Human sexuality, Roman Catholic church,
religious violence, basic religious information
Sexual and Other Abuse by Religious
Leaders: A "perfect panic"
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:
||Pedophilia (sexual abuse by adults of pre-pubertal children) is lower
among North America Catholic clergy than among the general male population.
||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.
||The situation appears to be very different in Belgium and perhaps elsewhere in Europe, where most abuseing clergy are are ephebophiliacs (adults, usually male, who are
sexually attracted to young people about the age of puberty.)
||Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests 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 remains sexist; it discriminates against women now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
||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
- Background information:
- Allegations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in the U.S.:
- Further news about child and youth sexual abuse crimes and settlements
- 2005 to 2007: Victim data; destruction of data;
- 2009 to 2010-OCT: Other impacts on the church; keeping
documents secret; assassination allegation; recent events.
- 2010-OCT to 2011-NOV: Philadelphia PA mass charges, Pope claims that pedophilia wasn't considered an "absolute evil"
- 2011-NOV to now: Penn State and Catholic Church scandals
- 2014: Vatican grilled by UN Committee. Number of Catholic priests defrocked. Archbishop is unsure whether abuse is illegal.
- 2015 to 2017: Who/What is Causing Priest Abuse? Priests, Feminists, Abuse Victims...? Cardinal Pell Accused of Child Abuse.
- Feminists blamed for abuse by priests.
- Allegations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy elsewhere in the world (We only describe the situation in a few countries; the problem is almost certainly more widespread):
- Allegations of abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses:
- Allegations of abuse within other Christian denominations:
- Repressed/recovered memories:
- Additional information:
Copyright © 2002 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2002-MAR-25
Latest update: 2014-JAN-18
Author: B.A. Robinson