WASHINGTON (AP) -- Researchers commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops to analyze patterns of clergy sex abuse over decades have concluded that homosexuality, celibacy and an all-male priesthood did not cause the scandal.
The report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice says the majority of molestation cases involved priests who were ordained in the 1940s and 1950s, at a time when seminaries did not properly train them to live a celibate life. The authors say these men were not equipped to withstand the social upheaval of the 1960s, which was a time of an increase in sexual deviancy and crime in society at large.
Researchers say that only a tiny percentage of priests accused of molesting children could be technically defined as pedophiles. The report, which will be released Wednesday morning, says the abuse problem peaked in the 1970s, then declined sharply.
Critics say the study can't be trusted since the raw data was provided by the bishops.
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