clergy sexual abuse
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2021 ◽  
Vol 75 (4) ◽  
pp. 317-327
Author(s):  
Marie M. Fortune

1 Timothy and the Pastoral Letters appear to be efforts to codify structure and roles in the early church. These efforts largely reflected the patriarchal social structures of the time and as such are not relevant to the twenty-first-century church. But some of the concerns identified herein, for example expectations of church leaders, are useful for a current discussion. What is missing is any acknowledgement of the potential for identified church leaders to take advantage of vulnerable congregants, particularly women and children. How might the writer of 1 Timothy have addressed this serious problem in the churches?


2021 ◽  
Vol 82 (1) ◽  
pp. 29-54
Author(s):  
Jennifer Beste

In this article, I argue that the only way Catholics will experience the conversion of heart necessary to engage in authentic Christian discipleship and respond justly to the clergy sexual abuse crisis is to enter empathetically into the traumatic reality of the crisis. Recognition of the degree to which clergy abuse harms victim-survivors and subverts the church’s purpose to be the body of Christ leads to the moral obligation to prioritize urgent action on two objectives: (1) solidarity with clergy sexual abuse survivors and (2) effective prevention of clergy sexual abuse globally.


2020 ◽  
pp. 088740342092123
Author(s):  
Jason D. Spraitz ◽  
Kendra N. Bowen

According to prior research, approximately 14% of sexual victimizations by priests are reported to civil authorities. Victim grooming by the abuser is a main reason the number of reported incidents is low. The concept of reverential fear and religious duress is related to grooming, but very little empirical research focuses on the concept. Reverential fear and religious duress is a type of fear that limits the ability of clergy sexual abuse victims to disengage from their abuser; it intensifies when one has reverence and respect for the clergyman who abused them. In this article, available data from personnel files from several Catholic institutions are analyzed to gain a deeper understanding of reverential fear and religious duress. Findings suggest victims of clergy sexual abuse experience reverential fear and religious duress. The discussion focuses on why victims remain silent and provides recommendations for new policy and for improving existing policy.


2019 ◽  
Vol 80 (3) ◽  
pp. 632-652
Author(s):  
Susan A. Ross

The clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is complex. While first and foremost a terrible violation of victims, it is not only about sex or abuse. It concerns unchecked, divinely sanctioned patriarchal power and its devastating consequences. The author reviews the theological issues at stake, including patriarchy, sexuality and sexual ethics, and sin. She argues that addressing the roots of the crisis calls for taking seriously the contributions of feminist theologians to the thinking of the church, especially about establishing relationships of mutuality and equality between clergy and laity.


2019 ◽  
Vol 80 (3) ◽  
pp. 673-691
Author(s):  
James Gerard McEvoy

This article contributes to a theology of childhood in the context of recent research in the social sciences on children’s lives and the nature of childhood. The clergy sexual abuse crisis heightens the need for such a theology. First, the author offers an account of children’s social agency, with particular attention to cognition and sociality, arguing that an interpretative approach affords the best account. Second, the argument takes a christological turn, examining Jesus’s welcoming of children and the statement “it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14), to consider what can be learnt about Jesus’s appreciation of children’s agency.


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