Young men and women who take vows of celibacy are at greater risk of sexual abuse and sexual assault, according to a new report by the Global Commission Against Sexual Exploitation (GCSE).
The report comes after years of debate on whether to encourage young men and boys to stay celibate.
The GCSE, which is part of the Global Partnership Against Sexual Abuse, released its report on Thursday, calling for the full implementation of the “new generation” of sexual education programs.
The report was released after a week of public testimony, where clergy and other members of the Catholic Church testified in favour of allowing young men to live their faith while remaining celibates.
In the report, the commission says that, according the World Health Organization, one in four women and one in five men in the world has been sexually abused.
The commission said that, as a result of the report’s findings, the Catholic and Anglican Communion should continue to encourage men and young women to stay unmarried while pursuing the celibatarian life.
While the commission recommends that religious institutions change the policies they have about celibating young men, it says that priests must also continue to address the problem of sexual exploitation in their dioceses.
“We need to do more to prevent the spread of sexual violence and to address these issues in diocesan settings,” the report states.
The church has also responded to the report in a statement, saying that it is committed to providing a safe, respectful and healthy environment for all our youth.
“The church has a long history of supporting young people who are celibately married,” the statement reads.
“This includes supporting them in their studies, work and the education they receive.”
The Gens will be issuing a report on sexual exploitation, abuse and abuse prevention, a new global initiative to end sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, in June.
The first such report, released in 2013, found that almost one in three women and two in three men in North America have been sexually exploited by someone they knew.
The current report was compiled from a survey of more than 2,000 priests, bishops, religious workers and lay people in the US and Canada conducted in late 2015.
The study found that a significant proportion of sexual predators are Catholic priests, although it was not possible to identify the number of priests who are Catholic.
The Catholic Church has been criticized in recent years for its response to sexual abuse in the church.
In 2015, Pope Francis issued a new set of guidelines on sexual abuse that called for the immediate investigation and prosecution of those who commit such crimes.