Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so-called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep-seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years. At times circumspect and at other times open and direct, Church leaders tried a variety of means to rein in the various violations of clerical celibacy. The sexual abuse crisis is not isolated from the questions of the celibate practice of all Catholic clergy and the moral questions that involve marriage and all human sexual behaviors. These are the main, yet unspoken, reasons why sexual abuse has been such an inflammatory and dangerous issue for the hierarchy. The Church abuse scandal of the contemporary era, rather than seen as a new challenge, is actually the catalyst for a complex process that is forcing the official Church to redefine its ideology of sexuality, its responsibility to its members and its role in society. The three distinguished authors have served as experts and consultants in over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, and have collectively spent over 70 years of official service within the church.
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2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Gold Medal, ReligionAbout the Author:
The three distinguished authors have served as experts and consultants in over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, and have collectively spent over 70 years of official service within the church.
Thomas P. Doyle, once a canon lawyer at the Vatican Embassy, has emerged as one of the most vocal supporters of victims of sexual abuse by the clergy. He is well known for his 93-page report to U.S. bishops in 1985 warning of an impending crisis involving pedophile priests. When The Voice of the Faithful honored Doyle with their first Priest of Integrity Award, David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called him an absolute hero." In 2006, Doyle appeared in the BBC Television special, "Sex Crimes and the Vatican" and Amy Berg's Academy award-nominated documentary feature, "Deliver Us From Evil." Doyle resides in Vienna, VA.
A.W.R. Sipe, a psychotherapist and former Benedictine monk, has written several renowned works on religious celibacy including his classic 1990 landmark study of sexuality and celibacy in the American priesthood. He appeared in the controversial 2004 HBO Documentary, "America Undercover: CELIBACY." Sipe is married with one son and resides in La Jolla, CA.
Patrick J. Wall spent 11 years as a Benedictine monk and priest, but disheartened by the abuse within the Church, he renounced his vows in 1998. Since 2002 he has served as a senior legal consultant on hundreds of clerical sexual abuse cases in the U.S. In 2006, Wall appeared in the BBC Television special, "Sex Crimes and the Vatican" and Amy Berg's Academy award-nominated documentary feature, "Deliver Us From Evil." Married with one daughter, Wall resides in Costa Mesa, CA.
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