This just in, from the Austria Desk:
The Archbishop of Vienna today said priestly celibacy could be one of the causes of the sex abuse scandals to hit the Catholic church.
In an article for Thema Kirche, his diocesan magazine, Christoph Schonborn became the most senior figure in the Catholic hierarchy to make the connection between the two and called for an “unflinching examination” of the possible reasons for paedophilia.
He wrote: “These include the issue of priest training, as well as the question of what happened in the so-called sexual revolution.
“It also includes the issue of priest celibacy and the issue of personality development. It requires a great deal of honesty, both on the part of the church and of society as a whole.”
Schonborn is not the first person to suggest a link between celibacy and paedophilia – the theologian Hans Kung has made the same assertion.
A spokesman clarified the archbishop’s words, insisting he was “in no way” seeking to question the celibacy rule or call for its abolition.
Schonborn’s remarks followed further revelations of abuse across Europe, with new incidents coming to light in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, and followed claims by an Italian academic that a greater presence of women in the Vatican could have prevented clerical sexual abuse from taking place.