Baltimore - A preliminary report commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex-abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests were more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the study's lead authors said yesterday.
The full $2 million study by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won't be completed until the end of 2010. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.
"What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse," John Jay's Margaret Smith said in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The question has been raised repeatedly within and outside the church because the overwhelming majority of known victims were boys.