Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders in the 20th and 21st centuries has been widespread and has led to many allegations, investigations, trials and convictions, as well as revelations about decades of attempts by the Church to cover up reported incidents. The abused include boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. The accusations began to receive isolated, sporadic publicity from the late 1980s. Many of these involved cases in which a figure was accused of decades of abuse; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations and moved abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse continued.
By the 1990s, the cases began to receive significant media and public attention in some countries, especially in Canada, the United States, Australia and, through a series of television documentaries such as Suffer The Children (UTV, 1994), Ireland. A critical investigation by The Boston Globe in 2002 led to widespread media coverage of the issue in the United States, later dramatized in Tom McCarthy's film Spotlight. Over the last decade, widespread abuse has been exposed in Europe, Australia, Chile, and the USA.
From 2001 to 2010 the Holy See, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, considered sex abuse allegations involving about 3,000 priests dating back fifty years, reflecting worldwide patterns of long-term abuse as well as the Church hierarchy's pattern of regularly covering up reports of abuse. Diocesan officials and academics knowledgeable about the Roman Catholic Church say that sexual abuse by clergy is generally not discussed, and thus is difficult to measure. Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions, a stance that dismayed critics who saw it as a device to avoid resolving the abuse problem within the Church.
In a 2001 apology, John Paul II called sexual abuse within the Church "a profound contradiction of the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ". Benedict XVI apologised, met with victims, and spoke of his "shame" at the evil of abuse, calling for perpetrators to be brought to justice, and denouncing mishandling by church authorities. In 2018, Pope Francis began by accusing victims of fabricating allegations, but by April was apologizing for his "tragic error" and by August was expressing "shame and sorrow" for the tragic history, without, however, introducing concrete measures either to prosecute abusers or to help victims.
International extent of issue
The sexual abuse of children under the age of consent by priests has received significant media and public attention in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Belgium, France, Germany and Australia. Cases have also been reported in other nations throughout the world. Many of the cases span several decades and are brought forward years after the abuse occurred.
Although nationwide inquiries have been conducted only in the United States and Ireland, as well as an Australian inquiry into institutional responses, cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors have been reported and prosecuted in New Zealand, Canada and other countries. In 1994, allegations of sexual abuse of 47 young seminarians surfaced in Argentina. In 1995, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër resigned from his post as Archbishop of Vienna, Austria over allegations of sexual abuse, although he remained a Cardinal. Since 1995, more than 100 priests from various parts of Australia were convicted of sexual abuse.
In Ireland, the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse issued a report that covered six decades (from the 1950s). It noted "endemic" sexual abuse in Catholic boys' institutions, saying that church leaders were aware of abuses and that government inspectors failed to "stop beatings, rapes and humiliation." The commission's report on church abuse ran to five volumes. The report noted the "centrality of poverty and social vulnerability in the lives of the victims of abuse."
In Australia, according to Broken Rites, a support and advocacy group for church-related sex abuse victims, as of 2011 there have been over one hundred cases in which Catholic priests have been charged for child sex offenses. A 2012 police report detailed 40 suicide deaths directly related to abuse by Catholic clergy in the state of Victoria. In January 2013, an Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was called to investigate institutional sexual abuse of minors related, but not exclusive, to matters concerning clergy of the Catholic Church.
Of the Catholic sexual abuse cases in Latin America, the most widely known is the sexual scandal of Father Marcial Maciel, the leader of the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood. The revelations took place after the Legion spent more than a decade denying allegations and criticizing the victims who claimed abuse.
In Tanzania, Father Kit Cunningham and three other priests were exposed as pedophiles after Cunningham's death. The abuse took place in the 1960s but was only publicly revealed in 2011, largely through a BBC documentary.
Church officials and academics knowledgeable about the Third World Roman Catholic Church say that sexual abuse by clergy is generally not discussed, and thus is difficult to measure. This may be due in part to the more hierarchical structure of the Church in Third World countries, the "psychological health" of clergy in those regions, and because Third World media, legal systems and public culture are not as apt to thoroughly discuss sexual abuse. In the Philippines, where as of 2002 at least 85% of the population is Catholic, the revelations of sexual abuse by priests, including child sexual abuse, followed the United States' widespread reporting in 2002.
Academic Mathew N. Schmalz notes India as an example: "you would have gossip and rumors, but it never reaches the level of formal charges or controversies." Traditionally, the Roman Catholic Church has held tight control over many aspects of church life around the globe, including "the words used in prayer", but it left sex abuse cases to be handled locally. In 2001, the church first required that sex abuse cases be reported to Rome. In July 2010, the Vatican doubled the length of time after the 18th birthday of the victim in which clergymen can be tried in a church court. It also streamlined the processes for removing pedophile priests.
According to a 2004 research study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 4,392 Catholic priests and deacons in active ministry between 1950 and 2002 have been plausibly (neither withdrawn nor disproven) accused by 10,667 individuals of the sexual abuse of a youth under the age of 18. Estimating the number of priests and deacons active in the same period at 110,000, the report concluded that approximately 4% have faced these allegations. The report noted that "It is impossible to determine from our surveys what percent of all actual cases of abuse that occurred between 1950 and 2002 have been reported to the Church and are therefore in our dataset." The Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. specializes in abuse counseling and is considered an expert on clerical abuse; he states "approximately 4% of priests during the past half century (and mostly in the 1960s and 1970s) have had a sexual experience with a minor." According to Newsweek magazine, this figure is similar to the rate of frequency in the rest of the adult population.
Allegations of and convictions for sexual abuse by clergy have occurred in many countries. There are no accurate figures available on the number of sexual abuse cases in different regions. But, in 2002 The Boston Globe reported, "clearly the issue has been most prominent in the United States." The US is the country with the highest number of reported Catholic sex abuse cases.
After the United States, the country with the next highest number of reported cases is Ireland. A significant number of cases have also been reported in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
In response to the attention, members of the church hierarchy have argued that media coverage has been unfair, excessive, and disproportionate. According to a Pew Research Center study, in 2002 the media coverage was focused on the US, where a Boston Globe series initiated widespread coverage in the region. However, by 2010 the focus had shifted to Europe.
In September 2011, a submission was lodged with the International Criminal Court alleging that the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano (Dean of the College of Cardinals), Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Cardinal Secretary of State), and Cardinal William Levada (then-current Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) had committed a crime against humanity by failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence in a "systematic and widespread" concealment which included failure to co-operate with relevant law enforcement agencies. In a statement to the Associated Press, the Vatican described this as a "ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes." Lawyers and law professors emphasized that the case is likely to fall outside the court's jurisdiction.
In the late 1940s, American Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who struggle with personal difficulties such as substance abuse and sexual misconduct. In a series of letters and reports to high-ranking Catholic leaders starting in the 1950s, Fitzgerald warned of substantial problems with pedophile priests. He wrote, for example, "[sexual abuse] offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry." He discussed the problem with Pope Paul VI (1963 – 1978) and "in correspondence with several bishops".
In 2001, the Vatican first required that sex abuse cases be reported to the Rome hierarchy; before that, it left management of the cases to local dioceses. After the 2002 revelation by the Boston Globe that cases of abuse were widespread in the Church in Massachusetts and elsewhere, The Dallas Morning News did a year-long investigation. It reported in 2004 that even after these revelations and public outcry, the institutional church had moved allegedly abusive priests out of the countries where they had been accused but assigned them again to "settings that bring them into contact with children, despite church claims to the contrary". Among the investigation's findings was that nearly half of 200 cases "involved clergy who tried to elude law enforcement."
The cases received significant media and public attention in the United States, Ireland (where abuse was reported as widespread), and Canada, and throughout the world. In response to the attention, members of the church hierarchy have argued that media coverage has been excessive and disproportionate. According to a Pew Research Center study, media coverage was generated mostly in the United States, beginning in 2002, with a Boston Globe series that published hundreds of news reports. By contrast, in 2010 much of the reporting focused on child abuse in Europe.
Church authorities are often accused of covering up cases of sex abuse. In many cases, as discussed in the sections on different countries, clergy discovered by Church authorities to be criminally offending are not reported to civil authorities such as the police. They are often merely moved from one diocese to another, usually without any warning to the authorities or the congregations at the destination. While offending clergy could be subject to action such as defrocking, this is rare; the intention of the Church until recent times has been to avoid publicity and scandal at all costs.
In some cases offenders may confess their wrongdoing to a priest under the Sacrament of Penance. Church canon law unconditionally prohibits a priest hearing such a confession from making any disclosure about the existence or content of the confession to anybody, including Church and civil authorities—the "Seal of the Confessional". This obligation is taken very seriously throughout the Catholic Church; for example all serving archbishops in Australia told the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that they would not report to police a colleague who admitted in the confessional to child rape. This is not necessarily in contradiction with civil law; the law in many, but not all, countries confers confessional privilege, a rule of evidence that forbids judicial inquiry into certain communications between clergy and members of their congregation.
The Gillard Government instituted the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013. The Commission reported that 7% of all Catholic priests in Australia were "alleged perpetrators of child sex abuse;" the children's average age at the time of the abuse was 11.5 for boys and 10.5 for girls. Alleged perpetrators were overwhelmingly male (90%) and religious brothers were disproportionally highly responsible (having the most claimants and some 37% of all alleged perpetrators, despite being numerically inferior to priests and religious sisters). Most reported incidents of sex abuse occurred between 1950 and 1989, however it was noted that there was on average a delay of 33 years between when a victim was abused to when it was reported, which skews the statistics towards older incidents of abuse. Some reported incidents occurred as early as the 1920s and the latest after 2010.
Of the 201 Church authorities surveyed, 92 (46%) reported having received at least one claim of child sexual abuse. Overall, some 4,444 claimants alleged incidents of abuse in 4,756 reported claims over the period 1950-2015 (86% of claims related to pre-1990 incidents). The 3,057 claims resulting in a payment for redress amounted to $268 million between 1980 and 2015. Claims had been made against 1,880 alleged perpetrators, with 30% against priests, 32% non-ordained religious brothers, 5% non-ordained religious sisters, 29% lay people and 4% of unknown religious status. By means of a weighted index, the Commission found that at 75 archdioceses/dioceses and religious institutes with priest members examined, some 7 per cent of priests (who worked in Australia between 1950 and 2009) had allegations made against them (this finding did not represent allegations tested in a court of law). Between 1980 and 2015, the Christian Brothers, which operated a number of residential facilities, made the highest number of payments to victims at 763, totaling $48.5m.
Australia's Catholic leaders had been among the first in the world to publicly address management of child abuse: In 1996, the church issued the Towards Healing Protocol, which it described as seeking to "establish a compassionate and just system for dealing with complaints of abuse". Papal apologies for abuse in Australia were made by John Paull II and Benedict XVI.
On June 29, 2017 the Victorian Police charged Australian Cardinal George Pell with multiple accounts of historical sexual assault. The most serious charges were thrown out for "fundamental defects in evidence" and credibility issues over witnesses, but Pell was committed to stand trial on the lesser charges, pleading not guilty. The matter remains sub judice. In May 2018 Philip Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide, was found guilty of failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities in 1976 when he was an assistant parish priest in East Maitland, New South Wales, and stepped aside from his duties as Archbishop, announcing an intention to appeal the decision of the magistrate.
In November 2010, an independent group in Austria that operates a hotline to help people exit the Catholic Church released a report documenting physical, sexual, and emotional abuse perpetrated by Austrian priests, nuns, and other religious officials. The report is based on hotline calls from 91 women (28%) and 234 men (72%), who named 422 perpetrators of both sexes, 63% of whom were ordained priests.
In June 2010, Belgian police raided the Belgian Catholic Church headquarters in Brussels, seizing a computer and records of a Church commission investigating allegations of child abuse. This was part of an investigation into hundreds of claims that had been raised about alleged child sexual abuse committed by Belgian clergy. The claims emerged after Roger Vangheluwe, who had been the Bishop of Bruges, resigned in 2009 after admitting that he was guilty of sexual molestation. The Vatican protested against the raids. In September 2010, an appeals court ruled that the raids were illegal.
In the late 1980s, allegations were made of physical and sexual abuse committed by members of the Christian Brothers, who operated the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's, Newfoundland. The government, police, and church had colluded in an attempt to cover up the allegations, but in December 1989 they were reported in the St. John's Sunday Express. Eventually more than 300 former pupils came forward with allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the orphanage. The religious order that ran the orphanage filed for bankruptcy in the face of numerous civil lawsuits seeking damages. Since the Mount Cashel scandal, a number of priests across Canada have been accused of sexual abuse.
In August 2006, Father Charles Henry Sylvestre of Belle River, Ontario pleaded guilty to 47 counts of sexual abuse of females, aged between nine and fourteen years old, between 1952 and 1989. Sylvestre was given a sentence in October 2006 of three years, and died 22 January 2007 after three months in prison.
Early in 2018, Pope Francis met with Bishop Juan Barros from Chile. Before his visit to Chile to meet with the bishop, there were serious sex abuse charges concerning the priest, Fernando Karadima. Barros was accused of covering up several sex crimes by Karadima. Many laypersons and victims of sexual abuse came forward to condemn Barros for having covered up the sex crimes. When Pope Francis came to visit the bishop, he was asked by local reporters about the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Barros. Pope Francis quickly reprimanded critics, even the victims of Karadima, by calling the scandal a ‘’slander.” In addition, Pope Francis chastised reporters by stating, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak. There is not one piece of evidence against him. It is calumny. Is that clear?" Following the pope’s defense of Barros, Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, a key Vatican advisor on clergy abuse, acknowledged that Francis’ comments about Barros were “a source of great pain” for victims. Subsequently, Francis appointed Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta to investigate the allegations of abuse in the Chilean church. Upon receive Scicluna’s report, Francis wrote on April 12th that he had “made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially because of a lack of truthful and balanced information.” He also declared that that the Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling sexual abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility suffered by the church. Following Francis’ remarks, 33 Chilean bishops offered their resignation. Later Pope Francis apologized to the victims of the sex abuse scandal. In late April 2018, three victims—Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Andrés Murillo—were invited to the Vatican. There has been no mention of what was discussed during their meeting with Pope Francis. As of June 28, 2018, Francis has accepted the resignations of 5 bishops, including Barros.
Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish citizen who had been a nuncio (papal ambassador), was laicized in 2014 because of accusations of sexual abuse of minors during the five years he served as Vatican ambassador in Santo Domingo. The Vatican refused to lift his diplomatic immunity and allow him to be judged in Santo Domingo, but made criminal charges related to his abuse of minors and was going to try him. However, in July 2015 the trial was postponed due to Wesolowski's ill health and he died on August 27, 2015 before a trial could be held.
Recently in March 2018, Archbishop Anthony Apuron was removed from office by the Vatican. Apuron had been accused of sexually molesting altar boys in the late 1970s. Moreover, in the latest case, priest Louis Brouillard, was charged for having raped altar boys during “sleepovers” as a teenager. Currently there are fifteen priests, two archbishops, and a bishop who have been recognized in sex abuse cases, from the 1950 up until the 1990s.
In 2018 Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Jose Pineda, A close aide of Cardinal Maradiaga, following revelations of sexual abuse and financial scandal.
In 2002, Mathew N. Schmalz noted that Catholic Church sexual abuse cases in India are generally not spoken about openly, stating "you would have gossip and rumors, but it never reaches the level of formal charges or controversies."
In 2014, Raju Kokkan, the vicar of the Saint Paul's Church in Thaikkattussery, Thrissur, Kerala, was arrested on charges of raping a nine-year-old girl. According to Kerala Police, Kokkan had raped the child on several different occasions, including at least thrice in his office during the month of April. Kokkan promised to gift the child expensive vestments for her Holy Communion ceremony before sexually assaulting her. The abuse was revealed after the victim informed her parents that she had been raped by Kokkan on 25 April 2014. The priest subsequently fled to Nagercoil in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, and was arrested by police on 5 May. Following the arrest, the Thrissur Archdiocese stated that the vicar had been removed from his position within the Church. Between February and April 2014, three other Catholic priests were arrested in the state of Kerala on charges of raping minors.
In 2017, Father Robin or Mathew Vadakkancheril of St Sebastian church in Kannur was arrested in Kochi on the charge of sexually abusing a minor girl who later gave birth to a child. A writer for the weekly magazine, Sunday Shalom, wrote "consumerism" and bodily "temptations" played a role the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl.
In the Republic of Ireland, starting in the 1990s, there were a series of criminal cases and government enquiries related to allegations that priests had abused hundreds of minors over previous decades. State-ordered investigations documented "tens of thousands of children from the 1940s to the 1990s" who suffered abuse, including sexual abuse at the hands of priests, nuns, and church staff in three dioceses.
In many cases senior clergy had moved priests accused of abuse to other parishes. By 2010, a number of in-depth judicial reports had been published, but with relatively few prosecutions. The abuse was occasionally made known to staff at the Department of Education, the police, and other government bodies. They have said that prosecuting clergy was extremely difficult given the "Catholic ethos" of the Irish Republic. In addition, in 2004 the Christian Brothers had sued for a civil settlement that barred prosecution of any of its members or the naming of any Christian Brother in the government investigatory report. Christian Brothers had a higher number of allegations made against their order than were made against others. Neither were any victims named in the report.
In 1994, Micheal Ledwith resigned as President of St Patrick's College, Maynooth when allegations of sexual abuse by him were made public. The June 2005 McCullough Report found that a number of bishops had rejected concerns about Ledwith's inappropriate behavior towards seminarians "so completely and so abruptly without any adequate investigation", although his report conceded that "to investigate in any very full or substantial manner, a generic complaint regarding a person's apparent propensities would have been difficult".
Fr Brendan Smyth was reported to have sexually abused and indecently assaulted 20 children in parishes in Belfast, Dublin and the United States, during the period between 1945 and 1989. Controversy over the handling of his extradition to Northern Ireland led to the 1994 collapse of the Fianna Fáil/Labour coalition government.
In Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and politically independent of the Republic of Ireland), the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry started in January 2014. It was the largest inquiry in UK legal history into sexual and physical abuse in certain institutions (including non-Catholic ones) that were in charge of children from 1922 to 1995. The De La Salle Brothers and the Sisters of Nazareth admitted early in the inquiry to physical and sexual abuse of children in institutions in Northern Ireland that they controlled, and issued an apology to victims. A 2017 report also stated that the local police, who had also poorly investigated claims of sex abuse at the non-Catholic Kincora Boys' Home, had played a role in assisting the local Catholic officials in covering up reported pedophile activity at four Catholic-run homes for boys in the Belfast area and that these four homes had contained the highest level of reported sex abuse of all the 22 homes which were investigated.
After revelations by Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen, the Catholic Church in Norway and the Vatican acknowledged in 2010 that Georg Müller had resigned in July 2009 from the position of Bishop of Trondheim which he held from 1997, because of the discovery of his abuse of an altar boy two decades earlier. The Vatican cited Canon (Church) law 401/2 but as is customary gave no details. The Norwegian Catholic Church was made aware of the incident at the time but did not alert the authorities. Norwegian law did not allow a criminal prosecution of Müller so long after the event.
During 2013 the public in this deeply Catholic country became concerned about reports of child sex abuse scandals within the church, some of which reached the courts, and the poor response by the church. The church resisted demands to pay compensation to victims. In October 2013 the Catholic Church in Poland explicitly refused to publish data on sexual abuse, but said that, if the data were to be published, the scale would be seen to be very low. Bishop Antoni Dydycz said that priests should not be pressed to report sexual abuse to state authorities, invoking the ecclesiastical "seal of confession," which bans them from revealing what is said in the rite of confession. In November 2013 the Minister of Justice said that there were 1,454 persons in prison for acts of pedophilia, of whom one was a Catholic priest.
In the United States, which has been the focus of many of the scandals and subsequent reforms, BishopAccountability.org, an "online archive established by lay Catholics," reports that over 3,000 civil lawsuits have been filed against the church, some of these cases have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements with many claimants. In 1998 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million to twelve victims of one priest ($46.4 million in present-day terms). From 2003 to 2009 nine other major settlements, involving over 375 cases with 1551 claimants/victims, resulted in payments of over US$1.1 billion. The Associated Press estimated the settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950 to 2007 totaled more than $2 billion. BishopAccountability puts the figure at more than $3 billion in 2012. Addressing "a flood of abuse claims" five dioceses (Tucson, Arizona; Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Davenport, Iowa, and San Diego) got bankruptcy protection. Eight Catholic dioceses have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004 to 2011.
Although bishops had been sending sexually abusive priests to facilities such as those operated by the Servants of the Paraclete since the 1950s, there was scant public discussion of the problem until the mid-1960s. Even then, most of the discussion was held amongst the Catholic hierarchy with little or no coverage in the media. A public discussion of sexual abuse of minors by priests took place at a meeting sponsored by the National Association for Pastoral Renewal held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in 1967, to which all U.S. Catholic bishops were invited.
Various local and regional discussions of the problem were held by Catholic bishops in later years. However, it was not until the 1980s that discussion of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clerics began to be covered as a phenomenon in the news media of the United States. According to the Catholic News Service, public awareness of the sexual abuse of children in the United States and Canada emerged in the late 1970s and the 1980s as an outgrowth of the growing awareness of physical abuse of children in society.
In September 1983, the National Catholic Reporter published an article on the topic. The subject gained wider national notoriety in October 1985 when Louisiana priest Gilbert Gauthe pleaded guilty to 11 counts of molestation of boys. After the coverage of Gauthe's crimes subsided, the issue faded to the fringes of public attention until the mid-1990s, when the issue was again brought to national attention after a number of books on the topic were published.
In 2002, the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests drew the attention, first of the United States and ultimately the world, to the problem. Other victims began to come forward with their own allegations of abuse, resulting in more lawsuits and criminal cases. Since then, the problem of clerical abuse of minors has received significantly more attention from the Church hierarchy, law enforcement agencies, government and the news media. One study shows that the Boston Globe coverage of the cases "had a negative and long-lasting effect" on Catholic school enrollment, and explained "about two-thirds of the decline in Catholic schooling."
As recently as 2011 Fr Curtis Wehmeyer was allowed to work as a priest in Minnesota despite many people having reported concern about his sexual compulsion and suspicious behavior with boys. Wehmeyer was employed as a priest without proper background checks. Wehmeyer was later convicted of sexually abusing two boys. After Wehmeyer's arrest there were complaints the responsible clergy were more concerned with how to spin the story in a favorable light than in helping victims.
In July 2018 Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals (the first Cardinal to do so since 1927) following allegations of abuse and attempted homosexual rape at a seaside villa. In August, a "systematic coverup" of sex abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania parishes was revealed. Reviewers of the situation indicated that many more victims and perpetrators were likely undiscovered.
In the United States the 2004 John Jay Report, commissioned from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and funded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), was based on volunteer surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The 2004 John Jay Report was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.
The surveys filtered provided information from diocesan files on each priest accused of sexual abuse and on each of the priest's victims to the research team, in a format which did not disclose the names of the accused priests or the dioceses where they worked. The dioceses were encouraged to issue reports of their own based on the surveys that they had completed.
The report stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002:
- Around 81% of these victims were male.
- Female victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests tended to be younger than the males. Data analyzed by John Jay researchers, shows that the number and proportion of sexual misconduct directed at girls under 8 years old was higher than that directed at boys the same age.
- 22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.
- A substantial number (almost 2000) of very young children were victimized by priests during this time period.
- 9,281 victim surveys had information about an investigation. In 6,696 (72%) cases, an investigation of the allegation was carried out. Of these, 4,570 (80%) were substantiated; 1,028 (18%) were unsubstantiated; 83 (1.5%) were found to be false. In 56 cases, priests were reported to deny the allegations.
- More than 10 percent of these allegations were characterized as not substantiated because diocese or order could not determine whether the alleged abuse actually took place.
- For approximately 20 percent of the allegations, the priest was deceased or inactive at the time of the receipt of the allegation and typically no investigation was conducted in these circumstances.
- In 38.4% of allegations, the abuse is alleged to have occurred within a single year, in 21.8% the alleged abuse lasted more than a year but less than 2 years, in 28% between 2 and 4 years, in 10.2% between 5 and 9 years and, in under 1%, 10 or more years.
The 4,392 priests who were accused amount to approximately 4% of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time. Of these 4,392, approximately:
- 56 percent had one reported allegation against them; 27 percent had two or three allegations against them; nearly 14 percent had four to nine allegations against them; 3 percent (149 priests) had 10 or more allegations against them. These 149 priests were responsible for almost 3,000 victims, or 27 percent of the allegations.
- The allegations were substantiated for 1,872 priests and unsubstantiated for 824 priests. They were thought to be credible for 1,671 priests and not credible for 345 priests. 298 priests and deacons who had been completely exonerated are not included in the study.
- 50 percent were 35 years of age or younger at the time of the first instance of alleged abuse.
- Almost 70 percent were ordained before 1970.
- Fewer than 7 percent were reported to have themselves been victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse as children. Although 19 percent had alcohol or substance abuse problems, 9 percent were reported to have been using drugs or alcohol during the instances of abuse.
Many of the reported acts of sexual abuse involved fondling or unspecified abuse. There were allegations of forced acts of oral sex and intercourse. Detailed information on the nature of the abuse was not reported for 26.6% of the reported allegations. 27.3% of the allegations involved the cleric performing oral sex on the victim. 25.1% of the allegations involved penile penetration or attempted penetration.
Although there were reported acts of sexual abuse of minors in every year, the incidence of reported abuse increased by several orders of magnitude in the 1960s and 1970s. There was, for example, a more than sixfold increase in the number of reported acts of abuse of males aged 11 to 17 between the 1950s and the 1970s. After peaking in the 1970s, the number of incidents in the report decreased through the 1980s and 1990s even more sharply than the incidence rate had increased in the 1960s and 1970s. Contributing factors to the abuse are considered to be "poor screening and training of priests."
Lawsuits and their effects
The Associated Press estimated the settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950 to 2007 totaled more than $2 billion. BishopAccountability puts the figure at more than $3 billion in 2012.
BishopAccountability.org, an "online archive established by lay Catholics," reports that over 3,000 "civil lawsuits have been filed against the church" in the United States, some of these cases have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements with many claimants.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million in 1998 to twelve victims of one priest. In July 2003 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville paid $25.7 million to "settle child sexual-abuse allegations made in 240 lawsuits naming 34 priests and other church workers."
In April 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon agreed to a $75 million settlement with 177 claimants and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle agreed to a $48 million settlement with more than 160 victims.
In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a $660 million agreement with more than 500 alleged victims, in December 2006, the archdiocese had a settlement of 45 lawsuits for $60 million.
In September 2007 the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego reached a $198.1 million "agreement with 144 childhood sexual abuse victims."
In July 2008 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver agreed "to pay $5.5 million to settle 18 claims of childhood sexual abuse." The Associated Press estimated that the total from settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950 to 2007 to be more than $2 billion. According to BishopAccountability reports that figure reached more than $3 billion in 2012.
Most sex abuse cases are subject to the laws of each individual state. As of April 2010 many sex abusers associated with the Church in several countries have been tried by secular authorities and some have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.
Addressing "a flood of abuse claims" five dioceses (Tucson, Arizona; Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon.; Davenport, Iowa, and San Diego) got bankruptcy protection. Eight Catholic diocese have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004 to 2011.
According to Donald Cozzens, "by the end of the mid 1990s, it was estimated that [...] more than half a billion dollars had been paid in jury awards, settlements and legal fees." This figure grew to about one billion dollars by 2002. Roman Catholics spent $615 million on sex abuse cases in 2007.
As of March 2006, dioceses in which abuse was committed or in which abuse allegations were settled out of court had made financial settlements with the victims totaling over $1.5 billion. The number and size of these settlements made it necessary for the dioceses to reduce their ordinary operating expenses by closing churches and schools in order to raise the funds to make these payments. Several dioceses chose to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a way to litigate settlements while protecting some church assets to ensure it continues to operate.
In many instances, dioceses were forced to declare bankruptcy as a result of the settlements. At least six U.S. dioceses sought bankruptcy protection. In some cases, the dioceses filed bankruptcy just before civil suits against them were about to go to trial. This had the effect of mandating that pending and future lawsuits be settled in bankruptcy court. The sexual abuse scandal costs each of the 195 dioceses "an average of $300,000 annually."
Resignations, retirements, and laicizations
Some of the accused priests were forced to resign. Some priests whose crimes fell within statutes of limitation are in jail. Some have been laicized. Others — because they are elderly, because of the nature of their offenses, or because they have had some success fighting the charges — cannot be laicized under canon law. Some priests live in retreat houses that are carefully monitored and sometimes locked.
