Predatory Priests, Silenced Victims: The Sexual Abuse Crisis and the Catholic Church

By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea; Virginia Goldner | Go to book overview

6
Failed “Fathers,”
Boys Betrayed*

Richard B. Gartner

The controversy surrounding the scandalous abuse of children by priests has churned throughout our culture and boiled over into bitterness and vindictiveness. Too often, the media, like the Church, paid far more attention to the effects of the scandals on the Church than to the effects of the abuse on its victims.

While there have been some reports of abuse of girls by priests, the largest number of cases have involved boys. I will therefore only track the effects of sexual abuse on boys, with particular attention to the aftermath of abuse by priests.


EFFECTS OF BOYHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

Some common aftereffects of boyhood sexual trauma include dissociation, isolation, addiction, prostitution, rage, suicide, denial, and

* Portions of this paper have been previously published (Gartner, 1999a, 2002, 2005).

-85-

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