The Roman Catholic Church, along with other religious and non-religious institutions, has been embroiled in a series of sexual abuse scandals during the last decades. In response, a variety of important measures have been introduced to eradicate the possibility of further abuse, with particular attention given to issues around safeguarding. However, research has tended to focus on the individual pathology of each perpetrator. In contrast, this collection brings a systematic and inter-disciplinary methodology to bear on the distinctive cultural and organisational realities of Catholicism and its underpinning theology. This is in order to test the claim that they are significant contributing factors to a culture that enabled abusive behaviour to become a possibility.
Written by a panel with expertise in the theological, ecclesiological, psychological and legal implications of abuse, this book addresses issues such as the spiritual dynamics of sexual abuse; restorative justice; and psychological issues related to abuse by clergy. It also broadens the discussion to include the place of children of clergy and sexual misconduct between priests and women in the context of spiritual direction.
Seeing to constructively build a broader understanding of transgressive and abusive behaviour by clergy in the Church, this is vital reading for any academic of Theology, Religious Studies, Psychology and Law who wants to better understand the dynamics at work in these instances of abuse.