Bernard Francis Law, Cardinal and Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, resigned after Church documents were revealed which suggested he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. On 13 December 2002, Pope John Paul II accepted Law's resignation as Archbishop and reassigned him to an administrative position in the Roman Curia, naming him archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and he later presided at one of the Pope's funeral masses. Law's successor in Boston, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Seán P. O'Malley, found it necessary to sell substantial real estate properties and close a number of churches in order to pay the $120 million in claims against the archdiocese.
Irish government responses
In an address before the Irish parliament on 11 May 1999, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced a comprehensive program to respond to the scandal of abuse in the nation's Catholic-run childcare institutions. Ahern's speech included the first official apology to those who had been abused physically and sexually while they had been in the care of these institutions. The Taoiseach asked the abuse victims for forgiveness, saying: "On behalf of the State and of all citizens of the State, the Government wishes to make a sincere and long overdue apology to the victims of childhood abuse for our collective failure to intervene, to detect their pain, to come to their rescue."
In response to the furor aroused by the media reports of abuse in Irish government institutions run by religious orders, the Irish government commissioned a study which took nine years to complete. On 20 May 2009, the commission released its 2600-page report, which drew on testimony from thousands of former residents and officials from more than 250 institutions. The commission found that there were thousands of allegations of physical abuse of children of both sexes over a period of six decades. Over the same period, around 370 former child residents alleged they had suffered various forms of sexual abuse from religious figures and others. The report revealed that government inspectors had failed in their responsibility to detect and stop the abuse. The report characterized sexual molestation as "endemic" in some church-run industrial schools and orphanages for boys.
In the wake of the broadcast of a BBC Television documentary, Suing the Pope, which highlighted the case of Seán Fortune, one of the most notorious clerical sexual offenders, the Irish government initiated an official inquiry into the allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the Irish Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns. The inquiry resulted in the publication of the Ferns Report in 2005.
In response to the Ferns Report, Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen stated that he was "ashamed by the extent, length, and cruelty" of child abuse, apologized to victims for the government's failure to intervene in endemic sexual abuse and severe beatings in schools for much of the 20th century. Cowen also promised to reform the Ireland's social services for children in line with the recommendations of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse report. Irish President Mary McAleese and Cowen made further motions to start criminal investigation against members of Roman Catholic religious orders in Ireland.
In November 2009, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse reported its findings in which it concluded that:
"the Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State".
In 2009, The Murphy Report is the result of a three-year public inquiry conducted by the Irish government into the Sexual abuse scandal in Dublin archdiocese, released a few months after the report of the Ryan report. The Murphy report stated that, "The Commission has no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities". It found that, "The structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up." Moreover, the report asserted that, "State authorities facilitated that cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes." The report criticized four archbishops – John Charles McQuaid who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell – for not giving allegations and information on abusers to legal authorities.
The responses of the Catholic Church to the sex abuse cases can be viewed on three levels: the diocesan level, the episcopal conference level, and the Vatican. Responses to the scandal proceeded at levels in parallel, with the higher levels becoming progressively more involved as the gravity of the problem became more apparent. For the most part, responding to allegations of sexual abuse in a diocese was left to the jurisdiction of the local bishop or archbishop. According to Thomas Plante, a psychiatrist specializing in abuse counseling and considered an expert on clerical abuse, "unlike most large organizations that maintain a variety of middle management positions, the organizational structure of the Catholic Church is a fairly flat structure. Therefore, prior to the Church clergy abuse crisis in 2002, each bishop decided for himself how to manage these cases and the allegations of child sexual abuse by priests. Some have handled these matters very poorly (as evidenced in Boston) while others have handled these issues very well."
After the number of allegations exploded following the Boston Globe's series of articles, the breadth and depth of the scandals became apparent in dioceses across the United States. The U.S. bishops felt compelled to formulate a coordinated response at the episcopal conference level. Although the Vatican did not respond immediately to the series of articles published by the Boston Globe in 2002, it has been reported that Vatican officials were, in fact, monitoring the situation in the U.S. closely.
John L. Allen, Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, characterized the reaction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as calling for "swift, sure and final punishment for priests who are guilty of this kind of misconduct." In contrast to this, Allen characterized the Vatican's primary concern as wanting to make sure "that everyone's rights are respected, including the rights of accused clergy" and wanting to affirm that it is not acceptable to "remedy the injustice of sexual abuse with the injustice of railroading priests who may or may not be guilty."
According to the John Jay Report, one in four child sex abuse allegations were made within 10 years of the incident. Half were made between 10 and 30 years after the incident and the remaining 25% were reported more than 30 years after the incident. The Report points at: failure by the RCC hierarchy in the United States to grasp the seriousness of the problem, overemphasis on the need to avoid a scandal, use of unqualified treatment centers for clergy removed for rehabilitation, a sort of misguided willingness by bishops to forgive sexual misconduct as a moral failing and not treat it a crime, allowance of recidivism upon reassignment of the priest, and insufficient accountability of the hierarchy for inaction.
Since 2002, a major focus of the lawsuits and media attention has been criticism of the approach taken by bishops when dealing with allegations of sexual abuse by priests. As a general rule, the allegations were not reported to legal authority for investigation and prosecution. Instead, many dioceses directed the offending priests to seek psychiatric treatment and for assessment of the risk of re-offending. In 2004, according to the John Jay report, nearly 40% of accused priests participated in psychiatric treatment programs. The remaining priests did not undergo abuse counseling because allegations of sexual abuse were only made after their death. The more allegations made against a priest, the more likely he was to participate in treatment.
Some bishops repeatedly moved offending priests from parish to parish after abuse counseling, where they still had personal contact with children. According to the USCCB, Catholic bishops in the 1950s and 1960s viewed sexual abuse by priests as "a spiritual problem, one requiring a spiritual solution, i.e. prayer".
However, starting in the 1960s, the bishops came to adopt an emerging view based on the advice of medical personnel who recommended psychiatric and psychological treatment for those who sexually abused minors. This view asserted that with treatment priests who had molested children could safely be placed back into ministry, although perhaps with certain restrictions such as not being in contact with children. This approach viewed pedophilia as an addiction, such as alcoholism which can be treated and restrained.
Some of the North American treatment facilities most frequently used for this purpose included the Saint Luke Institute in Maryland; centers operated by the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, and St. Louis, Missouri; John Vianney Center in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.; the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut; and the Southdown Institute near Toronto, Ontario in Canada. This approach continued into the mid-1980s, a period which the USCCB characterizes as the "tipping point in the understanding of the problem within the church and in society". According to researcher Paul Isley, however, research on priest offenders is virtually nonexistent and the claims of unprecedented treatment success with clergy offenders have not been supported by published data.
The USCCB perceived a lack of adequate procedures for the prevention of sexual abuse of minors, the reporting of allegations of such abuse and the handling of those reports. In response to deficiencies in canonical and secular law, both ecclesiastical and civil authorities have implemented procedures and laws to prevent sexual abuse of minors by clergy and to report and punish it if and when it occurs. In June 2002, the USCCB adopted a zero tolerance policy to future sex abuse that required responding to allegations of sexual abuse. It promulgated a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that pledged the Catholic Church in the U.S. to providing a "safe environment" for all children in Church-sponsored activities.
The Charter instituted reforms to prevent future abuse by requiring background checks for Church employees. The Charter requires dioceses faced with an allegation to alert the authorities, conduct an investigation and remove the accused from duty. A Dallas Morning News article reported nearly two-thirds of the bishops attending the conference had covered for sexually abusive priests. According to Catholic News Service by 2008, the U.S. church had trained "5.8 million children to recognize and report abuse," run criminal checks on volunteers and employees and trained them to create a safe environment for children.
Reception by the laity
A 2006 study by Jesuit Georgetown University Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) found lay Catholics were unaware of the specific steps that the church has decided to take, but 78% strongly approved reporting allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities and 76% strongly approved of removing people credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
In 2005, Kathleen McChesney of the USCCB said "In 2004, at least 1,092 allegations of sexual abuse were made against at least 756 Catholic priests and deacons in the United States. [ ... ] What is over is the denial that this problem exists, and what is over is the reluctance of the Church to deal openly with the public about the nature and extent of the problem."
In early 2009, the sexual impropriety including molesting boys by Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation of pontifical right made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood, was disclosed publicly. In March, the Vatican ordered an apostolic visitation of the sexual abuse scandal in the Legion of Christ. In June 2009 Vatican authorities named five bishops from five different countries, each one in charge of investigating the Legionaries in a particular part of the world.
In June 2001, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Ireland established the Catholic Church Commission on Child Sexual Abuse (Ireland), also known as the Hussey Commission, to investigate how complaints about clerical abuse of minors have been handled over the last three decades.
In February 2002, 18 religious orders agreed to provide more than 128 million euros (approximately $128 million) in compensation to the victims of childhood abuse. Most of the money was raised from church property transfers to the State; in fact the actual value of the settlement is estimated to be about half that, and the Archbisop of Dublin in 2009 accused the orders of falling short even on the amount promised, and said the church's failure to complete transfers of cash, property and land worth at least €128 million over the past seven years "is stunning".
The agreement also stipulated that any victims who accepted monetary settlements would waive their right to sue both the church and the government, and that the identities of the accused abusers was to be kept secret. In 2009 the orders agreed to increase their contribution; it was learned that total compensation paid to victims was about €1.2 billion, so that until then the promised €128 m had been about 10% of the total.
In September 2010 the Vatican announced that it would shortly begin an investigation into how the Irish Catholic Establishment's handling of the sex abuse and subsequent scandal. This enquiry will include consulting groups representing victims. Irish Survivors of Child Abuse (Soca), stated that "Irish Soca and other survivors' groups are excited over the apostolic visitation because it's the end of allowing the Irish hierarchy to handle the scandal and crises on their own."
When sexual scandals involving Catholic priests in the US came to light in 2002, the Philippines media began reporting on abuses by local priests. In July of that year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines apologized for sexual misconduct committed by its priests over the last two decades and committed to drafting guidelines on how to deal with allegations of such offenses. According to Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference, about 200 of the country's 7,000 priests may have committed "sexual misconduct" – including child abuse, homosexuality and affairs – over the past two decades.
In August 2011, activist women's group "Gabriela" assisted a 17-year-old girl in filing sexual abuse allegations against a priest in Butuan province. The bishop of Butuan, Juan de Dios Pueblos, took the priest under his custody without handing him over to civil and church authorities. This behaviour was also heavily criticized by retired Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz, who blamed Pueblos for showing his priests the "wrong way".
In June 2002, the USCCB established the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People", a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The charter includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, reporting, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
The USCCB's National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People now requires dioceses faced with an allegation of child sexual abuse (where the victim is currently a minor) to alert the authorities, conduct an investigation, and (in the case of an admission of guilt or finding of guilt by an appropriate investigation) remove the accused from duty.
The Board also approached John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a descriptive study of the nature and scope of the problem of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as well as the costs to the church of the scandal. Data collection commenced in March 2003, and ended in February 2004. The findings of this study are discussed elsewhere on this page.
The 2001 Lord Nolan recommendations, accepted in full by the bishops, became model guidelines for other bishops' conferences around the world, and a model for other institutions in Britain. One guideline was that in each parish there should be a "safeguarding officer", a lay person who would vet through the Criminal Records Bureau, a government agency, anyone in the parish who had access to young people or vulnerable adults, and would be a contact for anyone with any concerns.
John L. Allen, Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, commented that many American Catholics saw the Vatican's initial silence on the Boston Globe stories as showing a lack of concern or awareness about the issue. However, Allen said that he didn't know anyone in the Roman Curia who was not at least horrified "by the revelations that came out of the Globe and elsewhere" or who would defend "Cardinal Law's handling of the cases in Boston" or "the rather shocking lack of oversight that revealed itself" though "they might have different analyses of what should have happened to him". Allen described the Vatican's perspective as being somewhat skeptical of the media handling of the scandal. In addition, he asserted that the Vatican viewed American cultural attitudes toward sexuality as being somewhat hysterical as well as exhibiting a lack of understanding of the Catholic Church.
No one [in the Vatican] thinks the sexual abuse of kids is unique to the States, but they do think that the reporting on it is uniquely American, fueled by anti-Catholicism and shyster lawyers hustling to tap the deep pockets of the church. And that thinking is tied to the larger perception about American culture, which is that there is a hysteria when it comes to anything sexual, and an incomprehension of the Catholic Church. What that means is that Vatican officials are slower to make the kinds of public statements that most American Catholics want, and when they do make them they are tentative and halfhearted. It's not that they don't feel bad for the victims, but they think the clamor for them to apologize is fed by other factors that they don't want to capitulate to.
According to Allen, cultural differences between the Vatican and American Catholics complicated the process of formulating a comprehensive response to the sexual abuse scandal: "there is a lot about the American culture and the American Church that puzzles people in the Vatican, and there is much about the Vatican that puzzles Americans and English speakers generally."
Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, sent a letter which became known as the Crimen sollicitationis. In this letter, addressed to "all Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries, including those of Eastern Rite", the Holy Office laid down procedures to be followed in dealing with cases of clerics (priests or bishops) of the Catholic Church accused of having used the sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents; its rules were more specific than the generic ones in the Code of Canon Law.
In addition, it instructed that the same procedures be used when dealing with denunciations of homosexual, pedophile or zoophile behaviour by clerics. It repeated the rule that any Catholic who failed for over a month to denounce a priest who had made such advances in connection with confession was automatically excommunicated and could be absolved only after actually denouncing the priest to the Ordinary of the place or to the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office, or at least promising seriously to do so.
The Vatican promulgated a revised Code of Canon Law which included a canon (1395, §2) which explicitly named sex with a minor by clerics as a canonical crime "to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants." According to De delictis gravioribus, the letter sent in May 2001 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI) – Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and according to Father Thomas Patrick Doyle, who has served as an expert witness on Pontifical Canon Law, Crimen Sollicitationis was in force until May 2001.
