Professor Jenkins bears false witness against me in “Priests and Pedophiles” (December 1992) when he implies that somehow I am an opponent of clerical celibacy. The only thing I’ve ever written on the subject has been in support of celibacy. I have consistently argued that most pedophiles are married men and that the pedophilia syndrome is acquired early in life, usually by being a victim of sexual abuse oneself, and does not result from celibacy.
—Father Andrew Greeley
Professor Jenkins Replies:
Father Greeley accuses me of misrepresenting his views and says that he has never linked the problem of priestly pedophilia to the issue of clerical celibacy. I am interested to hear this statement from a writer whose opinions on Catholic matters rightly receive widespread respect and attention. However, not once does my article attribute to him the view described. My references to his work state, quite correctly, that he has gone on record as emphasizing the scale and seriousness of the “abuse” problem and as criticizing the handling of that issue by the Church. I was particularly quoting his op-ed piece entitled “Priestly Silence on Pedophilia,” from the New York Times. I did not refer to his position on celibacy and do not think I can fairly be described as “bearing false witness” against anybody in this matter. On the other hand, it can be amply documented that other wTiters on “priestly pedophilia” do indeed draw the connection with celibacy.
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