The number two in the Vatican hierarchy, the Pope's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, claims there is a link between homosexuality and child sex abuse.
“Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true,” the Pope's No. 2, Cardinal Bertone was quoted by the Associated Press (AP) on Monday, April 12.
Cardinal Bertone's remarks annoyed several gay rights advocates, prompting reactions from number campaigners.
According to the AP, Rolando Jimenez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MHIL) in Chile said: “.Neither Bertone nor the Vatican has the moral authority to give lessons on sexuality.”
The President of the MHIL, Jimenez reasoned that, this is a perverse strategy by the Vatican to shirk its own ethical and legal responsibility by making a spurious and disgusting connection.
"He has, in effect, blamed gay priests for the paedophile scandal that has engulfed the Church," said human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, who is a spokesperson for the UK 'Protest the Pope' campaign.
“Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is a blatant distorter of the truth and an outrageous homophobe. His vile smears against gay people bring shame and dishonour to the church," added Mr Tatchell.
"The Vatican is trying to deflect attention from the sex crimes of Catholic clergy by blaming gay people. This is really sick.
"The truth is that priests and bishops abused girls and boys alike. There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between paedophilia and loving, consenting adult gay relationships. It shows the depths of dishonesty and homophobia that infects the Vatican at the highest level.
"The Vatican leadership is morally bankrupt and is rightly scorned by all decent Catholics.
"The Vatican and its clergy are responsible for child sex abuse, the cover-up and the protection of paedophile priests. Yet it is trying to blame everyone else.
"First, the Vatican attempted to dismiss and hide child sex abuse. Then it tried to silence the victims with pay-offs and threats of excommunication. In 2001, the Pope ordered Bishops to observe 'papal secrecy' and he ignored paedophile abuse cases that were bought to his attention.
"More recently, the Vatican accused the media of waging an anti-Catholic campaign. It compared criticism of the Pope to the Nazi persecution of the Jews. These are insulting lies and nonsense," said Mr Tatchell.
Last September, Mr Tatchell petitioned the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, against the Pope's State Visit to Britain.