Why Do Priests Sexually Abuse?

Why Do Priests Sexually Abuse?

Child sexual abuse cases by Catholic priests, nuns, and religious-order members in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been and resulted in numerous claims, investigations, trials and convictions, in addition to admissions about decades of efforts by the Church to conceal reported incidents. The victims consist of boys and girls, a few as young as three years of age, with most of them being between eleven and fourteen years old. The claims started to get remote, infrequent exposure from the late 80s. Most of these included cases in which a person was blamed for decades of abuse; such claims were often made by adults or older adolescents after the abuse took place.

Seminary Education/Admissions

Clergy have implied that their seminary education gave little to make them ready for lifetime celibacy. In 1971, Roman Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Conrad Baars presented a report to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops called The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood. Founded on an investigation of 1500 priests, the report indicated that a few of the clergy had psychosexual difficulties. Although the report proposed that urgent remedial action was necessary, making ten suggestions, no execution of the report’s thorough suggestions followed. Cardinal Wojtyla, who was chosen Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1978, was one of the most involved members in the Synod at the time.

Effect of Psychology from Past Decades

A few bishops and psychiatrists have declared that the leading psychology of the times insinuated that individuals could be treated by counselling. Psychiatrist Thomas G. Plante wrote that nearly every case becoming known today are those from thirty and forty years ago. According to him, psychiatrists did generally not know a lot about pedophilia and sexual abuse back then. He proclaimed that a huge majority of the study on sexual abuse of juveniles did not appear until the early 80s. Plante also maintained that it seemed sensible at the time to cure these men and then send them back to their clerical obligations. He then regretted this, believing it to be a terrible mistake. Robert S. Bennett, the Washington lawyer who supervised the research committee of the National Review Board, called too much confidence in psychiatrists as one of the main obstacles affecting Catholic sexual abuse cases. Around forty percent of the abusive priests had gotten counseling prior to being relocated.

Worsening Norms in the Current Culture

A few Catholics like correspondent John Daniel Davidson have maintained that the sexual revolution and an upsurge in moral relativism played a part in the child abuse problem. Others have contended that child abuse in the Church precedes these modifications. The Australian government did a report as part of its Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse discovered that the most infamous sexual abuse cases in the Australian church happened in formal surroundings in the 40s-60s by men and sometimes women who were meticulously educated in the austere ethics and scrupulous piousness of the pre-Vatican II church. The report noted that the abusers’ ranks intersects conservative and liberal lines, with both sides having their reasonable portion of abusive clergy.