There is no “causal link” between priestly celibacy and the abuse of children, according to a recent report.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry published the finding in ‘The psychology of individuals who abuse children – Roundtable 1 Findings’.
The experts stated that celibacy may involve problems ranging from many of those who are celibate finding it difficult to talk about, to the use of pornography by religious abusers who do not regard that as a breach of their vows.
However, they insist that “there is no established causal link between celibacy and the abuse of children. Sexual abuse of children is not the result of sexual frustration and celibacy is not likely to shift a person away from their primary sexual orientation. Even if the role of celibacy ought not to be overlooked, it should not be overemphasised”.
In their findings, they also stated that the abuse of children by priests is connected to a lack of “human formation – that is, who you are as a person, your individual psychology, how you handle emotions and relationships, is thought to play a significant role here”.
Read Deputy Editor Chai Brady’s full article on the celibacy crisis here.