The standard story on the Roman Catholic Priest Abuser scandal is that the priests were committing child abuse. But I wonder if that is the correct template for understanding the story.

Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who resigned under pressure from Milwaukee, has a memoir coming out shortly. In the memoir he will reveal, reportedly, that he is homosexual. His involvement in the Milwaukee misdeeds was not limited to covering up for fellow priests.

Weakland, 82, resigned as archbishop in 2002 after admitting the archdiocese secretly paid $450,000 to a man who accused him of sexual abuse decades earlier. Weakland admitted an "inappropriate relationship" but denied abuse.

Story here.

Most of the victims of the abuse scandal were not "children" in the sense of pre-adolescent boys. About 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and about 27% were 15 - 17. Statistics.

These statistics have led some to conclude that rather than pedophilia, the scandal is really more about homosexuality in the clergy.

To begin with, it took a non-Catholic to point out that the term "pedophile priest" is largely a misnomer when applied to all cases of sexual impropriety. Philip Jenkins, professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, wrote Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis in 1996. Yes, some priests have engaged in pedophilia exploitation of children below the age of puberty but their number is very small. By and large, the scandals have involved sexual relations between priests and adolescents mostly boys which suggests that homosexuality is involved in most cases.

Simply paranoia?

Among the conclusions of an academic study done about 10 years ago on attitudes toward marriage, celibacy, and homosexuality among Roman Catholic priests was this:

Our conclusion, based on these data and on our focus groups, is that homosexual subcultures increased in visibility, and probably also in numbers, in recent decades.

A search of the web reveals lots of conversation on this topic. I assume my ignorance comes from not being Roman Catholic.

All of this makes the Boy Scout policy seem very reasonable.