Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 189–231 | Cite as

Roman Catholic Clericalism, Religious Duress, and Clergy Sexual Abuse

  • Thomas P. Doyle


Since 1984, sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has captured public attention and resulted in a stream of criminal and civil lawsuits. The hierarchy has been defensive in the face of constant accusations and criticism. This study examines selected key aspects of the clergy sex abuse phenomenon including historical precedents and the impact of clericalism on the development of psychological and emotional duress in victims and others closely associated with sexual abuse.

sexual abuse clergy abuse pedophilia ephebophilia Catholic Church 


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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

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  • Thomas P. Doyle

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