Skip to comments.US Catholic Church seeks to find root of priest sex abuse
Posted on 11/16/2006 9:54:57 AM PST by presidio9
The US Roman Catholic Church has asked a criminology school to delve into the darkest pages of its history by probing the causes of a priest sex abuse scandal.
At a meeting due to end Thursday in the eastern city of Baltimore, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to disburse 335,000 dollars to fund the first three phases of a study by New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
"It will be a groundbreaking study, never done before in the US, nor in the world," Bishop Gregory Aymond, who chairs the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, told AFP.
"We don't know what would come out of it, but we are going to tell the truth," said Aymond, of Austin, Texas.
In 2002, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice had made a list of complaints and pedophilia cases in the US Catholic Church since 1985, when one of the first scandals came to light with the case of a Louisiana priest.
The university will now look into the "social and historical context" of sex abuse to see if such cases are more frequent in the Church than in the rest of society, notably in schools and youth clubs, Aymond said.
The Church wants to "look at what is unique" in the priest sex abuse crisis, he said.
The first part of the study would be completed in 2008 and made public, although the names of suspected priests would be omitted.
In the second part, the university will evaluate the Church leadership's response to sex abuse cases.
"We want to see where we failed and made some mistakes, and learn from those who handled it well," Aymond said.
The study will also paint a psychological profile of pedophiliac priests by reviewing cases in treatment centers.
The review will aim to show "to what extent is a priest sexual abuser profile the same as the psychological profile of the non-priests who are sex offenders," Aymond said.
The university will also interview abuse victims and examine education at seminaries over the decades.
The majority of priests accused of sex abuse were trained in the 1960s and 1970s in seminaries where psychological tests and sexuality education have since been introduced.
A final phase of the study will make proposals on how to prevent sex abuse and help victims.
"Our goal is to ascertain the causes of the clergy sexual abuse crisis and if we need to change any method we have now," said Teresa Kettlekamp, the executive director of the bishops conference's Office of Child and Youth Protection, which was created in 2002, in the wake of the sex abuse scandal.
But the study would also be useful to schools and youth groups, Church officials said.
"The pathology of abusing children isn't unique; it's a societal problem," Kettlekamp said.
"We are hoping it will be a big, big help to the society in general," she said.
That's a filthy slur.
Knock wood, I never had any abnormal experiences growing up with clergy.
If the Boy Scouts decided that only celibate (unmarried) guys could be scoutmasters, do you think we would end up with more gay scoutmasters, less, or the same?
Bottom line is that if the Church would allow priests to have physical relationships with women, the priesthood wouldn't have the reputation it enjoys today.
That is your groundless conclusion.
I can see how a homosexual, wracked by guilt, might join the priesthood with the intention of forswearing sex for the rest of his life as penance, only to give in later when tempted by adolescent pulchritude.
That's where the church is supposed to be vigilant. Many are called but few are chosen -- I believe that phrase was coined for just this situation.
So, the light just went on between your ears....congratulations!
To me, it's not even about whether they're strong enough (and how would anybody know?) but that it's intrinsically a disordered condition and not what you want in a leader, teacher, counselor, pastor.
Celibacy is the cause of pedophilia,...?
Whew, sure am glad I got married!
So Petronski....what's your solution to their image problem?
What's your conclusion?
I didn't mean to slur anybody or any group.
That's not what I meant...as I tried to establish late on in the thread.
That may be true, but it seems like in the old days there were at least equally many Fathers who conducted scandalous affairs with women, many of them married parishioners who came to him for counseling.
100 000 of those men are now married, and no longer functioning as priests.
It is an interesting sidelight that some bishops were much, much more harsh with priests who announced their intention to marry than they were with priests who destroyed the lives of little boys.
Being a priest is not just a job its a way of life. It's not fair to either the family or the parish. You can disagree, but that's how we define our clergy. I submit that protestant ministers, particularly the married ones, are lesser than Catholic Priests for this reason. It's just a job to them.
No the problem wasn't celibacy, it was PINOs (priests in name only) NOT being celibate - DUH!
(Later pingout unless you get to it first, wag!)
A lot of people with no connection to the Roman Catholic Church love to throw mud at it.
Agreed...but not my intent here. I was born and raised a Catholic and credit that for my moral foundation.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.