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Study Blames Culture Shift for Catholic Clergy's Sex Crimes

A study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice examines the root causes of sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic clergy, debunking celibacy and homosexuality as causes while glossing over the church’s failure to humanely address the crisis. The 300-page report is the most extensive study ever done about sexual abuse within the church, and was commissioned by the American Catholic Church itself. Thus it should be no surprise that researchers went out of their way to spare the organization from condemnation about its systematic cover-up of crimes, instead blaming cultural factors — including the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s — for driving priests to abuse children. — KDG

Boston Globe:

The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was caused by the influence of sweeping social changes and increasing “deviant behavior’’ of the 1960s and 1970s on priests who were inadequately trained, emotionally unprepared, and isolated, according to a new report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops.

Researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, who spent five years conducting the most expensive and extensive study of sexual abuse in the Catholic church to date, concluded that homosexual priests were no more likely to abuse than heterosexual priests.

They also found that celibacy could not be blamed for the abuse epidemic. Nor could seminaries have done a better job screening for likely offenders because abusive priests had no common profile.

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