Human sexuality, Roman Catholic church,
religious violence, basic religious information
Child and Youth, Sexual and
Other Abuse by Religious
Clergy: 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 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.
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.)
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.
Wherever detailed studies were made, a high level of physical and sexual
abuse in church-run residential schools was uncovered.