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Seven Myths About the Catholic Church and Clergy Sex Abuse
David Gibson
Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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American Catholics may have thought the crisis over reports of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy had ebbed after exploding onto the front pages in January 2002 and continuing for several years. Horrible reports of abuse, plus financial scandals and financial payouts that threatened many dioceses, led to efforts at reform and a sense that the Church was tackling the problems. But at the end of 2009 and throughout much of 2010, a new “tsunami”—the term used by Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn—of reports swept across Europe and even reached the Vatican, raising serious questions about the past record of Pope Benedict XVI.

Some Church leaders welcomed the scrutiny as a necessary catharsis while others blasted the media or sought to spin the reports. Amid the hue and cry, sensible voices were often drowned out, and many myths arose. In this Update we’ll look at seven popular myths that are often heard, but which do not tell the whole story—or even part of it.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here for Gibson's report on the John Jay study on "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010," being released by the U.S. Bishops on May 18, 2011.

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