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Human sexuality, Roman Catholic church,
religious violence, basic religious information

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Sexual and other abuse by Christian
clergy and other leaders: A "perfect panic"

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Overview:

This section deals mainly with sexual abuse of youths and younger children by Christian leaders, primarily from Roman Catholic clergy. Little information is available on the frequency of abuse among clergy in other Christian denominations and in other religions.

What little hard information that is available seems to indicate that:

bullet Pedophilia (sexual abuse by adults of pre-pubertal children) is lower among North America Catholic clergy than among the general male population.
 
bullet Ephbophilia, (the sexual abuse by adults of post-pubertal children under the age of 18) is much more common among North America Catholic clergy than in the general population. It typically takes the form of a male priest sexually abusing a male adolescent. It is a major concern.
 
bullet The situation appears to be very different in Belgium and perhaps elsewhere in Europe, where most abusers are are ephebophiliacs (adults, usually male, who are sexually attracted to young people about the age of puberty.)
 
bullet Sexual abuse of children could probably be almost halved if women were allowed to be ordained in the church as they are in liberal and mainline Christian denominations and some conservative denominations. However, the pope has repeatedly said that because Jesus chose only men to be his apostles, the Church cannot follow the path of other Christian denomination and make ordination available to any women, presumably because of their XX genetic structure. And so, the Church is sexist; it discriminates against women now anf for the foreseeable future.
 
bullet Wherever detailed studies are made, massive levels of physical and sexual abuse in church-run residential schools is uncovered.

Topics covered in this section:

This is a moral panic with roots that extend back for many decades.

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 Home page > Religious Info. > Basic info > here

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Copyright © 2002 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-MAR-25
Latest update: 2014-JAN-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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