Beyond the Scandals: A Guide to Healthy Sexuality for Clergy

By G. Lloyd Rediger | Go to book overview

4.
WORST-CASE SCENARIOS:
CHILD ABUSE

If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these
little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you
if a great millstone were hung around your neck and
you were thrown into the sea
.

— MARK 9:42

MOLESTATION OF CHILDREN and predation of adults is more than men behaving badly. It is heinous. It is evil. We must express this revulsion and anger in order to clear our minds and hearts for understanding sexual abuse, and then work for solutions.

Even when we know that pedophilia is a possible outcome of personality disorder, mental impairment, and being abused as a child, it is difficult to be merciful and understanding with those who abuse children sexually. Yet for Christians and Jews there is a mandate to take time to understand offenders and abusers of all kinds, to care for and protect victims, and to pursue healing, justice, and healthful relationships. So we begin our review of clergy sexual misconduct with the worst possible scenario, and then seek to understand and to facilitate care and justice.

Pedophilia is the erotic attraction of an adult to prepubescent children and the use of children for sexual gratification and demonstration of a capacity to dominate. This is a simple defini-

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Beyond the Scandals: A Guide to Healthy Sexuality for Clergy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Beyond the Scandals i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Part One - Context 1
  • 1 - Understanding Contemporary Clergy Sex Scandals 3
  • 2 - Diagnosis- Abnormal 21
  • Part Two - Cases and Interventions 41
  • 3 - An Instructive Generic Case 43
  • 4 - Worst-Case Scenarios- Child Abuse 56
  • 5 - Insidious Sexual Misconduct 73
  • 6 - Dissonant Sexual Expressions 91
  • 7- Victim-Survivor- Care and Prevention 111
  • Part Three - Healthy Sexuality 137
  • 8 - Why People Act as They Do 139
  • 9 - Healthy Sexuality- Its Joys, Varieties, and Agendas 163
  • 10 - The Joy of Healthy Sex 187
  • Appendix 205
  • Works Cited 212
  • Acknowledgments 217
  • Index 222
  • About the Author 240
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