In April, Pope John Paul II issued a letter stating that "a sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue by a cleric with a minor under 18 years of age is to be considered a grave sin, or 'delictum gravius.'" In the letter, Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments), "§1 Reservation to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is also extended to a delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years. §2 One who has perpetrated the delict mentioned in §1 is to be punished according to the gravity of the offense, not excluding dismissal or deposition." In other words, the CDF was given a broader mandate to address the sex abuse cases only from 2001 – prior to that date, the 1917 Code of Canon Law permitted sexual abuse cases by the clergy to be handled by the Congregation, for the Congregation to open cases itself, or for the Ordinary to handle judgement. All priestly sex crimes cases were placed under the CDF which, in the majority of cases, then recommended immediate action.
The "Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations" explain briefly the procedures which have been derived from the 1983 Code of Canon Law and put in place since 30 April (the same day). Among the points made:
- Every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest is investigated by the local diocese and, if there is even a "semblance of truth" the case is referred to the Vatican CDF. "The local bishop always retains power to protect children by restricting the activities of any priest in his diocese."
- Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.
- The CDF may authorise the local bishop to try the case. If a priest (who has the right of appeal to the CDF) is found guilty, a number of canonical penalties are possible, including dismissal from the clerical state. "The question of damages can also be treated directly during these procedures."
- Some cases can be referred directly to the Pope, who can issue a decree of dismissal from the priesthood ex officio.
- Other disciplinary measures short of dismissal are available where the priest has undertaken to live a life of prayer and penance, but he can be dismissed if he breaks the conditions imposed.
- The CDF continues to update the 2001 law (Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis tutela) in the light of special faculties granted to the CDF by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
The Vatican instituted reforms to prevent future United States abuse by requiring background checks for all church employees who have contact with children. Since then, in the US, over 2 million volunteers and employees; 52,000 clerics; 6,205 candidates for ordination have had their backgrounds evaluated.
In June, the USCCB established the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People", a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. (More details in the Episcopal Responses section above.)
Pope John Paul II stated that "there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young".
In April, the Pontifical Academy for Life organized a three-day conference, entitled "Abuse of Children and Young People by Catholic Priests and Religious", where eight non-Catholic psychiatric experts were invited to speak to near all Vatican dicasteries' representatives. The panel of experts overwhelmingly opposed implementation of policies of "zero-tolerance" such as was proposed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. One expert called such policies a "case of overkill" since they do not permit flexibility to allow for differences among individual cases.
In June, Louisville, Kentucky lawyer William McMurry filed suit against the Vatican on behalf of three men alleging abuse as far back as 1928, accusing church leaders of organizing a cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of children.
In August, Pope Benedict was personally accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas by Juan Carlos Patino-Arango in Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He sought and obtained immunity from prosecution as head of state of the Holy See. The Department of State "recognize[d] and allow[ed] the immunity of Pope Benedict XVI from this suit." See pope#International position for information on head-of-state immunity of a pope.
In November, the Vatican published Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation for Persons with Homosexual Tendencies, issuing new rules which forbid ordination of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies." While the preparation for this document had started ten years before its publication, this instruction is seen as an official answer by the Catholic Church to what was seen as a "pedophile priest" crisis. The US National Review Board cited the preponderance of adolescent males among the victims of clerical sexual abuse of minors in its report. The document was criticized for what some see as its implying that homosexuality is tied to the sexual abuse of children.
Archbishop Csaba Ternyak, secretary of the Congregation for Clergy, put the following question to the experts: "[T]o what degree one can talk about the rehabilitation of the offender, what are the most effective methods of treatment, and on what grounds we can say that a person who has never offended is at risk to sexually molest someone?"
Ternyak spoke about the way that the crisis had damaged the priest-bishop relationship. He noted that there was a "sense of gloom" felt by the overwhelming majority of priests who had not been accused of any abuse but nonetheless who perceived that their bishops had turned against them and therefore had "become disillusioned about the effectiveness of the laws of the Church to defend their dignity and their inalienable rights". Ternyak also noted that "there have been more than a few suicides among accused priests."
In April, during a visit to the United States, Pope Benedict admitted that he was "deeply ashamed" of the clergy sex abuse scandal that has devastated the American church. Benedict pledged that pedophiles would not be priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict also apologized for child abuse scandal in Australia.
In November, the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied the Vatican's claim of sovereign immunity, and allowed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church government by three men who claim they were sexually abused as children by priests in the Louisville, Kentucky, US archdiocese to proceed. The Vatican did not appeal the ruling.
Two researchers reported that abuse cases had "steeply declined" after 1985 and that responses to abuse had changed substantially over 50 years, with suspension becoming more common than reinstatement.
In a statement, read by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 22 September 2009, the Holy See stated that the majority of Catholic clergy who had committed acts of sexual abuse against under-18-year-olds should not be viewed as pedophiles, but as homosexuals who are attracted to sex with adolescent males. The statement said that rather than pedophilia, "it would be more correct to speak of ephebophilia; being a homosexual attraction to adolescent males ... Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."
However, Margaret Smith and Karen Terry, two researchers who worked on the John Jay Report, cautioned against equating the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys with homosexuality, calling it an oversimplification and "an unwarranted conclusion" to assert that the majority of priests who abused male victims are gay. Though "the majority of the abusive acts were homosexual in nature ... participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man." She further stated that "the idea of sexual identity [should] be separated from the problem of sexual abuse... [A]t this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now." Tomasi's move angered many gay rights organisations, who claimed it was an attempt by the Vatican to redefine the Church's past problems with pedophilia as problems with homosexuality.
Empirical research shows that sexual orientation does not affect the likelihood that people will abuse children. Many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.
In April 2010, in response to extensive negative publicity and criticism of the Pope, the Vatican entered what the Associated Press called "full damage control mode". Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, during a visit to Chile, linked the scandal to homosexuality. In response to widespread criticism of that statement, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Bertone's statement went outside the remit of church authorities, while maintaining that "the statement was aimed at 'clarifying' Cardinal Bertone's remarks and should not be seen as the Holy See 'distancing' itself from them." He also noted that 10 per cent of the cases concerned paedophilia in the "strict sense", and the other 90 per cent concerned sex between priests and adolescents. Giovanni Maria Vian, editor of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, said the continuing criticism of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican in handling the clerical sex abuse crisis is part of a media campaign to sell newspapers. The Pope issued a statement that the "Church must do penance for abuse cases".
Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna explained in an interview with the Italian newspaper "Avvenire": "Between 1975 and 1985 I do not believe that any cases of pedophilia committed by priests were brought to the attention of our Congregation. Moreover, following the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, there was a period of uncertainty as to which of the "delicta graviora" were reserved to the competency of this dicastery. Only with the 2001 "Motu Proprio" did the crime of pedophilia again become our exclusive remit... In the years (2001–2010) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) had "considered accusations concerning around three thousand cases of diocesan and religious priests, which refer to crimes committed over the last fifty years."
Pope Benedict issued an apology to those who had suffered from child abuse in Ireland in March 2010. The letter stated that the Pope was "truly sorry" for what they had suffered, and that "nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity violated." Nevertheless, the letter was not enough to satisfy many critics, who felt that the letter failed to address their concerns, and mistakenly presented the abuse as an issue within the Church in Ireland, rather than acknowledging that it was a systemic problem.
In July 2010 the Vatican issued a document to clarify their position. They doubled the length of time after the 18th birthday of the victim that clergymen can be tried in a church court and to streamline the processes for removing pedophile priests. However, the new rules were less strict than those already in place in the United States and lacked the clarity that pedophilia is a civil offense of the existing rules there.
In May, the Vatican published new guidelines, drawn up by Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, on dealing with the clergy sexual abuse cases. The guidelines tell the bishops and heads of Catholic religious orders worldwide to develop "clear and coordinated" procedures for dealing with the sexual abuse allegation by May 2012. The guidelines instruct the bishops to cooperate with the police and respect the relevant local laws in investigating and reporting allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy to the civic authorities, but do not make such reporting mandatory. The guidelines also reinforce bishops' exclusive authority in dealing with abuse cases. Victims advocacy groups criticized the new guidelines as insufficient, arguing that the recommendations do not have the status of church law and do not provide any specific enforcement mechanisms.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (Italian: Pontificia Commissione per la Tutela dei Minori) was instituted by Pope Francis on 22 March 2014 for the safeguarding of minors. It is headed by Boston's cardinal archbishop, Sean P. O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap..
At the beginning of 2018, Francis denied overwhelming reports of widespread sexual abuse by priests in Chile. In the face of the resulting outcry, he introduced an investigation that led to every bishop in Chile submitting his resignation; only a few of these were accepted, however.
At mid-year, amidst a series of abuse scandals in many countries, including the revelation that over a 50-year period, more than 300 priests were plausibly accused of abuse in the state of Pennsylvania alone, Pope Francis spoke of his "shame", without however offering concrete steps to remove abusive priests or sanction those who took part in cover-ups.
Criticisms of church responses
While the church in the United States claims to have addressed the issue, some disagree. Mark Honigsbaum of The Guardian wrote in 2006 that, "despite the National Review Board's own estimates that there have been some 5,000 abusive priests in the US, to date 150 have been successfully prosecuted." Some critics of the church, such as Patrick Wall, attribute this to a lack of cooperation from the church. In California, for example, the archdiocese has sought to block the disclosure of confidential counseling records on two priests, arguing that such action would violate their First Amendment right on religious protection. Paul Lakeland claims Church leaders who enabled abuse were too frequently careless about their own accountability and the accountability of perpetrators.
In 2010, the BBC reported that the latest research by experts indicate that Catholic priests may be no more likely than others to abuse. However, a major cause of the scandal was the cover-ups and other alleged shortcomings in the way the church hierarchy has dealt with the abuses. Particularly, the actions of Catholic bishops in responding to allegations of clerical abuse were harshly criticized.
In September 2010, Pope Benedict XVI lamented that the Roman Catholic Church had not been vigilant enough or quick enough in responding to the problem of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Pope Benedict laicized 400 priests for abuses in two years of his papacy. A representative of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a group representing abuse victims, criticized the pope's remarks as "disingenuous" because, in her opinion, the church had in fact been "prompt and vigilant" in concealing the scandal. After Benedict's resignation in 2013, he was criticized by SNAP for allegedly protecting the church's reputation "over the safety of children." Representatives from the Center for Constitutional Rights (at the time engaged in an International Criminal Court case against Pope Benedict in which they were acting for SNAP), alleged that Pope Benedict had been directly involved in covering up some of the crimes.
The Catholic hierarchy has been criticized for not acting more quickly and decisively to remove, laicize and report priests accused of sexual misconduct. Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said: "We have said repeatedly that ... our understanding of this problem and the way it's dealt with today evolved, and that in those years ago, decades ago, people didn't realize how serious this was, and so, rather than pulling people out of ministry directly and fully, they were moved."
One early opponent of the treatment of sexually abusive priests was Father Gerald Fitzgerald, the founder of The Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete. Although Fitzgerald started the Servants of the Paraclete to assist priests who were struggling with alcohol and substance abuse problems, he soon began receiving priests who had sexually abused minors. Initially, Fitzgerald attempted to treat such priests using the same spiritual methods that he used with his other "guests". However, as he grew convinced of the futility of treating sexually abusive priests, Fitzgerald came to oppose vehemently the return of sexual abusers to duties as parish priests. He wrote regularly to bishops in the United States and to Vatican officials, including the pope, of his opinion that many sexual abusers in the priesthood could not be cured and should be laicizied immediately.
Eventually, Fitzgerald lost control of the Servants of the Paraclete. The center began to employ medical and psychological professionals who added psychiatry and medical treatment to the spiritual regimen of treatment favored by Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald continued to oppose these modifications to his treatment regimen until his death in 1969.
Bishop Manuel D. Moreno of Tucson, Arizona, United States repeatedly attempted to have two local abusive priests laicized and disciplined, pleading unsuccessfully in a letter of April 1997 with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to have one laicized; he was first suspended in 1990 and convicted by the church in 1997 of five crimes, including sexual solicitation in the confessional. The two were finally laicized in 2004. Bishop Moreno had been strongly criticized for failing to take action until details of his efforts became public.
In a The New York Times article, Bishop Blase J. Cupich, chairman of the United States Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, is quoted explaining why Father Fitzgerald's advice "went largely unheeded for 50 years": First, "cases of sexually abusive priests were considered to be rare." Second, Father Fitzgerald's, "views, by and large, were considered bizarre with regard to not treating people medically, but only spiritually, and also segregating a whole population with sexual problems on a deserted island." And finally, "There was mounting evidence in the world of psychology that indicated that when medical treatment is given, these people can, in fact, go back to ministry." This was a view which Cupich characterized as one that "the bishops came to regret."
In 2010 several secular and liberal Catholics were calling for Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, citing the actions of then Cardinal Ratzinger's blocking of efforts to remove a priest convicted of child abuse. The pope did eventually resign in 2013, although he said that he did so because of his declining health.
In 2012, Monsignor William Lynn became the first United States church official to be convicted of child endangerment because of his part in covering up child sex abuse allegations by clergy. Lynn was responsible for making recommendations as to the assignment of clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was found guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of a child. On 24 July 2012, Lynn was sentenced to three to six years in prison.
For secrecy among bishops
As reported by the Boston Globe, some bishops had facilitated compensation payments to victims on condition that the allegations remained secret. For example, according to the Boston Globe, the Archdiocese of Boston secretly settled child sexual abuse claims against at least 70 priests from 1992 to 2002.
In November 2009, the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse reported its findings in which it concluded that:
"the Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State".
In April 2010, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins wanted to prosecute the Pope for crimes against humanity due to what they see as his role in intentionally covering up abuse by priests. In a CNN interview a few days later, however, Dawkins declined to discuss the international crime law court's definition of crimes against humanity, saying it is a difficult legal question. In April 2010, a lawsuit was filed in the Milwaukee Federal Court by an anonymous "John Doe 16" against the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI. The plaintiff accused Ratzinger and others of having covered up abuse cases to avoid scandal to the detriment of the concerned children. In February 2011, two German lawyers initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court. As one of the reasons for the charges they referred also to the "strong suspicion" that Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, covered up the sexual abuse of children and youths and protected the perpetrators.
In the trial of the French bishop Pierre Pican, who received a suspended jail sentence for failing to denounce an abusive priest, the retired Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos wrote a letter to support Pican in his decision. Exposed to heavy critiques, Hoyos claimed to have had the approval of Pope John Paul II.
In 2011 Hoyos was heavily criticized again. This time the Congregation for the Clergy was blamed of having opposed in 1997 to the newly adapted rules of the Irish bishops, demanding the denouncement of every abusive priest to the police. The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin described the cooperation with the Congregation for the Clergy as "disastrous".
