German Cardinal Under Fire For Saying Gay Priests Created Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

"What a shameful way for the Catholic Church to relativise guilt"

New cardinal Walter Brandmuller receives the biretta cap from Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter's Basilica on November 20, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Franco Origlia / Contributor / Getty Images

A German Catholic Cardinal is taking heavy fire for blaming the preponderance of male-on-male sexual abuse in the Catholic Church on homosexual priests and bishops.

Speaking to Germany's DPA news agency just a few days prior to his 90th birthday, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller said the homosexual nature of the Catholic sex abuse crisis has been "statistically proven."

"What has happened in the church is no different from what is happening in society as a whole," Cardinal Walter Brandmüller said. "The real scandal is that the Catholic church hasn’t distinguished itself from the rest of society."

The Cardinal added that society "forgets or covers up the fact that 80% of cases of sexual assault in the church involved male youths not children" while noting that only a "vanishingly small number" of Catholic clergy had committed abuse between the 1940s until the 2000s.

According to The Telegraph, Cardinal Brandmüller's comments were immediately and harshly condemned across the social media sphere and on homosexual news outlets, accusing the Catholic clergyman of inciting hatred against LGBT people.

"What a shameful way for the Catholic Church to relativise guilt and defame homosexuals. Disgraceful," Ulf Poschardt, the editor of Welt newspaper, wrote on Twitter.

Regional MP Christian Flisek simultaneously said, "Anyone who believes that 'bubbles' have only existed since the Internet can learn from this older gentleman that you can spend your whole life in the 'bubble church' without probably even having an Internet connection yourself!"

Though it comes as a surprise to some, concern about homosexual priests in the Catholic Clergy was expressed by none other than Pope Francis recently.

"There's no room for that kind of affection," Pope Francis said regarding same-sex attracted men in the priesthood. He made his remarks during an interview with Spanish priest Fernando Prado, where he referred to homosexuality in the priesthood as a "serious issue."

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates," Pope Francis said. "In our societies, it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church."

He continued: "This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention."

Pope Francis said that homosexuality in the priesthood becomes problematic when "it comes out" at a later time.

"It can happen that at the time perhaps they didn’t exhibit [that tendency], but later on it comes out," Francis said. "In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place."

Pope Francis called on such priests to lead a life of chastity.

We "have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious, to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalise either their communities or the faithful holy people of God," the pope said. "It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life."

Several high-ranking Catholics have opined that the sexual abuse crisis in the Church stems from a preponderance of actively homosexual priests, since the victims were overwhelmingly post-pubescent males.

"It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men," Cardinal Burke said in August. "There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this."

Burke continued: "Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered."

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