be persecuted anywhere at any time.
Gloria Careaga & Renato Sabbadini
Co-Secretaries General, ILGA