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Shattering the Illusion

Child Sexual Abuse and Canadian Religious Institutions

Tracy J. Trothen

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

There are many people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude in seeing this book through to fruition. First, this book would have been many more years in the making without the expertise and dedication of my research assistants. Tim Crouch and Ryan McNally were involved in this project for close to three years...

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pp. ix-xiii

This was one of the most costly and thorough public commissions ever undertaken. Lasting over more than three years, testimony from approximately 175 people was heard, and more than 3,400 exhibits were entered into evidence. Estimates of the cost of the Inquiry range from $40 million to..

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1. Child Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions

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pp. 1-10

Child sexual abuse happens in faith communities. The appalling stories are found under headlines such as these far too often: “Children Beaten, Raped at Irish Schools: Report,” “Southern Baptists Face Sexual Abuse Crisis,” “Canadian Churches Accept Ruling on Indian Sex-Abuse Claims,” and “Lahey Laptop Had...

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2. The Roman Catholic Church in Canada

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pp. 11-42

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) led the way among institutional religions in addressing child sexual abuse complaints. Policies for responding to complaints emerged in some dioceses in 1987. Further, the RCC is the only religious institution examined in this book to create policies exclusively addressing complaints...

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3. The United Church of Canada

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pp. 43-72

The United Church of Canada, unlike the other institutions examined in this report, has developed a binding policy across the Church. Similar to the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, it was not until the early 1990s that the United Church of Canada developed a policy for addressing internal complaints of...

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4. The Anglican Church in Canada

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pp. 73-99

The Anglican Church in Canada (ACC) is a diocesan Church and, as such, does not have one binding sexual abuse complaint policy. The ACC’s National Executive Council (NEC) established their first policy addressing sexual abuse complaints in 1992. This policy was binding on all General Synod employees...

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5. The Mennonite Church in Canada

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pp. 101-119

The Mennonites have produced groundbreaking resources regarding sexual abuse in the Church and how to recognize and respond to it pastorally. Although initially not as strong in terms of concrete policy development pertaining to the lodging and processing of complaints, this varied Christian religious tradition...

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6. Islam in Canada

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pp. 121-128

Aside from the primary sources cited in this chapter, there were no other publicly available written sources regarding child sexual abuse policy and Islam in the Canadian context. As a result, much of the research for this chapter was conducted through telephone and email interviews. In total, thirty-five mosques...

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7. The Canadian Unitarian Council/The Unitarian Universalist Association

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pp. 129-140

The Canadian Unitarian Council/the Unitarian Universalist Association (CUC/UUA) paid most attention to education and the establishment of effective screening measures before turning their attention to policies for receiving and responding to complaints. While policies addressing complaints of sexual abuse...

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8. Gathering the Pieces

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pp. 141-154

Writing this book has been very difficult and at times disheartening, but also sustaining and hopeful. Images of damaged souls and destroyed relationships move between the lines of these chapters. Awareness that this violence is persistent and pervasive can make it challenging to engage the subject; it has occurred...


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pp. 155-186


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pp. 187-197

E-ISBN-13: 9781554584079
E-ISBN-10: 1554584078
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554583560
Print-ISBN-10: 155458356X

Publication Year: 2012