For Vatican statements denying canonical competence
|Part of a series on the|
Catholic canon law
A Vatican spokesman stated, "When individual institutions of national churches are implicated, that does not regard the competence of the Holy See...The competence of the Holy See is at the level of the Holy See."
Citing canons 331 and 333 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, James Carroll of The Boston Globe asserted that "On the question of how far papal authority extends, the canon law of the Catholic Church could not be clearer" and alleges that the Holy See's denial of competency contravenes canon law. Canon 331 states that "The vicar of Christ.. . possesses full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely", and canon 333 states that "...By virtue of his office, the Roman pontiff not only possesses power over the universal church, but also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular churches and groups of them."
Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's ambassador to the U.N. stated that the Vatican was not responsible for abusive priests because "priests are citizens of their own states, and they fall under the jurisdiction of their own country" but the United Nations report differed claiming that since priests are "bound by obedience to the pope" under canon law, then the Holy See is accountable. The report also urged the Vatican to insist that priests and bishops involve the police in all abuse reports and end a "code of silence" leading to whistleblowers being "ostracized, demoted and fired."
For lack of transparency in Vatican proceedings
To place the cases under the competence of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been criticized by some as making the process more secretive and lengthening the time required to address the allegations. For example, in his biography of John Paul II, David Yallop asserts that the backlog of referrals to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for action against sexually abusive priests is so large that it takes 18 months to merely get a reply.
Vatican officials have expressed concern that the church's insistence on confidentiality in its treatment of priestly sexual abuse cases was seen as a ban on reporting serious accusations to the civil authorities. Early in 2010 Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the head of the Congregation for Clergy, finally said that instances of sexual abuse by priests were "criminal facts" as well as serious sins and required co-operation with the civil justice system. Italian academic Lucetta Scaraffia described the conspiracy involved in hiding the offense as omerta, the Mafia code of silence, and said that "We can hypothesise that a greater female presence, not at a subordinate level, would have been able to rip the veil of masculine secrecy that in the past often covered the denunciation of these misdeeds with silence".
Some parties have interpreted the Crimen sollicitationis – a 1962 document ("Instruction") of the Holy Office (which is now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) codifying procedures to be followed in cases of priests or bishops of the Catholic Church accused of having used the sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents – as a directive from the Vatican to keep all allegations of sexual abuse secret, leading to widespread media coverage of its contents. Lawyers for some of those making abuse allegations claimed that the document demonstrated a systematic conspiracy to conceal such crimes. The Vatican responded that the document was not only widely misinterpreted, but moreover had been superseded by more recent guidelines in the 1960s and 1970s, and especially the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
For failure to prevent further abuse
Mary Dispenza states further that crimes against children took place in the past, take place now and will continue in the future unless Pope Francis and the bishops act decisively to ensure that child safety has higher priority than protecting priests and the image of the Catholic Church.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, in early 2014, issued a report asserting that the pope and the Roman Catholic Church have not done enough and protect their reputation rather than protect children. The panel of the committee wants all known or suspected child molesters removed, archives on abusers and Bishops who covered up abuse opened, and instances of abuse handed to law enforcement agencies to be investigated and prosecuted. A joint statement of the panel said,
The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators
Due to a code of silence imposed on all members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication, cases of child sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement authorities in the countries where such crimes occurred.
Committee chair, Kirsten Sandberg enumerated some major findings, that pedophile priests were sent to new parishes or other countries without police being informed, that the Vatican never insisted on bishops reporting abuse to police, and that known abusers still have access to children. Barbara Blaine of SNAP said,
This report gives hope to the hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex abuse victims across the world. Now it's up to secular officials to follow the U.N.'s lead and step in to safeguard the vulnerable because Catholic officials are either incapable or unwilling to do so.
The UN report prompted discussions of specific areas of controversy, including secrecy among bishops and Vatican statements denying responsibility which in canon law they have.
British author and Catholic social activist Paul Vallely wrote that he felt the UN report had been hurt by the Commission having gone well beyond the issue of child abuse to issues such as contraception. However, he also felt the report did bring important pressure on the Vatican on important issues like reporting cases to police.
The media coverage of Catholic sex abuse cases is a major aspect of the academic literature surrounding the pederastic priest scandal.
In 2002 the discovery that the sex abuse by Catholic priests was widespread in the U.S. received significant media coverage. For the first 100 days The New York Times had 225 pieces, including news and commentary, and the story appeared on its front page on 26 occasions.
Commentator Tom Hoopes wrote that:
during the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government’s discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools.
Walter V. Robinson, an American journalist and journalism professor, led the Boston Globe's coverage of the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases, for which the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Robinson was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Investigative Reporting in 2007.
A The Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll found that 64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests "frequently" abused children; however, there is no data that indicates that priests commit abuse more often than the general population of males.
BBC documentary in 2006
Produced by a victim of clerical sex abuse for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2006, the documentary Sex Crimes and the Vatican included the claim that all allegations of sex abuse are to be sent to the Vatican rather than the civil authorities, and that "a secret church decree called 'Crimen sollicitationis' ... imposes the strictest oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation, and any witnesses. Breaking that oath means instant banishment from the Catholic Church – excommunication." The documentary quoted the 2005 Ferns Report: "A culture of secrecy and fear of scandal that led bishops to place the interests of the Catholic Church ahead of the safety of children".
Canon lawyer Thomas Doyle, who was included in the documentary as supporting the picture that it presented, later wrote with regard to the 1962 Crimen sollicitations and the 2001 De delictis gravioribus as well as the Church's formal investigation into charges of abuse: "There is no basis to assume that the Holy See envisioned this process to be a substitute for any secular legal process, criminal or civil. It is also incorrect to assume, as some have unfortunately done, that these two Vatican documents are proof of a conspiracy to hide sexually abusive priests or to prevent the disclosure of sexual crimes committed by clerics to secular authorities." However, two years later in 2008 Doyle said of attempts to reform the Catholic Church that it was like "trudging through what can best be described as a swamp of toxic waste".
The Church was reluctant to provide to the civil authorities information about the Church's own investigations into charges. In the BBC documentary, Rick Romley, a district attorney who initiated an investigation of the Diocese of Phoenix, stated that "the secrecy, the obstruction I saw during my investigation was unparalleled in my entire career as a DA...it was so difficult to obtain any information from the Church at all." He reported archives of documents and incriminating evidence pertaining to sex abuse that were kept from the authorities, which under the law could not be subpoenaed. "The Church fails to acknowledge such a serious problem but more than that, it is not a passiveness but an openly obstructive way of not allowing authorities to try to stop the abuse within the Church. They fought us every step of the way."
Debate over causes
There have been many debates over the causes of sex abuse cases.
The 2004 John Jay Report, a report commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated "the problem was largely the result of poor seminary training and insufficient emotional support for men ordained in the 1940s and 1950s." A report by the National Review Board issued simultaneously with the John Jay Report pointed to two major deficiencies on the part of seminaries: failure to screen candidates adequately, followed by failure to "form" these candidates appropriately for the challenges of celibacy. These themes are taken up by a recent memoir by Vincent J. Miles that combines a first-hand account of his life in a minor seminary during the 1960s with a review of the scientific literature about sexually abusive behavior. Miles identifies specific aspects of seminary life that could have predisposed future priests to engage in such behavior.
Impact of psychology from previous decades
Some bishops and psychiatrists have asserted that the prevailing psychology of the times suggested that people could be cured of such behavior through counseling. Thomas Plante, a psychiatrist specializing in abuse counseling and considered an expert on clerical abuse, states "the vast majority of the research on sexual abuse of minors didn't emerge until the early 1980s. So, it appeared reasonable at the time to treat these men and then return them to their priestly duties. In hindsight, this was a tragic mistake."
Robert S. Bennett, the Roman Catholic Washington attorney who headed the National Review Board's research committee, identified "too much faith in psychiatrists" as one of the key problems concerning Catholic sex abuse cases. About 40% of the abusive priests had received counseling before being reassigned.
Pedophilia and ephebophilia
In Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, Cimbolic & Cartor (2006) noted that because of the large share of post-pubescent male minors among cleric victims there is need to further study the differential variables related to ephebophilia (sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19) versus pedophilia (sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally those 13 years of age or younger) offenders. Cartor, Cimbolic & Tallon (2008) found that 6 percent of the cleric offenders in the John Jay Report are pedophiles, 32 percent ephebophiles, 15 percent 11 and 12 year olds only (both male and female), 20 percent indiscriminate, and 27 percent mildly indiscriminate.
They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups. They reported that there may be "another group of offenders who are more indiscriminate in victim choice and represent a more heterogeneous, but still a distinct offender category" and suggested further research to determine "specific variables that are unique to this group and can differentiate these offenders from pedophile and ephebophile offenders" so as to improve the identification and treatment of both offenders and victims.
All victims in the John Jay report were minors. Using a non-standard definition of "pre-pubescent", the Causes and Context Study of the John Jay College estimated that only a small percentage of offender priests were true pedophiles. The study classified victims as pre-pubescent if they were age 10 or younger, whereas the age bracket specified in the current guidelines issued by the American Psychiatric Association is "generally age 13 or younger". A recent book estimates that if the latter definition were used instead of the former, the percentage of victims classified as prepubescent would have been 54% rather than the 18% figure cited by the Causes and Context report, and that a higher percentage of priests would therefore have been classified as pedophiles. The same book also points out that with the pending new definition of "pedohebephilic disorder" in DSM-5, an even higher percentage of victims would fall into a category consistent with their abusers having a recognized psychosexual disorder.
Statement of Pope Francis
In July 2014, Pope Francis was quoted as having said in an interview that about 8,000 Catholic clergy (2% of the total), including bishops and cardinals, were pedophiles. The Vatican indicated the interview had not been recorded nor notes taken during it and that quotes may have been misattributed in a deliberate attempt to manipulate readers. They stated that Pope Francis had not indicated that any cardinal abusers remained in their position.
Gay priests and homosexuality
According to the John-Jay-Report, 80.9% of the abuse victims in the United States were male; and a study by Dr. Thomas Plante found the number may be as high as 90%. A number of books, such as "The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church", have argued that homosexual priests view sex with minors as a "rite of passage" for altar boys and other pre-adult males. William Donohue of the Catholic League argued that the Church's pedophile problem was really a "homosexual crisis", which some have dismissed as unwarranted by arguing that there's a lack of correlation between a man identifying as homosexual and any particular likelihood he will abuse children. In the United States Father Cozzens quoted figures from 23 percent to 58 percent of homosexual priests, with a higher percentage among younger priests. On the other hand, research on pedophilia in general shows a majority of abusers identify themselves as heterosexual, and the Causes and Context Study of the John Jay Institute found no statistical support for linking homosexual identity and sexual abuse of minors. Additionally The New York Times reported "the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving the church."
Opinion seems divided on whether there is any definite link or connection between the Roman Catholic institution of celibacy and incidences of child abuse by Catholic clergy.
A 2005 article in the conservative Irish weekly the Western People proposed that clerical celibacy contributed to the abuse problem by suggesting that the institution of celibacy has created a "morally superior" status that is easily misapplied by abusive priests: "The Irish Church's prospect of a recovery is zero for as long as bishops continue blindly to toe the Vatican line of Pope Benedict XVI that a male celibate priesthood is morally superior to other sections of society." Christoph Schönborn and Hans Küng have also said that priestly celibacy could be one of the causes of the sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church.
Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said, "We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else. I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others." Philip Jenkins, a long-time Catholic turned Episcopalian, asserts that his "research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination—or indeed, than non-clergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported."
Male culture of the church
Italian academic Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in L'Osservatore Romano that a greater presence of women in the Vatican could have prevented clerical sexual abuse from taking place.
This view has been challenged and severely criticized by several scholars for denying the cases of nuns implicated in sexual abuse and pedophilia. In 1986, a history scholar from Stanford University, recovered archival information about investigations from 1619 to 1623 involving nuns in Vellano, Italy, secretly exploiting illiterate nuns for several years. In 1998, a religious research national survey on revealed a very high number of nuns reporting childhood victimizations of sexual abuse by other nuns. It was further noted that the majority of nun-abuse victims are of the same sex. In 2002, Markham examined the sexual histories of nuns to find several cases of nuns sexually abusing children.
It has been argued that a shortage of priests caused the Roman Catholic hierarchy to act in such a way to preserve the number of clergy and ensure that sufficient numbers were available to serve their congregations despite serious allegations that some of these priests were unfit for duty. Others disagree and assert that the Church hierarchy's mishandling of the sex abuse cases merely reflected their prevailing attitude at the time towards any illegal or immoral activity by clergy.
Purported declining standards in prevailing culture
In The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church, author George Weigel claims that it was the infidelity to orthodox Roman Catholic teaching, the "culture of dissent" of priests, women religious, bishops, theologians, catechists, Church bureaucrats, and activists who "believed that what the Church proposed as true was actually false" was mainly responsible for the sexual abuse of parishioners' children by their priests. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington, blamed the declining morals of the late 20th century as a cause of the high number of child molestations by priests.
The hypothesis that a purported decline in general moral standards was associated with an increase in abuse by clergy was promoted by a study by John Jay College funded by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The study claimed that the liberal 1960s caused the increase in abuse, and the conservative Reagan years led to its decline. The study was branded the 'Woodstock Defence' by critics who said that the study's own figures showed a surge in abuse reported from the 1950s, and the passage of time meant that reports of abuse from earlier decades were unlikely.
Many popular culture representations have been made of the sex abuse of children cases. Some are first person like Sex crimes and the Vatican (2006) is a documentary film by Colm O'Gorman, who was raped by a Catholic priest in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford in Ireland when he was 14 years old.
A number of books have been written about the abuse suffered from priests and nuns, including Andrew Madden's Altar Boy: A Story of Life After Abuse, Carolyn Lehman's Strong at the Heart: How it Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse, Larry Kelly's The Pigeon House which deals with abuse in the Pigeon House TB Sanatorium at Ringsend, and Kathy O'Beirne's bestseller Kathy's Story which details physical and sexual abuse suffered in a Magdalene laundry in Ireland. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ed West has asserted that Kathy Beirne's story is "largely invented" according to Kathy's Real Story, a book by Hermann Kelly, a Derry born journalist on the Irish Daily Mail and former editor of The Irish Catholic.
