Clergy Sexual Abuse
Social Science Perspectives
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Northeastern University Press
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication
The idea for this book developed from our work on an eighteen-month lecture series, “The Wounded Body of Christ: Sexual Abuse in the Church,” held at the University of Dayton beginning in 2003. We were members of an interdisciplinary committee tasked with identifying topics and speakers, and as we discussed and debated the issues with our fellow committee members, ...
1. An Introduction to Social Science Perspectives on the Problem of Clergy Sexual Abuse
The headlines are familiar: “Diocese Enters Plea in Sex Case” (Denver Post, November 21, 2003), “Catholic Church’s Costs Pass $1 Billion in Abuse Cases” (New York Times, June 12, 2005), “Philadelphia Church Official Sentenced to 3 to 6 Years for Covering Up Child Sex Abuse” (New York Times, July 24, 2012). ...
2. Understanding the Response to Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests: A Criminal Justice Perspective
Sexual victimization of children is a serious and pervasive issue in society, and it is particularly prevalent in institutions where adults form mentoring and nurturing relationships with children and adolescents. Such institutions include churches, schools, sporting organizations, and child-care settings. ...
3. The Interplay of Psychological and Institutional Factors in Sexual Abuse by Roman Catholic Clergy
Sexual exploitation by clergy is typically conceptualized as psychopathological behavior by the troubled clergyperson, which is an essentially idiopathic model. Although this approach captures some important features of abuse by clergy, it is insufficient and incomplete as an explanatory mechanism. ...
4. Contingent Crimes: Exploring the Sexual Abuse of Children by Clerics from a Situational Crime Perspective
Acts of child sexual abuse (CSA) committed by members of the clergy have been described as betrayals of trust (Nason-Clark 1998), “spiritual rape” (Barton 2012, 62), organizational failures (Rosetti 1997), and even “dumb mistakes” (Dorris 2011). They are also violations of state and federal criminal laws. ...
5. The Priest and Catholic Culture as Symbolic System of Purity
The priest remains an anomalous figure of spiritual authority even in a culture as religiously pluralist as US society and, perhaps surprising to some, even in his own Roman Catholic world. His lack of attachment to any particular household makes him available to every person and to the broader community. ...
6. Don’t Call It an Affair: Understanding and Preventing Clergy Sexual Misconduct with Adults
A social worker who is known and trusted in the community welcomes into her office Susan, a thirty-five-year-old first-time client and a member of the social worker’s church.1 Susan is obviously distraught.2 No, she tells the social worker, she has never been in counseling before. ...
7. Clergyperson Sexual Misconduct with Congregants or Parishioners: Past Attempts to Impose Civil and Criminal Liabilities and a Proposed Criminal Law to Increase the Likelihood of Criminal Punishment of Perpetrators
Recently, the media have made people cognizant of clergypersons who have allegedly committed sexual misconduct with children, with an intense focus on Catholic priests. Although less publicized, clergy sexual misconduct involving adults is also common. ...
About the Contributors
Diana Garland is the inaugural dean of the School of Social Work at Baylor University, where she has served on the faculty since 1997. Her newest book is Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide, a revised edition of her 1999 book that received the Book of the Year Award of the Academy of Parish Clergy at Princeton Seminary. ...