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Tuesday, November 17, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests

BALTIMORE (AP) -- 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 are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.

The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won't be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said that 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,'' said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. ''At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now.''

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