Films and documentaries
The Magdalene laundries caught the public's attention in the late 1990s as claims of widespread abuse from some former inmates gathered momentum and were made the subject a controversial film called The Magdalene Sisters (2002). In 2006, a documentary called Deliver Us From Evil was made about sexual abuse and primarily focused on one priest and his crimes; it also showed the lengths that some clergy would go to in order to cover up the many reports of sexual abuse.
Several other films have been made about sex abuse within the Church, including:
- Judgment (1990)
- The Boys of St. Vincent (1992)
- Primal Fear (1996)
- Suing the Pope (2002), BBC documentary by Colm O'Gorman
- Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)
- Bad Education (2004), film by Pedro Almodóvar.
- Twist of Faith (2004), an HBO film
- Holy Water-Gate (2004), documentary
- Our Fathers (2005), a Showtime movie based on the book by David France
- Deliver Us from Evil (2006), directed by Amy Berg and produced by Berg and Frank Donner
- Hand of God (2006), documentary filmed for Frontline
- Sex Crimes and the Vatican (2006), documentary filmed for the BBC Panorama Documentary Series that purports to show how the Vatican has used Crimen sollicitationis to silence allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
- Doubt (2008), based on the eponymous play
- What the Pope Knew, 2010 Panorama (BBC) episode
- Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, 2012 HBO film
- Calvary, 2014 Irish drama
- Obediencia Perfecta, 2014 film
- Ray Donovan Showtime TV Series (2013)
- Spotlight (2015)
- The Keepers (2017), American documentary web series that was released on Netflix
In 2005, Limp Bizkit released the album The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1), which focuses on dark lyrical subject matter, including Catholic sex abuse cases, terrorism and fame. Comedian Tim Minchin has the songs "The Pope Song", and "Come Home (Cardinal Pell)".
- In Ireland, a 2009 report (see Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse) covered cases during a span of six decades (from the 1950s), noting "endemic" sexual abuse in Catholic boys' institutions, with church leaders aware of the abuse, and government inspectors failing to "stop beatings, rapes and humiliation."("Police examine sex abuse report: The commission's report on church abuse ran to five volumes Police in the Irish Republic are examining if criminal charges can be brought over a damning report on child sex abuse at Catholic institutions". BBC News. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2012.)
- In Australia, according to Broken Rites, a support and advocacy group for church-related sex abuse victims, as of 2011 there were over one hundred cases in which Catholic priests were charged for child sex offenses.("Black Collar Crime in Australia". Broken Rites. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.)(Campbell, James (29 August 2010). "Church must face scrutiny for child sex abuse". Sunday Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011.) A 2012 police report detailed 40 suicide deaths directly related to abuse by Catholic clergy in the state of Victoria.(Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker and Jane Lee. Church's suicide victims. Canberra Times 13 April 2012. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/churchs-suicide-victims-20120412-1wwox.html accessed 2 July 2012)
- Of the Catholic sexual abuse cases in Latin America, the most famous is arguably of the sexual scandal of Father Marcial Maciel, the leader of the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation of pontifical right made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood.("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-27.) This occurred after the Legion spent more than a decade denying allegations and criticizing the victims who claimed abuse.("Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican" | work=National Catholic Reporter)
- In Tanzania, Father Kit Cunningham, together with three other priests, was exposed as a pedophile after his death.
- "Abused: Breaking the Silence (2011) : Documentary". Digiguide.tv. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Stanford, Peter (19 June 2011). "He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile". The Guardian. London.
- Mary Kenny (20 June 2011). "Devastation and disbelief when abuse case hits close to home – Analysis, Opinion". Independent.ie. Retrieved 13 December 2011.)("Abused: Breaking the Silence". BBC. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.) The abuse took place in the 1960s but was not revealed until 2011, largely through a BBC documentary.
- "Fr Kit Cunningham's paedophile past: heads should roll after the Rosminian order's disgraceful cover-up". The Daily Telegraph. London. 21 June 2011.
- "Rosminian order admits 'inadequate' response to abuse". Catholicherald.co.uk. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Crace, John (22 June 2011). "TV review: Abused: Breaking the Silence; Submarine School". The Guardian. London.
- "Why didn't the Rosminian order tell us the truth about Fr Kit?". Catholicherald.co.uk. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "TV review: Abused: Breaking the Silence; Submarine School – UKPlurk". Entertainment.ukplurk.com. 21 June 2011. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Former 1950s students to sue Catholic order over abuse". BBC News. 23 June 2011.
- In July 2003 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville paid $25.7 million to "settle child sexual-abuse allegations made in 240 lawsuits naming 34 priests and other church workers."(Smith, Peter (11 June 2003). "Archdiocese to Pay Victims $25.7 Million for Sex Abuse: Louisville Settlement 2nd largest in U.S." The Courier-Journal. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.) In 2003, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston settled a large case for $85 million with 552 alleged victims.(Gilgoff, Dan (14 September 2003). "A Settlement in Boston: The Archdiocese Agrees to a record $85 Million. Will Others Follow?". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.) In 2004, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange settled nearly 90 cases for $100 million.("Diocese of Orange settles clergy abuse case". Associated Press/Casa Grande Dispatch. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.) In April 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon agreed to a $75 million settlement with 177 claimants and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle agreed to a $48 million settlement with more than 160 victims.(Langlois, Ed; Robert Pfohman (19 April 2007). "Portland Archdiocese ends bankruptcy with $75 million settlement". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2012.) In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a $660 million agreement with more than 500 alleged victims, in December 2006, the archdiocese had a settlement of 45 lawsuits for $60 million.(Wooden, Cindy; Ellie Hidalgo (2007). "L.A. Archdiocese reaches agreement with more than 500 abuse claimants". Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 27 June 2012.)("L.A. Archdiocese to settle suits for $660 million: Settlement represents Church's largest payout in sexual abuse scandal". MSNBC. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2012.) In September 2007, the Diocese of San Diego reached a $198.1 million agreement with 144 victims of childhood sexual abuse.(Martinez, Angelica; Karen Kucher (7 September 2007). "San Diego priest abuse claims settled". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 29 June 2012.) In July 2008 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver agreed "to pay $5.5 million to settle 18 claims of childhood sexual abuse."(Richardson, Valerie (2 July 2008). "Denver Archdiocese Settles 18 Sex-Abuse Cases". The Washington Times. Retrieved 29 June 2012.)
- Tara Isabella Burton, New Catholic sex abuse allegations show how long justice can take in a 16-year scandal, Vox, August 20, 2018
- "Hundreds of priests shuffled worldwide, despite abuse allegations". USA Today. Associated Press. 20 June 2004.
- Stephens, Scott (27 May 2011). "Catholic sexual abuse study greeted with incurious contempt". ABC Religion and Ethics. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Lattin, Don (17 July 1998). "$30 Million Awarded Men Molested by `Family Priest' / 3 bishops accused of Stockton coverup". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
Attorney Jeff Anderson said the Howard brothers were repeatedly molested between 1978 and 1991, from age 3 to 13.
Reverend Oliver O'Grady later confessed to the abuse of many other children. The documentary Deliver Us from Evil explored his story and the cover-up by Diocesan officials.
- Bush R. & Wardell H.S. 1900, Stoke Industrial School, Nelson (Report of Royal Commission On, Together With Correspondence, Evidence and Appendix) Government Printer; Wellington, 8.
- Bruni, Frank (2002). A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse, and the Catholic Church. HarperCollins. ISBN 0060522321.
- "Sex abuse victim accuses Catholic church of fraud". USA Today. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- MOORE, Chris, "Betrayal of Trust: The Father Brendan Smyth Affair and the Catholic Church"; Marino 1995, ISBN 1-86023-027-X; the producer's book about the programme's content
- "The Pope Meets the Press: Media Coverage of the Clergy Abuse Scandal". Pew Research Center. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- William Wan (11 June 2010). "Study looks at media coverage of Catholic sex abuse scandal". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Lewis, Aidan (4 May 2010). "Looking behind the Catholic sex abuse scandal". BBC News. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Paulson, Michael (8 April 2002). "World doesn't share US view of scandal: Clergy sexual abuse reaches far, receives an uneven focus". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- This may be due in part to the more hierarchical structure of the Church in Third World countries, the "psychological health" of clergy in those regions, and because third world media, legal systems and public culture are not as apt to thoroughly discuss sexual abuse.
- Butt, Riazat; Asthana, Anushka (28 September 2009). "Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Pope sends first e-mail apology; http://news.bbc.co.uk; 23 Nov 2001
- Pope Deeply Sorry for Child Abuse; www.abc.net.au; 19 July 2008
- Pope's Apology: 'You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry'; The Telegraph; 20 Mar 2010
- Pope Francis accuses Chilean church sexual abuse victims of slander, The Guardian, January 19, 2018
- Pope admits ‘grave error,’ apologizes for not believing Chilean sex abuse victims Washington Post, April 12, 2018
- NPR, Pope Francis Expresses 'Shame And Sorrow' Over Pennsylvania Abuse Allegations, August 16, 2018
- Pope Francis Pens Scathing Response To Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal, AP, Huffington Post August 20, 2018
- "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup". Boston.com. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "'Exile' for disgraced Austrian cardinal". BBC News. 14 April 1998. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "Sex-abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia". Brokenrites.alphalink.com.au. Archived from the original on 22 April 2001. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Irish church knew abuse 'endemic'". BBC News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- Garrett, Paul Michael. "A 'Catastrophic, Inept, Self-Serving' Church? Re-examining Three Reports on Child Abuse in the Republic of Ireland," Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 24, Issue 1 (2013):43–65
- "Police examine sex abuse report". BBC News. 25 May 2009.
- "Black Collar Crime in Australia". Broken Rites. 28 August 2011. Archived from the original on 22 April 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Campbell, James (29 August 2010). "Church must face scrutiny for child sex abuse". Sunday Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker and Jane Lee. Church's suicide victims. Canberra Times 13 April 2012. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/churchs-suicide-victims-20120412-1wwox.html accessed 2 July 2012
- Bianca Hall and Judith Ireland, "Sex Abuse Victims May Get Payouts", Sydney Morning Herald 12 January 2013, p. 1.
- "COMMUNIQUE – Legion of Christ". legionariesofchrist.org. Archived from the original on 8 April 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican". ncronline.org.
*"Abused: Breaking the Silence (2011) : Documentary". Digiguide.tv. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
* Stanford, Peter (19 June 2011). "He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile". The Guardian. London.
* Christmas Shopping (20 June 2011). "Mary Kenny: Devastation and disbelief when abuse case hits close to home – Analysis, Opinion". Independent.ie. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "One Programmes – Abused: Breaking the Silence". BBC. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
* "Fr Kit Cunningham's paedophile past: heads should roll after the Rosminian order's disgraceful cover-up". The Daily Telegraph. London. 21 June 2011.
- "Former 1950s students to sue Catholic order over abuse". BBC News. 23 June 2011.
- "Philippines Church apologises for sex abuse". BBC News. 8 July 2002. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- John Hooper and Haroon Siddique (15 July 2010). "Catholics angry as church puts female ordination on par with sex abuse". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Tone-Deaf in Rome". The New York Times. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- Robert Marquand (16 July 2010). "Vatican stirs storm on women priests in clarifying law on clergy abuse". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS IN THE UNITED STATES 1950–2002 (PDF). John Jay School of Criminal Justice. 2004.
- Plante, Thomas, "A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse", San Jose Mercury News, 24 March 2002 (updated online version)
- Plante, Thomas G. and Courtney Daniels. "The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church: What Psychologists and Counselors Should Know" (PDF). Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 5, May 2004. Springer Publishing. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2011.
- "Mean Men: The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else". Newsweek. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- Gray, Mark M. "The Impact of Religious Switching and Secularization on the estimated size of the U.S. Adult Catholic Population". Article 49.4(2008)457–460.
- Paulson, Michael (8 April 2002). "World doesn't share US view of scandal". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- McVeigh, Karen (13 September 2011). "Pope accused of crimes against humanity by victims of sex abuse". The Guardian. London.
- "Why the ICC likely won't charge pope over Catholic Church sex abuses". The Christian Science Monitor. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
- Zoll, Rachel (31 March 2009). "Letters: Catholic bishops warned in '50s of abusive priests". USA Today. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Paul Kennedy (30 June 2017). "George Pell's charging and what it means for the Catholic Church in Australia". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- Drape, Julian (13 November 2012). "Abuse inquiry to run 'as long as it takes'". The Australian. AAP. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- "Cardinal Welcomes Royal Commission". Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Eoin Blackwell, 7 Percent Of All Catholic Priests Were Alleged Sex Abuse Perpetrators: Royal Commission, Huffington Post, June 2, 2017
- Press, Australian Associated (16 February 2017). "Australian Catholic church has paid $276m to abuse victims so far, inquiry shows". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Worst Catholic groups for child sex abuse claims in Australia revealed". Abc.net.au. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Neuman, Scott (15 December 2017). "Catholic Church Singled Out In Australian Sex Abuse Report". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Towards Healing". Professional Standards Office. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. 1996. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- Pope John Paul II (22 November 2001). "Ecclesia in Oceania". Apostolic exhortation. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- Totaro, Paola; Gibson, Joel (21 July 2008). "Pope meets abuse victims". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP.
- McCarthy, Joanne (30 June 2017). "Joanne McCarthy: A 'momentous day' as George Pell now has a case to answer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Younger, Emma (1 May 2018). "Cardinal George Pell pleads not guilty to historical sexual offence charges after being committed to stand trial". ABC News.
- Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson to resign if appeal is unsuccessful; www.sbs.com.au; 4 July 2018
- "betroffen.at". betroffen.at.
- Schwärzler, Philipp (24 November 2010). "Abused, Ignored, Slandered: Victims of Church-related Violence" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Castle, Stephen (25 June 2010). "Belgian Catholic Church Offices Raided in Abuse Inquiry". The New York Times.
- "Vatican 'indignant' over Belgium police raids". BBC News Online. BBC. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
- "Belgian church abuse raids ruled illegal". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Sexual abuse by Catholic clergy – The Canadian situation". Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- "2004 CanLII 66324 (ON SC)". CanLII. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Sims, Jane (2006). "'Guilty' 47 times- Rev. Charles Sylvestre admits to decades of sexual abuse involving 47 girls – many still suffering". The London Free Press.
