It’s not their fault. The culture made them do it.
That’s the essence of a report just released by a research team from John Jay College. The report entitled “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010” was mandated by a group of U.S. Catholic bishops.
The study found that pedophilia was not the cause behind the widespread abuse that grew rapidly from the fifties through the sixties and peaked in the late seventies. Opportunity was the cause. The priests involved did not show pedophiliac behavior other than having sex with young boys. I guess you have to read the report to believe it.
The full 152 page report was initially available for download, but the link no longer works. However, Salon offers this report. Or go to this article from the Saint Louis Review. It includes an interesting chart. Click it to enlarge it.