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Sexuality Is Irrelevant to Molestation Issue

March 21, 2002

Re "Boston's Official Catholic Newspaper Questions Celibacy Policy for Priests," March 16: Pedophilia is a mental disorder/illness and has nothing to do with sexuality. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. Statistically, the profile of a pedophiliac is male, white and heterosexual. We all need to understand and remember that pedophilia is not even a remote cousin of homosexuality.

As for whether the Catholic Church "attracts a disproportionate number of men with a homosexual orientation"--why is that an issue? Who cares? Celibacy is celibacy. Does it matter which gender you don't engage in sex with? And whether they are "straight" or homosexual, celibate or not, most of the priests I have known in my 50-plus years of life have been extremely good men, priests and pastors. That's all I care about.

An adult in a high-level position of trust and responsibility cannot be left free to prey on children. But this "cleaning house" in the Catholic Church is bordering on a witch hunt.

Barbara Robinson

Tustin

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Re "L.A. Priests Anguished, Angry Over Sex Scandals," March 16: Catholic priests feel picked on? Guilt by association or simply guilt? If Roman Catholic priests feel attacked, maybe it's a counterattack for the widespread wrongdoing among the priesthood about which they have been aware but have been too unethical to address. Picked on? Try moral indignation to describe the response of the laity and the public.

Robert B. Harris

Lancaster

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Priests are lamenting that they can't hug children anymore. Join the club! Ever since McMartin, teachers can't hug children either.

Perhaps if the Catholic Church had not hidden its molesting priests like moles underground, the priests wouldn't be crying like babies today. To me, pedophilia is one of the most heinous crimes, but priest-pedophilia, under the guise of sanctimony, is the worst.

Ellen Reich

Malibu

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