Vatican Statement Regarding Comments by Card. Bertone


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(14 Apr 10 - RV) Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, issued a statement today to respond to journalists' questions following remarks by the Vatican Secretary of State made during an interview yesterday. Cardinal Bertone was speaking from Chile, where he is currently on a visit.

In his statement, Fr Lombardi said:

Church authorities do not consider it within their competency to make general statements of a specifically psychological or medical nature, but refer to research studies undertaken by specialists in these matters.

With regard to their competency in the area of the causes of abuse of minors by priests in recent years, they refer to statistical data quoted by Mgr.Scicluna of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in an interview that addresses this issue.

According to the data, 10% of abuse cases can be classified as pedophilia in the strict sense. 90% of cases are better defined as Ephebophilia (ie attraction towards adolescents). Of these, approximately 60% are reported as same-sex attraction and 30% of a heterosexual nature. Obviously this data refers to the problem of abuse by priests and not to statistics regarding the general population.