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Catholic Church Talks Abuse and Gay Marriage


The Catholic Church renounced the myth that gay priests abuse children more than straight priests, while still affirming that marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday.

A preliminary report commissioned by America's Roman Catholic Bishops released on Tuesday finds no evidence that gay priests are more likely to abuse children.

Researcher Margaret Smith of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York said the study so far has found no connection between being gay and an increased likelihood of abuse, reports the Associated Press.

Questions about any link had been raised widely in the church because most of the known victims were boys.

Gay advocates and many experts on child sex abuse have long held that there is no link.

The ongoing study is looking at what led to the clergy sex abuse crisis. The final report is expected at the end of next year.

Also during the meeting, the nation's bishops reiterated that the Catholic Church will continue to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and assert that sex is meant for procreation.

In a pastoral letter on the issue, the AP reports, the bishops claim that redefining marriage to allow same-sex unions would damage the common good and would ignore the proper role of husbands and wives.

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Christopher Mangum