- The Fifth Estate, CBC. "The Good Father". CBC News. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Pope apologizes to sex abuse victims, defends accused Chilean bishop". www.catholicnews.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
- Lies, William Matthew. "Counting sheep: Religious socialization, competition and Chilean politics". UMI – via ProQuest.
- "Chile controversy contrasts with image of Pope Francis as a leveler". National Catholic Reporter. 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
- "Chilean abuse victims praise personal meetings with Pope Francis". America Magazine. 2018-04-30. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
- "CNS STORY: Vatican laicizes former nuncio in connection to abuse alle…". Catholicnews.com. 26 August 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Payne, Ed; Messia, Hada (2015-08-28), Greene, Richard, "Vatican official accused of child porn, pedophilia dies", Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting Systems, retrieved 2015-08-29
- "Sex abuse claim against Guam church brings total lawsuits to 157". Radio New Zealand. 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
- "Kerala church priest, accused of raping nine-year-old, arrested". indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- "Priest Charged with Raping Minor". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- "Why has South India's Catholic Church re-inducted a convicted child molester priest?". Thenewsminute.com. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "In Ooty, A Lawsuit From US Over Priest Convicted Of Child Sex Abuse". Ndtv.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Ooty diocese shelters priest facing sexual abuse charges". Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Priest accused of child abuse in US is in Ooty diocese". Indianexpress.com. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Indian bishop lifts convicted priest's suspension". Ucanews.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Kerala priest held for rape of minor who gave birth". Indianexpress.com. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Priest 'rapes 15-year-old girl' and church blames 'consumerism'". Independent.co.uk. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Pope: Irish clergy child sex abuse a 'mystery'". New Zealand Herald. 18 June 2012. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Bishops accused in college sex row". Independent.ie. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04.
- Irish News. "Fr Brendan Smyth". Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
- Archived 23 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Timeline: 85 priests were accused of abuse". Bbc.co.uk. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Timeline: National Board for Safeguarding Children". www.safeguarding.ie. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Henry McDonald. "Sisters of Nazareth become second Catholic order to admit to child abuse". the Guardian.
- "Rubane House 'like Hell upon Earth' for 69-year-old branded a liar for reporting his abuse as boy". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.
- "'Catalogue of failures' over Kincora abuse". Rte.ie. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "'No credible evidence' of paedophile ring at Kincora Boys' Home". Itv.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "'Widespread abuse' in children's homes". Bbc.com. 29 October 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- correspondent, Henry McDonald Ireland (20 January 2017). "Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry singles out police and church". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Norwegian bishop who resigned in 2009 was abuser". Reuters. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
- Jan Cienski (11 October 2013). "Polish Catholic Church rocked by sex abuse scandal". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
The Church faces compensation claims from victims, the first of which is now in the Polish courts. While the Church is resisting demands to pay out, the claims underline the erosion of deference once afforded to the institution.
- Matthew Day (11 July 2014). "Polish Catholics in decline". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
But Poland's Catholic Church has endured a torrid tame of late. A succession of child sex abuse scandals, and the Church's apparently clumsy response to the scandals, have shredded its once revered reputation, and put it on the defensive.
- "Marcin Przeciszewski: pedofilia w Kościele ma charakter marginalny – Wiadomości". wiadomosci.onet.pl. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Bp Dydycz w liście do wiernych o pedofilii i tajemnicy spowiedzi. 'Nie można naciskać na duchownych'". wiadomosci.gazeta.pl. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Jeden ksiądz na półtora tysięcy skazanych – gdzie ta pedofilia w kościele? – blogAID – NaszDziennik". naszdziennik.pl. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Timeline – US Church sex scandal". BBC News. 7 September 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- Schaffer, Michael D. (25 June 2012). "Sex-abuse crisis is a watershed in the Roman Catholic Church's history in America". The Iquirer. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Smith, Peter (11 June 2003). "Archdiocese to Pay Victims $25.7 Million for Sex Abuse: Louisville Settlement 2nd largest in U.S." The Courier-Journal. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "L.A. Archdiocese to settle suits for $660 million: Settlement represents Church's largest payout in sexual abuse scandal". MSNBC. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- Tucson Diocese emerges from Chapter 11 protection
- "US Church offers abuse settlement". BBC News. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Iowa Diocese Files For Bankruptcy". CBS News. 10 October 2006.
- Radio Iowa: Judge throws out Iowa City Regina priest suit Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro – S.D. Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy Archived 5 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Diocese of Wilmington reluctantly files for bankruptcy". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Filing Halts Abuse Trial", Baltimore Sun. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Urbina, Ian (20 October 2009). "Delaware Diocese Files for Bankruptcy in Wake of Abuse Suits". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Ramde, Dinesh (4 January 2011). "Milwaukee archdiocese to seek bankruptcy protection in wake of pending sexual-abuse lawsuits". Minneapolis StarTribune. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Sex Abuse Crisis: Sex abuse sparks program". Natcath.org. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- Pedophiles and priests: anatomy of a ... – Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 15 April 2001. ISBN 978-0-19-514597-7. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "What Percentage Of Priests Abuse, And Whom Do They Victimize?".
- "Abuse in the Catholic Church". Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
- "The Boston Globe: Challenging the Catholic Church | PBS NewsHour". pbs.org. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- Bruni, A Gospel of Shame (2002), p. 336
- Moghtaderi, Ali (2017-02-01). "Child Abuse Scandal Publicity and Catholic School Enrollment: Does the Boston Globe Coverage Matter?*". Social Science Quarterly: n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12361. ISSN 1540-6237.
- Goodstein, Laurie (30 May 2012). "In Milwaukee Post, Cardinal Authorized Paying Abusers". The New York Times.
- Minnesota Public Radio (23 September 2013). "Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior yet kept him in ministry". Minnesota Public Radio News.
- Stewart, Emily. "High-ranking US cardinal resigns from Catholic Church amid sexual abuse allegations". Vox. MSN. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- Elisabetta Povoledo and Sharon Otterman, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resigns Amid Sexual Abuse Scandal, New York Times July 28, 2018
- ‘‘Wasted our lives’: Catholic sex abuse scandals again prompt a crisis of faith, Washington Post, August 19, 2018
- Predator Priests: The Catholic Church reels from yet another abuse crisis, WNG News, August 17, 2018
- "A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States". USCCB. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "newsweek/2010/04/14/what-about-the-girls". thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Reese, Thomas J. (22 March 2004). "Facts, Myths and Questions". America. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Bono, Agostino. "John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem".
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deaconsin the United States: 4.3 Characteristics of children who alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests. p. 69
- Winger, Pat. "Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males" in Newsweek, 4/7/2010. Online at: Accessed 22 May 2017.
- Gilgoff, Dan (14 September 2003). "A Settlement in Boston: The Archdiocese Agrees to a record $85 Million. Will Others Follow?". U, S, News & World Report. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Diocese of Orange settles clergy abuse case". Associated Press/Casa Grande Dispatch. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Langlois, Ed; Robert Pfohman (19 April 2007). "Portland Archdiocese ends bankruptcy with $75 million settlement". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Wooden, Cindy; Ellie Hidalgo (2007). "L.A. Archdiocese reaches agreement with more than 500 abuse claimants". Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- Martinez, Angelica; Karen Kucher (7 September 2007). "San Diego priest abuse claims settled". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Richardson, Valerie (2 July 2008). "Denver Archdiocese Settles 18 Sex-Abuse Cases". The Washington Times. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Cozzens, Donald B. (2000). The changing face of the priesthood: A reflection on the priest's crisis of soul. Liturgical Press. p. 125.
- Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Letters: Catholic bishops warned in '50s of abusive priests - USATODAY.com". usatoday.com.
- "Crimen_Sollicitationis". advancedchristianity.com.
- United Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 Report: Findings and Recommendations (Washington: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2007) p. 16.
- Newman, Andy (31 August 2006). "A Choice for New York Priests in Abuse Cases". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- News/Features | Archived 16 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Commission Report Vol 3 Ch. 7". The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
- "Commission Report Vol 3 Ch. 9". The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. Archived from the original on 22 July 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
- "This week they said". Irish Times. 23 May 2009.
- Suing the Pope BBC News
- Shamed by child abuse, Ireland to reform services Reuters, 26 May 2009
- "Irish Church Abusers Should Face Law, McAleese Says", Bloomberg, 30 May 2009
- "Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin".
- "Catholic Church in Ireland given immunity for child sexual abuse cover-up, report says". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "SCU Conference on the Crisis". Connections. 4 (4). December 2003. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22.
- "Response from Dioceses and Religious Communities" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- James T. O'Reilly, Margaret S. P. Chalmers: The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses, Oxford University Press, 2014 ISBN 0199937931, 9780199937936 p. 291
- "Media Talk: Warnings of Sexual Abuse in the 1950s". Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Frawley-ODea, Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (2007), p. 4
- Barry, Ellen (3 April 2002), Priest treatment unfolds in costly, secretive world, retrieved 4 January 2009
- Isley, Paul J. (March 1997). "Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review". Pastoral Psychology. Springer Netherlands. 45: 277–299. doi:10.1007/BF02282657.
- "Insider's Guide to the Catholic Bishops' Conference - Beliefnet.com". beliefnet.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2005). "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
- "News - Dallas News". Dallas News. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Catholic News Service (19 December 2008 – 1 January 2009). We dare not become complacent on abuse, says U.S. bishops' new child protection head. Florida Catholic.
- Gallagher, Delia. "Vatican Study on Sex Abuse". Zenit. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012.
- Mark M. Gray, P. M. Perl. (2006). "’Catholic Reaction to the News of Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Catholic Clergy’" (CARA April 2006 Working Paper 8). Washington, DC: CARA Georgetown University. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
- Five Years Later: Many Catholics Lack Awareness of Steps Taken by the Church to Deal with and Prevent Abuse Archived 16 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University Wednesday, 16 May 2007
- Peters, Keith (21 February 2005). "Catholic Bishops Issue Update on Child Abuse Scandal". Family News in Focus.
- "Fr. Marcial, Founder of Legionaries of Christ, Fathered Child, Lived Double Life?". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011.
- (cite) Mexico City, Mexico, 4 March 2010 / 06:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).The Legionaries of Christ released two statements today responding to the dramatic revelations by a woman and her three sons who claim to be the wife and children of Fr. Marcial Maciel.
- "Pope Rewrites Epitaph for Legion of Christ Founder". ipsnews.net. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010.
- "CNS STORY: Vatican orders apostolic visitation of Legionaries of Christ". catholicnews.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-03.
- "Apostolic visit to Legionaries of Christ to begin July 15 :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Archbishop slams Irish Catholic orders over abuse". guardian.co.uk.
- "CNS STORY: Irish religious orders agree to boost compensation for abuse victims". catholicnews.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10.
- McDonald, Henry (13 September 2010). "Vatican inquiry into Irish paedophile priests to meet victim groups". The Guardian. London.
- "Philippines Church apologises for sex abuse". BBC News. 8 July 2002. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- "Gabriela calls on Butuan Bishop to stop coddling priest charged with rape of minor". Bulatlat.com. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Butuan bishop urged to act on rape case vs priest". philstar.com. 29 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Scandals in the church: The Bishops' Decisions; The Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People". The New York Times. 15 June 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
- "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States". USCCB. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "America Magazine". America Magazine. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "CIC 1917: text – IntraText CT". intratext.com.
- "18. «Fidelis vero, qui scienter omiserit eum, a quo sollicitatus fuerit, intra mensem denuntiare contra praescriptum (suprarelati) Canonis 904, incurrit in excommunicationem latae sententiae nemini reservatam, non absolvendus nisi postquam obligationi satisfecerit aut se satisfacturum serio promiserit»"
- "Code_of_Canon_Law,_Book_VI_Part_II:_Penalties_for_Particular_Offenses#TITLE_V:_OFFENSES_AGAINST_SPECIAL_OBLIGATIONS". Vatican. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
- "De delictis gravioribus" (PDF). Acta Apostolicae Sedis. 93: 785–788. 2001.
- Tom Doyle Affidavit in Jane Doe vs. OMI of Texas Quote, "The other sex crimes included under Title V are not crimes connected with solicitation but the actual sexual abuse itself. These are to be processed in the same manner as crimes of solicitation. Thus, the three classes of clergy sexual abuse were cloaked in the highest degree of secrecy. Little was known about either the 1922 or 1962 documents until reference to the 1962 document, commonly known by its Latin name Crimen sollicitationis, was included in a 2001 Letter sent to all bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on more grave crimes reserved for consideration to that same Vatican office." citing "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela," 18 May 2001, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 93(2001), p. 785-788.
- An English translation of De delictis gravioribus (from Origins, 31:32)
- "Bishop Accountability". Bishop Accountability. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela". Vatican. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- "Promoter Of Justice At Doctrine Of Faith On Paedophilia". Avvenire. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- Mullaney, Michael (2003). "Graviora delicta: The Duty to Report Clerical Sexual Abuse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith". Irish Theological Quarterly. 68: 292–293. doi:10.1177/002114000306800306.
- Allen, John L, JR. (2010). "Will Ratzinger's past trump Benedict's present?". National Catholic Reporter 46:12. pp9-10.
- "Vatican publishes guide to abuse procedures". MercatorNet. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- "Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations". Vatican. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Instruction De delictis gravioribus. An English translation of this 2001 Instruction appeared on Origins, 31:32 (24 January 2001)
- ""What has the Catholic Church done to effectively respond to sexual abuse by church personnel?"" (PDF). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Walsh, John Paul II: A Light for the World (2003), p. 62
- "William F. McMurry". courtroomlaw.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009.
- "Pope seeks immunity in Texas abuse case", Associated Press, 17 August 2005.
- "IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION | SUGGESTION OF IMMUNITY SUBMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" (PDF). Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "'Nothing Extraordinary'? Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine." in Inside the Vatican (ISSN 1068-8579), January 2006
- "Vatican Issues New Psychological Screening to Weed Out Pedophiles". Associated Press/Fow news. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Future priests should undergo psychological screening: Vatican". CBC News. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Hunt, Mary E. (9 December 2005). "American Catholics: Time for a Stonewall Moment". Seattle Gay News, Volume 33, Issue 49. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
this document, while purporting to 'clarify' church teaching or 'purify' the priesthood, is really nothing more than an effort to link the criminal activity of pedophile priests with homosexuality, and to distract from the reprehensible behavior of bishops who covered up their misconduct. Mary E. Hunt is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force National Religious Leadership Roundtable and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
- "Vatican Sex Sting: An after-hours office meeting between a young man and a top Roman Catholic official has prompted a fresh inquiry into gay priests. What the investigation could mean for the Holy See". Newsweek. 17 October 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Vatican approves gay tests for priests". The Australian. 31 October 2008.
