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

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Child and Youth, Sexual and
Other Abuse by Religious
Clergy: A "perfect panic"

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 youth 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 an older male adolescent.
bullet The situation appears to be very different in Belgium and perhaps elsewhere in Europe, where the media has reported that most abusing clergy are are ephebophiliacs (adults, usually male, who are sexually attracted to young people about the age of puberty.)
 
bullet Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests could probably be almost halved if women were allowed to be ordained in the church as they generally are in liberal and mainline Christian denominations and a growing number of 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 even one woman, presumably because of women's XX sex chromosomes in their DNA. And so, the Church remains sexist; it discriminates against women now and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
 
bullet Wherever detailed studies were made, a high level of physical and sexual abuse in church-run residential schools was uncovered.

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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

or Home page > Religious Violence > here

or Home page > Christianity > Roman Catholicism > here

Copyright © 2018 & 2019 Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Author: B.A. Robinson
Latest update on: 2019-APR-03

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