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Why the Focus of Clerical Child Sexual Abuse has Largely Remained on the Catholic Church amongst Other Non-Catholic Christian Denominations and Religions

Faisal Rashid, Ian Barron
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 2019 February 4, : 1-22
The current study considers reasons for the consistent focus of academic research and mainstream media on clerical child sexual abuse (cCSA) largely within the Roman Catholic Church, seeming to ignore cCSA in other Christian denominations and religions. This study includes an analysis of traditional mainstream media and case reports on cCSA in non-Catholic churches and other religious faiths. The authors highlight the inadequacy of research and identify a wide range of gaps in this so far neglected area. Commonalities of cCSA and institutional responses are identified across denominations and religions, and reasons for the apparent over focus on the Catholic Church are discussed. The mains potential reasons identified were: (a) the centralized nature of the Church's universal organizational stature and management structure; (b) the anti-Catholic political and media bias in Protestant-dominated developed countries; (c) secular legal systems with access to powerful lawyers and insurance companies to locate responsibility at organizational level in order to seek compensation and finally; (d) the organized institutional power exercisable by respective bishops to silence victims. Future research needs to move beyond analysis of existing academic literature, press, and case review reports to comparative empirical studies across denominations and religions.


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