Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church

Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church

Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church

Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church

Synopsis

Experts from a variety of fields join forces to show what fuels a most horrific violation of trust- sexual abuse by priests- and how the Church and church structure play a role in this abuse. This riveting work includes chapters by a former Director of the premiere U. S. facility treating clergy who are sexual offenders, by a Jesuit psychologist who authored the largest study of clergy sexual abusers ever completed, and from a Vatican Correspondent explaining the issues as seen by the Vatican. The text also includes an opening chapter by Michael Rezendes, a Boston Globe investigative reporter and member of the Spotlight Team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story of sexual abuse by clergy. A statement by the Executive Director of SNAP, the national support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse, is also included.

This is the first book that gathers experts from a variety of fields to offer thoughtful, objective perspectives regarding what we know about sexual abuse by clergy and what we can do to solve the problem. Attention is given not only to psychological aspects of both the perpetrators and victims, but also to canon law, clergy misconduct review boards, the sexual/celibate agenda of the Church, the challenges for treatment facilities, and barriers to resolution that exist within the Roman Catholic Church.

Excerpt

Few subjects have received the kind of constant media attention and heated debate than the topic of sex-offending clergy in the Catholic Church. Behind the headlines and media frenzy are too many stories of vulnerable children and teens being sexually exploited by Catholic priests. Furthermore, bishops and other religious superiors have too often failed to protect vulnerable others from abusive clergy and have tried to cover up, deny, or minimize this problem. It is a story about too many bishops (and priests) behaving badly when they are purported to be the moral, religious, and ethical leaders of society. It is a remarkable story. However, it is a complex story that has had little thoughtful, civil, and data-driven scholarship and discourse.

The purpose of this book is to bring together some of the best minds in the world on this topic in order to shed some light on the problem of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The book is a companion to an earlier book on this topic which was published by Greenwood Press and edited by me in 1999 titled, Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests. In that book, leading mental health professionals from the United States and Canada came together to provide a state-of-the-art understanding of priest sex offenders and their victims. In the current volume, we expanded the group to include journalists, theologians, canon lawyers, ethicists, victim advocates, and mental health professionals from the United States, Canada, England, and Italy to better understand the challenges of clergy sexual . . .

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