A research study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice...Catholic Review Board | Reports:
Why did so many priests sexually abuse minors?
Although it is not possible to pinpoint any one "cause" of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests, there were two overarching contributing factors:
Dioceses and orders did not screen candidates for the priest¬hood properly. As a result, many sexually dysfunctional and immature men were admitted into seminaries and later ordained into the priesthood.
Seminaries did not form candidates for the priesthood adequately. As a result, seminarians were not prepared for the challenges of the priesthood, particularly the challenge of living a chaste, celibate life.
In addition, although neither the presence of homosexually-oriented priests nor the discipline of celibacy caused the crisis, an understanding of the crisis is not possible without reference to these issues. There are, no doubt, many outstand¬ing priests of a homosexual orientation who live chaste, celibate lives, but any evaluation of the causes and context of the current crisis must be cognizant of the fact that more than eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature. Likewise, celibacy does not cause sexual abuse; but the Church did an inadequate job both of screening out those individuals who were destined to fail in meeting the demands of the priesthood, and of forming others to meet those demands, including the rigors of a celibate life.