Catholic Church Abuse Scandal
- Time Period
In recent years, the Catholic Church has been the subject of widespread allegations of child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. While cases have occurred across the globe, the most high-profile instances occurred in the United States and Europe. Although accusations of clerical sexual misconduct had arisen in previous decades, the most recent scandal began in 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston. Investigative reporting turned up several instances of years of abuse on the part of priests as well as cover-ups and patterns of secrecy on the part of church officials that often allowed these same priests to continue their ministries in different parishes, which included contact with minors. The scale of the abuse, however, remains a matter of debate. Several priests, bishops, and dioceses eventually received criminal, civil, and canonical sanctions, resulting in ongoing lawsuits and financial troubles for a number of Catholic dioceses.
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Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
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Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other Timeline Event Entries
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Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links
Catholic Church sex abuse scandal graffiti- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Milliped (CC BY 3.0)
Massachusetts sexual abuse report, front cover- Internet Archive
Jenkins, Philip, 1996. Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History