- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
VATICAN CITY – The Latest on the Vatican summit on dealing with sex abuse of minors (all times local):
The author of an explosive book on gays in the Vatican says the culture of secrecy that has hidden the double lives of clergy is intrinsically linked to the culture of cover-up about sexual abuse of minors.
Frederic Martel, a French gay rights activist and author of "In the Closet of the Vatican," told a news conference Wednesday that studies have long shown that being gay is not a risk factor for committing sexual abuse.
But he said the culture of secrecy about priests' homosexuality had contributed to the abuse scandal.
Speaking at the Foreign Press Association, Martel said: "The problem is that some abusers that commit crimes within the church were protected by this culture of secrecy that was mainly to protect homosexuality."
Martel's book comes out Thursday as Pope Francis opens a Vatican summit on preventing sexual abuse.
Pope Francis is summoning church leaders from around the world this week for a tutorial on how to deal with cases of sex abuse by clergy.
Many Catholic church leaders around the world continue to protect the church's reputation by denying that priests rape children and by discrediting victims, and the pope himself admits to having made similar mistakes.
But Francis has done an about-face and is bringing the rest of the church leadership along with him at the extraordinary summit starting Thursday.
The meeting will bring together some 190 presidents of bishops' conferences, religious orders and Vatican offices lectures and workshops on preventing sex abuse in their churches, tending to victims, and investigating abuse.
Survivors will be meeting with summit organizers and the bishops themselves ahead of the summit.