Sex abuse victim rejects claims by cardinal on homosexuality

Wed, Apr 14, 2010, 01:00

REMARKS EARLIER this week by Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone linking homosexuality and paedophilia have been condemned by Dublin clerical child sex abuse victim Andrew Madden as an attempt “by the Catholic Church to dishonestly misrepresent medical opinion”.

The church was doing this “to avoid taking responsibility for its own actions and inactions in covering up the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests,” he said.

In 1995 Mr Madden was the first person in Ireland to go public about his abuse as a child by a priest. He had been an altar boy in Dublin’s Cabra parish during the 1980s when he was abused by the then Fr Ivan Payne.

He was responding last night to comments made in Chile on Monday by Cardinal Bertone who said “many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia”.

Speaking “as someone who was sexually abused as a child and who is a gay man today”, Mr Madden said “this is not the first time the Catholic Church has attempted to blame a small and marginalised section of society for the actions of priests who sexually abused young boys and girls and the bishops who covered up for them.”

He continued: “Nor is it the first time we have seen members of the Catholic hierarchy misrepresent to the public, the views of the medical profession.

“For many years members of the Catholic hierarchy claimed that they only reassigned priests who had abused children on receipt of medical advice to the effect that it was safe to do so.

“The Ferns, Murphy, Philadelphia, Boston reports and others, show that claim to be untrue,” he added.