Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 305–310 | Cite as

Catholic priests who sexually abuse minors: Why do we hear so much yet know so little?

Article

Abstract

A tremendous amount of media attention has been directed towards sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests in recent years. While there are countless research studies on both sexual abuse victims and perpetrators in the professional literature, there are very few comprehensive research studies specifically investigating Roman Catholic priests who sexually abuse minors or studies concerning the victims of priests themselves. While the scientific professional community could offer a great deal to this problem, their voice appears silent. The purpose of this article is to examine what is known about sexual abuse among the Catholic clergy and briefly suggest directions for future research and intervention.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Berry, J. (1985). Priest child abuse cases victimizing families; bishops lack policy response.National Catholic Reporter, 21, 1, 4–6, 19–21.Google Scholar
  2. Berry, J. (1992).Lead us not into temptation: Catholic priests and the sexual abuse of children. New York, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  3. Barry, W., & Bordin, E. (1967). Personality development and the vocational choice of the ministry.Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1, 395–403.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, G. T. (1991). Sexually abusive clergymen: A conceptual framework for intervention and recovery.Pastoral Psychology, 39, 237–245.Google Scholar
  5. Camargo, R. J., & Loftus, J. A. (1992). Child sexual abuse among troubled clergy: A descriptive study. Paper presented at the 100th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  6. Camargo, R. J., & Loftus, J. A. (1993). Child sexual involvement with young people: Distinctive characteristics. Paper presented at the 101st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.Google Scholar
  7. Chandler, R. (1990). Sex abuse rock the American clergy,L.A. Times, August 3, A1.Google Scholar
  8. de la Houssays, N. (1993). Liability of the church for the sexual misconduct of church leaders,Loyola Law Review, 39, 313–338.Google Scholar
  9. Dempsey, P. (1992). Report to the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago commission on clergy sexual misconduct with minors.Google Scholar
  10. Dunn, P. J. (1990).Priesthood: A re-examination of the Roman Catholic theology of the presbyterate. New York, NY: Alba House.Google Scholar
  11. Friendly, J. (1986). Roman Catholic Church discusses abuse of children by priests.New York Times,4(64).Google Scholar
  12. Gonisorek, J. C. (1994).Breach of trust: Sexual exploitation by health care professional and clergy. New York, NY: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Haywood, T. W. (1994). Cleric misconduct with minors: Minimization and self-reported sexual functioning. Paper presented at the 13th annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  14. Isely, P. J., & Isely, P. (1990). The sexual abuse of male children by church personnel: Intervention and prevention.Pastoral Psychology, 39, 85–98.Google Scholar
  15. Keddy, P. J., Erdberg, P., and Sammon, S. D. (1990). The psychological assessment of Catholic clergy and religious referred for residential treatment.Pastoral Psychology, 38, 147–159.Google Scholar
  16. Loftus, J. A. & Camargo, R. J. (1993). Treating the clergy.Annals of Sex Research, 6, 287–303.Google Scholar
  17. Plante, T. G., Manuel, G., & Bryant, C. (1994). Catholic priests who sexually abuse minors: Intervention, assessment, and treatment. Paper presented at the 13th annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  18. Plante, T. G., Manuel, G., & Bryant, C. (1996). Defensiveness and cognitive functioning among sexual offending Roman Catholic priests, under review.Google Scholar
  19. Quade, V. (1992). Unholy wars.Human Rights, 19, 18–21, 30.Google Scholar
  20. Robinson, T. (1994). Shadows of the lantern bearers: A study of sexually troubled clergy. Paper presented at the 23rd International Congress of Applied Psychology, Madrid, Spain.Google Scholar
  21. Robinson, T., Montana, S., & Thompson, G. (1993). A descriptive study of sexually abusing clergy. Paper presented at the 12th Annual Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Conference, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  22. Sipe, A. W. R. (1990).A secret world: Sexuality and the search for celibacy. New York, NY: Brunner Mazel.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentSanta Clara UniversitySanta Clara

Personalised recommendations