Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012

Synopsis

Taking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done- and what it still needs to do- to protect children.

• Contributions from 20 leading experts on sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, including a federal jud≥ a social worker; a priest; a bishop; prominent psychologists; and professors of law, crime, and sociology

Excerpt

Few topics during the past decade have received the kind of constant media attention, heated debate, and expression of such strong viewpoints and emotions as that of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Yet behind the media frenzy are thousands of personal stories of vulnerable children and teens who were sexually violated by members of the clergy and thousands of astonishing stories of how bishops and other religious superiors often failed to protect victims and attempted to avoid scandal by covering up, denying, and minimizing these crimes.

The clergy abuse story is about too many bishops and priests behaving badly when they claim to be and are viewed as the moral, religious, and ethical mentors and leaders of society. It is a heartbreaking story indeed—one that has been the subject of movies, plays, and endless op-ed pieces in all of the leading newspapers across the land during the past decade. However, it is also a highly complex story that has received remarkably little thoughtful, civil, and data-driven scholarship and discourse.

The purpose of this book is to bring together some of the best minds on this topic—individuals who have been personally or professionally involved with the issue—in order to offer reflections about where we are 10 years after the clergy abuse crisis unfolded in America. The book is a companion to two earlier edited books on this topic published by Praeger/Greenwood Press: Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999) and Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004).

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