Next Article in Journal
Holistic Health Care and Spiritual Self-Presence
Next Article in Special Issue
The Catholic Bishops in the U.S. Public Arena: Changing Prospects under Pope Francis
Previous Article in Journal
Sensing Hinduism: Lucian-Indian Funeral “Feast” as Glocalized Ritual1
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Catholic Bishops and the Rise of Evangelical Catholics
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperOpinion
Religions 2016, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/rel7010009

The Politics of Clerical Sexual Abuse

Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079, USA
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Byrnes
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 26 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Bishops in US Politics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [192 KB, uploaded 8 January 2016]

Abstract

This article examines the complex politics surrounding the Catholic Bishops’ responses to clerical sexual abuse in the United States from the first, public revelations of the scandal in Boston in 2002 to the present. It asks a compelling leadership question on three levels: how did the Bishops respond politically as individual diocesan leaders; as members of their canonical organization, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); and as appointed officials of the Vatican? This article argues that the members of the hierarchy implemented disparate and often conflicting religious and legal responses to clerical sexual abuse in their various roles. They did this by accepting misguided psychological advice, relying on traditional religious exemptions, attempting to implement confusing institutional policies, and usually mounting ineffective legal challenges to canon law in civil courts. These actions reflected hierarchical ignorance and arrogance as well as a political underestimation of the compelling state interest to protect the safety of children over religious concerns to insure the autonomy of the Church. View Full-Text
Keywords: Catholic; clerical; sexual abuse; American Bishops Catholic; clerical; sexual abuse; American Bishops
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Formicola, J.R. The Politics of Clerical Sexual Abuse. Religions 2016, 7, 9.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top