It has been ten years since stories of sexual abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church first shocked America. Yet recent events make it clear that the crisis has not abated, that such allegations are still being covered up. What has the past decade taught us about the abuse, the abusers, the role of the church—and the work that remains?
Taking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done—and what it still needs to do—to protect children.
Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002–2012 is a thoughtful, multidisciplinary commentary. Beginning when the scandal first broke in Boston in 2002, this first-of-its-kind work offers a wide range of opinion, both positive and negative, on what has been done in the ensuing ten years to stop and prevent such abuse.
Through the contributions here, readers can delve into the world of the church hierarchy and into the minds of abusive priests and their victims. The book presents the views of leading academics and psychologists, but also allows the church to speak. First-person insights from victims are shared, as in a chapter written by a woman abused by a clergy member as an adolescent. She explains what happened, the resulting trauma, how she healed, and what she thinks needs to be done to prevent future abuse—a subject that still makes headlines and stirs debate.
• Contributions from 20 leading experts on sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, including a federal judge; a social worker; a priest; a bishop; prominent psychologists; and professors of law, crime, and sociology
• Scrutinizes a decade of action and promises by the Catholic Church in response to the sexual abuse crisis
• Shares the first-person views of victims, victim advocates, clergy members, leading researchers, and critics of the Catholic Church, as well as church advocates
• Provides a history of the most extraordinary decade of the Catholic Church in the United States
• Offers a blueprint Catholic leaders in other countries can follow to reduce the incidence of abuse in their religious communities and dioceses