Pedophile priest scandals that have hit the Catholic Church in recent years were not the "primary cause" behind the document, [ ... ] the Congregation's secretary, Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues, told a news conference. But they helped "accelerate" the process and were "certainly a determining factor," he said.
- Owen, Richard (7 January 2008). "Pope Calls for Continuous Prayer to Rid Priesthood of Paedophilia". The Times. London. Archived from the original on March 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
Officials said that the prayers were in addition to support for legal action against paedophile priests by their victims and a code adopted two years ago by the Vatican to try to ensure that men "with deep-seated homosexual tendencies" do not enter seminaries to train for the priesthood.
- Holusha, John (15 April 2008). "Pope says church is reviewing sexuality of would-be priests". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Witkowski, D'Anne (2 November 2006). "Suffer little children: New documentary exposes pedophilia in Catholic Church". Pride Source. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
in the wake of the clergy abuse scandals, the Vatican issued instructions to weed out priests with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies. (Film review of "Deliver Us from Evil")
- Gueco, Luverne B. (24 September 2005). "Vatican to Bar Gays, and Even Those with Gay Thoughts, From Priesthood". Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. A10. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
The text reflects the view among some Catholics – but disputed by others – that the presence of gay clergy in the Church's ranks was to blame for the string of child abuse scandals.
- Horowitz, Jason (14 August 2004). "World Briefing: Europe: Austria: Conviction In Seminary Sex Scandal". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Pope Benedict XVI (2005). "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders". Vatican Publishing House. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "Statement From The Board Of Directors and Staff of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries" Archived 25 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
- "Most unaware of bishops' responses to clergy sex abuse". National Catholic Reporter. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
- "News24, South Africa's premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more". News24. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009.
- Barich, Anthony (1 August 2008). "Pope apologises, celebrates Mass with abuse victims". The Record. Australia. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Vatican Can Be Sued For Priest Sexual Abuse: U.S. Court of Appeals". Sexual Abuse Claims Blog.
- Suzanne Sataline (25 November 2008). "U.S. Court Allows Abuse Case vs. Vatican". WSJ.
- Rachel Zoll (17 November 2009). "Report:Homosexuality no factor in abusive priests". USA Today.
- Butt, Riazat (28 September 2009). "Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem". 18 November 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- "The Vatican Would Prefer You Refer To Its Molesting Priests as Gay Molesting Priests / Queerty". Queerty.com. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- Gregory M. Herek:Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation Archived 19 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Michael Lamb, Affidavit – United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (2009) Archived 25 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Sexual orientation, homosexuality, and bisexuality". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Vatican goes into damage control mode over abuse". Associated Press. 15 April 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011.
- "Vatican cardinal blames scandal on gays". UPI. 14 April 2010.
- "Vatican Backs Away from No 2's linking of paedophilia with gays". Sydney Morning Herald. 16 April 2010.
- "Anti-church campaign seen in scandal stories, Vatican editor says". Catholic Spirit. 12 April 2010.
- Brown, Stephen (15 April 2010). "Pope says church must do penance for abuse cases". Reuters.
- Wynne-Jones, Jonathan. (20 March 2010). "Pope's apology: 'You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry'". The Daily Telegraph, London. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Pope Benedict XVI. (2010). "Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland", Vatican. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Pope Benedict: Priest abuse mars legacy" (11 February 2013). CNN. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- William Wan (16 July 2010). "Vatican issues new rules on abuse by priests; activists call them inadequate". Washington Post.
- Vatican Tells Bishops to Set Clear Strategy Against Abuse, The New York Times, 16 May 2011
- Vatican suggests bishops report abuse to police Archived 19 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Associated Press, 16 May 2011
- Vatican's paedophile guidelines spark fury among sex abuse victims, Belfast Telegraph, 16 May 2011.
- Vatican sex abuse guidelines 'leave bishops behind cover-ups in control', The Guardian, 16 May 2011.
- "Comunicato della Sala Stampa: Istituzione della Pontificia Commissione per la Tutela dei Minori". Holy See Press Office. March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- "Pope Francis Defrocks Pedophile Argentine Priest". The Huffington Post. 9 November 2014.
- "Pope defrocks Argentine priest on sexual abuse charges".
- Jorge Poblete and Patrick J. McDonnell, Pope accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops tied to Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, Los Angelos Times Jun 11, 2018
- Pope Francis stops short of offering concrete steps to remove abusive priests
- Honigsbaum, Mark (4 May 2006). "'Everywhere I turned, I ran into sexual abuse'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "Accountability, Credibility and Authority" (PDF). Votf.org. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Marziali, Carl (18 July 2003). Interview with former priest and scandal "fixer" Patrick Wall "This American Life."
- "Pope addresses sex abuse scandal as he starts visit to Britain". CNN. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- McVeigh, Karen. (11 February 2013). "Pope Benedict resigns: sex abuse survivors hope move eases prosecution", The Guardian, London. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Roberts, Tom (20 March 2009). "Bishops were warned of abusive priests". Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Early Alarm for Church on Abusers in the Clergy" by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
- Patty Machelor Arizona Daily Star. "Moreno struggled to defrock 2 priests". Arizona Daily Star.
- Wakin, Daniel J. (10 April 2010). "Do Popes Quit?". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation at end of month". Vatican Radio. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "Philadelphia monsignor found guilty in church child sex abuse case". Reuters. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Pa. monsignor seeks prison release, plans appeal". USA today. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Ex-altar boys testify of sex assaults by priest". Philadelphia Inquirer. 25 April 2012.
- "Monsignor William Lynn gets 3–6 years in Philadelphia church sex abuse cover-up". CBS News. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup". boston.com.
- Richard Dawkins (13 April 2010). "The pope should stand trial". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
- Horne, Marc (11 April 2010). "Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI". The Times. London. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
- "YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Nick Divito (22 April 2010). "Illinois Man Sues Pope, Vatican in Alleged Sex Abuse Case". Courthouse News Service. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Patsy McGarry (23 February 2011). "Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity". Irish Times. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- John L. Allen Jr. (28 June 2010). "Kiss-and-make-up session won't end debate on Sodano". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Harold Heckle (18 April 2010). "Cardinal: late pope backed priest-shielding". Associated Press. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
- Tom Heneghan (17 April 2010). "John Paul backed praise for hiding abuse: Cardinal". Reuters News Agency. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Patsy McGarry (17 January 2010). "Vatican edict in 1997 rejected calls to report priests who abused". Irish Times. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- No excuses for priestly child abuse
- Los Angeles Times (5 February 2014). "Catholic Church 'systematically' protected abusive priests, U.N. says". latimes.com.
- Yallup, David (2009). The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of Pope John Paul II's Vatican. Basic Books. p. 497. ISBN 978-0-465-01542-9.
- Riazat Butt. "Archbishop links priestly celibacy and Catholic sex abuse scandals". the Guardian.
- Thomas Doyle, The 1922 instruction and the 1962 instruction "Crimen sollicitationis" promulgated by the Vatican
- De delictis gravioribus, footnote 3
- "Sex Crimes Cover-Up By Vatican?". cbsnews.com. 6 August 2003.
- Owen Bowcott. "Row over Vatican order to conceal priests' sex abuse". the Guardian.
- "Signs of the Times". America Magazine.
- Mary Dispenza (6 February 2014). "Opinion: Pope Francis must finally root out child abuse - CNN.com". CNN.
- "Pope Francis pressured by U.N. committee to act on priest sex abuse cases", AP via New York Daily News, 5 February 2014.
- Winfield, Nicole, "Pope Francis under pressure to act on abuse after UN committee accuses Vatican of complicity" Archived 8 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine., AP via Montreal Gazette, February 6, 2014.
- "Scathing UN report demands Vatican act against child sex abuse", Reuters via Euronews, February 5, 2014.
- Vallely, Paul, "Vatican Missteps and U.N. Blunders", New York Times, 11 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Nelson, Jeffrey A. (2009). "Sex Abuse in the American Catholic Church and the Attempt at Redemption". Communication & Theater Association of Minnesota. Summer: 37–51.
From a review of The New York Times, January 9 through April 18, 2002.
- Jenkins, Philip, The New Anti-Catholicism – the Last Acceptable Prejudice, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 133–57
- "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church". Boston.com. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- "Walter V. Robinson, Globe Spotlight Team leader, to teach at Northeastern – Local News Updates – The Boston Globe". Boston.com. 3 August 2006. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- Kenny, Colum (January 2009). "Significant Television: Journalism, Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church in Ireland". Irish Communications Review. 11.
- "Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males". news.uk.msn.com. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "BBC NEWS – Programmes – Panorama – Sex crimes and the Vatican". bbc.co.uk.
- "Very Important Tom Doyle Comments on Crimen Sollicitationis, Thomas Doyle, Voice from the Desert, March 12, 2010". bishop-accountability.org. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Voice from the Desert » 2010 » March » 16". reform-network.net. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Doyle, Thomas (January 2008). "Thomas Doyle On Church Reform: VOTF and Reform of the Governmental Structure of the Catholic Church". Voice of the Faithful – New Jersey. NJ VOTF. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Zoll, Rachel (18 May 2011). "Study: Gays Not to Blame for Pedophile Priests". The Edge/Associated Press. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
the problem was largely the result of poor seminary training and insufficient emotional support for men ordained in the 1940s and 1950s, who were not able to withstand the social upheaval they confronted as pastors in the 1960s.
- Miles, Vincent J. (2012) Boys of the Cloth: The Accidental Role of Church Reforms in Causing and Curbing Abuse by Priests. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books.
- Steinfels, A People Adrift (2003). pp. 40–6
- Filteau, Jerry (2004). "Report says clergy sexual abuse brought 'smoke of Satan' into church". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 26 June 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
- Terry, Karen; et al. (2004). "John Jay Report". John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
- Blanchard, R.; Lykins, A. D.; Wherrett, D.; Kuban, M. E.; Cantor, J. M.; Blak, T.; Dickey, R.; Klassen, P. E. (2008). "Pedophilia, hebephilia, and the DSM–V". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 38 (3): 335–350. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9399-9. PMID 18686026.
- Krafft-Ebing, R.; Moll, A. (1924). Psychopathia sexualis. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke.
- Cimbolic & Cartor (2006). Looking at ephebophilia through the lens of priest sexual abuse. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 13(4), 347–359.
- Cartor, Cimbolic & Tallon (2008). Differentiating Pedophilia from Ephebophilia in Cleric Offenders. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 311 – 319.
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice (2011), The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950–2010 (PDF), United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, ISBN 978-1-60137-201-7, retrieved 1 July 2012
- David Barrett; Nick Squires (13 July 2014). "Pope Francis says about 8,000 pedophiles are members of Catholic clergy, including bishops and cardinals". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Lachlan Williams (14 July 2014). "Pope says two percent of priests are pedophiles: report". ninemsn. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Pope says about two percent of priests are pedophiles: paper". news.msn.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Plante, Thomas. "A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse". Online at: http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/plante.html (Accessed 25 August 2014).
- Engel, Randy. "The Rite of Sodomy : Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church" (2006)
- Donohue, William (2010). "Catholic Church's issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- "The Church and the Homosexual Priest". America Magazine. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- Groth AN, Birnbaum HJ (May 1978). "Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 7 (3): 175–81. doi:10.1007/BF01542377. PMID 666571.
There were no examples of regression to child victims among peer-oriented, homosexual males. Pedophiles who are attracted to young boys tend not to be attracted to adult men. And many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.
- Abel, Gene G.; Nora Harlow (2002) . "The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study" (PDF). The Stop Child Molestation Book. Study text revised. Xlibris. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
More than 70 percent of the men who molest boys rate themselves as heterosexual in their adult sexual preferences. In addition, 9 percent report that they are equally heterosexual and homosexual. Only 8 percent report that they are exclusively homosexual
- Goodstein, Laurie (17 May 2011). "Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
If anything, the report says, the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving the church.
- Western People, 2 Nov. 2005 Archived 9 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males". newsweek.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Jenkins, Philip (3 March 2002). "Forum: The myth of the 'pedophile priest'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Hidalgo, M.L. (2007). Sexual Abuse and the Culture of Catholicism: How Priests and Nuns Become Perpetrators. (p.36) Publisher: Routledge
- Chibnall, J.T., Wolf, A. & Duckro, P.N. (1998). A National Survey of the Sexual Trauma Experiences of Catholic Nuns. Review of Religious Research Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 142–167
- Markham, D. J. (2002). Some facts about women religious and child abuse. Covenant, September, 3
- Catholic Priests in India 'Outsourced' to Meet Clergy Shortage in West – 2004-06-11 Archived 14 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- George Weigel on the Church Crisis in U.S catholiceducation.org
- Down For Maintenance Archived 22 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Silk, Mark (25 May 2011). "'Woodstock defense' of abuse doesn't hold water". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- "Mis lit: Is this the end for the misery memoir?", Daily Telegraph 5 March 2008.
- Our Fathers on IMDb
- "FRONTLINE: hand of god". PBS. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Sex crimes and the Vatican". BBC News. 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Roel Verschueren (7 February 2013). "International sexual abuse literature list". verschueren.at. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1 – Limp Bizkit". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- john neumann (2012-03-20), Tim Minchin – Fuck the motherfuckin POPE 720p FUNNY AS HELL (Anti child rape song), retrieved 2016-03-06
- Tim Minchin (2016-02-16), Come Home (Cardinal Pell) – Tim Minchin, retrieved 2016-03-06
- Erlandson, Gregory & Bunson, Matthew, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis (OSV, 2010)
- Groeschel, F. Benedict, From Scandal to Hope (OSV, 2002)
- Berry, Jason and Gerald Renner. Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II (Free Press: 2004) ISBN 0-7432-4441-9
- Jenkins, Philip, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-514597-6.
- Ranan, David, Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church (Theo Press Ltd., 2007) ISBN 978-0-9554133-0-8.
- Ivereigh & Griffin: Catholic Voices, (Darton Longman and Todd, 2010) ISBN 978-0-232-52863-3
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops