.- The revelation of former Congressman Mark Foley that a priest abused him as a teen further indicates that homosexuals should not be admitted to the priesthood, says a Catholic pro-life/pro-family group.
Attorney David Roth, speaking on Foley's behalf at a Florida news conference Tuesday, said Foley was molested between ages 13 and 15 by a clergyman. Foley â a homosexual and professed Roman Catholic â declined to identify the clergyman or the parish.
âIf his claim that he was the victim of sexual molestation by a clergyman is true, it only further proves that known homosexuals should not be admitted to the priesthood,â said Jason Jones, director of public relations for Human Life International, in a statement.
âFoleyâs actions were that of homosexual predator, not a pedophile,â Jones said.
Jones referred to studies that show homosexual abuse of young men often leads the abused to take on an abusive homosexual identity themselves. âThis creates a cycle of violence and disordered behavior that creates future generations of abusers and predators,â he added.
Jones claims that Foleyâs homosexuality led the congressman to âabuse the power and authority of his office and prey upon young, underage Congressional pages.â
âThis cycle must be broken if we are ever to protect our children,â Jones insisted. âFoley should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for his misdeeds, as should anyone guilty of perpetrating similar crimes on him as a teenager.
âFurthermore, any member of the leadership who knowingly covered up this despicable behavior should resign or be removed from office,â he added.
Foley, 52, is under investigation for sending lurid e-mail messages to young male Capitol Hill pages.
During the press conference, Roth said Foley does not blame the trauma he suffered as an adolescent for his behavior. The lawyer said Foley did not disclose this information sooner out of shame. He insisted that Foley is not a pedophile and that no sexual misconduct occurred with a minor. He did, however, make a point of the congressmanâs sexuality. "Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man," Roth said.
Foley represented parts of Palm Beach County in Congress for 12 years until he abruptly resigned Friday and admitted himself to rehabilitation for alcoholism and mental illness.