As a sex abuse victims’ advocate and a former Catholic seminary instructor and formator, I am led to question the validity of arguments put forward by Rev. James Martin, SJ, Steven P. Millies, and others in defense of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill. For example, in response to Burrill’s resignation as the now-former General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Millies wrote, “This is the hook on which the ‘story’ hangs, a long-discredited link between sexual abuse and homosexuality. It is hard to call that something other than a slur and a sin against the LGBTQ+ community.” Fr. Martin wrote on Facebook that the article “repeatedly conflated homosexuality with pedophilia” and accused The Pillar of engaging in a witch hunt.
While some argue that there is no “link between” pedophilia—the sexual abuse of pre-pubescent children—and homosexuality, various studies show there certainly is a “link between” ephebophilia—the sexual abuse of teenagers—and homosexuality. The 2004 John Jay Study found that over 80 percent of clerical sex abuse victims since 1950 were young men and not pre-pubescent children. According to The Gay Report, a study by gay activists Karla Jay and Allen Young, “73 percent of homosexuals acknowledged having preyed on adolescents or younger boys.” It is because of this and other reports that the late Dr. Judith Reisman warned the Boy Scouts of America not to allow gays to serve as scoutmasters. If Reisman was wrong and Millies and Martin are right, how does one explain the 95,000 lawsuits that have been filed against the Boy Scouts that have devastated their membership and have led them to file for bankruptcy protection?
According to a 2018 study by Rev. D. Paul Sullins of The Catholic University of America, the number of sex abuse cases increased beginning in the 1960s in direct proportion to the percentage of homosexuals in the episcopacy, priesthood, and seminaries. It is because of this development, similar to what happened with the Boy Scouts, that almost 30 U.S. Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection. Sullins’ conclusions, supported by a 2011 study, “Sex Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy,” co-authored by Richard Fitzgibbons and Dale O’Leary, refuted arguments that the abuse crisis has nothing to do with homosexuality.