Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Trusting the Clergy?

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Merle Longwood

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Examine the reactions of leading clergy to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal!

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church is an eye-opening collection of Catholic and non-Catholic perspectives, statements, and responses regarding Catholic clergy sexual abuse from a public symposium entitled Trusting the Clergy? This book includes the viewpoints of some of todays most influential members of the Catholic Church, such as Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, Bishop Howard Hubbard, and Father Donald B. Cozzens. It will bring you up to date on the ways in which the American Catholic bishops have dealt, or are attempting to deal, with the sexual abuse scandal.

In Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Harry J. Flynn offers a bishops perspective on the sexual abuse crisis and describes how the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has responded to issues of clergy sexual abuse since the 1980s. Fr. Donald B. Cozzens summarizes what has been learned from the clergy abuse crisis, and then moves to the systemic issues that need to be addressednot just personal relationships but issues of structure and meaning. This book also includes viewpoints about the Catholic Church from renowned scholars and non-Catholic church leaders, including Michael J. Bland and Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune.

This book offers presentations on:

  • the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People created by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB)
  • the need for the Catholic hierarchy to convert from an institutional protection agenda to a justice-making agenda
  • understanding the abusers modes of operation and motivations
  • identifying future potential sexual abusers attempting to enter the priesthood
  • including the sexual abuse of adults as well as children as future agenda issues
  • the data the Church compiles on the numbers of perpetrators, victims, and costs associated with the scandal
  • determining whom to believe when there are conflicting stories
  • the impact of the clergy sexual abuse crisis on Latino and African-American communities
Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church provides a historical marker for the state of the churchs discussion one year after the Boston Archdiocese was faced with intense media scrutiny resulting in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law. This book is a unique collection of credible, diverse voices engaged in public discussion of a difficult social problem facing the church. Use it to formulate your own opinion on how the Catholic community is responding to the sexual abuse scandal.


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