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Bishop Linda of Portugal: Sex Abuse Crisis Is an “Anglo-Saxon Phenomenon”

Jan 10, 2019 ( – Portuguese bishop Manuel Linda of Oporto, whose comments in a recent interview to secular media seemingly contradicted the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady, now insinuates that the current sex abuse crisis is a “phenomenon primarily of Anglo-Saxon countries.”

Bishop Linda made his remarks during an interview with Public Radio “Renanscença,” published only a few weeks after international uproar over his explicit comments on the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother forced him to backtrack and reaffirm Catholic dogma.

Bishop Linda, who was installed as bishop in 2013 over one of Portugal’s largest sees by Pope Francis, has also made waves in recent months for his comments on the validity of the unions of divorced and “remarried” couples. In his radio interview, the bishop seemed to turn a blind eye to the ongoing sex abuse scandals in Chile, Honduras, Italy, India – and as news reports this week revealed – Argentina, as he placed blame on “Anglo-Saxons”:

This (pattern of sex abuse) was a phenomenon primarily of Anglo-Saxon countries. In Europe it has happened in some places – it happened in Germany – but it did not happen with the same scale as in the United States and in Australia.

For some, the bishop’s comments, which appear to fall along ethnic or nationalist lines, come as a shock. But for others – such as Dr. Taylor Marshall – the narratives being whispered in the Vatican echo the sentiment that the scandal in the U.S. reflects a certain culturally based sexual prudery, or “scrupulosity about sexuality.”

In a Tweet from Catholic author and podcaster Dr. Taylor Marshall, we see another allegation that in Rome, the sex abuse crisis is seen as an American problem.

The Bishop of Oporto continued to explain that psychology, instructed during the 1960s and 1970s in these “Anglo-Saxon” countries, pushed for normalizing intimacy between older men and younger – namely, that this type of psychology was the causation for pedophilia among the clergy.

Continuing, Bishop Linda proposed that this new form of psychology, combined with the chaos in the years that followed Vatican II, made the environment too much for some priests to endure perverse sexual proclivity. “It is likely some priests were victims of this … psychology,” he said. “And, fundamentally, during the time of instability that followed the Second Vatican Council, some of them no longer found solid footing on the foundation stones (of Faith). There was a certain change of perspective of the Church and some lost their minds[.]”

The Portuguese bishop concludes, however, that “the vast majority of those who committed abuses were no longer in the active priesthood. They were people who left the priesthood, sometimes they left with a lot of noise.”

When confronted with two major cases of sex abuse by Portuguese clergy, Bishop Linda surmised, “Those two cases – that of Madeira, with the famous priest Frederico, and recently the case of Guarda – all suggest that they did not have that dimension of gravity that we are used to hearing about when we talk about pedophilia. Maybe there was some intimacy, but not the most shocking kind of intimacy.”

A version of this report first appeared at

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