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Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 381–393 | Cite as

The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church: What Psychologists and Counselors Should Know

  • Thomas G. Plante
  • Courtney Daniels
Article

Abstract

Recent events regarding child sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere have yet again resulted in a tremendous amount of media attention and frenzy regarding this topic. During 2002 alone, approximately 300 American Catholic priests, including several bishops, were accused of child sexual abuse. Many were forced to resign their positions while others were prosecuted and went to prison. Curiously, there still exist many myths and misperceptions about priests who sexually abuse children and their victims. Since psychologists and other mental health professionals are likely to interact with many who have been impacted by these recent events, it is important for them to have some basic understanding of the various myths and misperceptions about sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests.

clergy sexual abuse Catholic Church psychology 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta Clara
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo Alto

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