Predatory Priests, Silenced Victims: The Sexual Abuse Crisis and the Catholic Church

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Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Virginia Goldner
Taylor & Francis, May 23, 2007 - Psychology - 259 pages
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The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church captured headlines and mobilized public outrage in January 2002. But much of the commentary that immediately followed was reductionistic, focusing on single "causes" of clerical abuse such as mandatory celibacy, homosexuality, sexual repressiveness or sexual permissiveness, anti-Catholicism, and a decadent secular culture.

Predatory Priests, Silenced Victims: The Sexual Abuse Crisis and the Catholic Church, a collection of groundbreaking articles edited by Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea and Virginia Goldner, eschews such one-size-fits-all theorizing. In its place, the abuse situation is explored in all its troubling complexity, as contributors take into account the experiences, respectively, of the victim/survivor, the abuser/perpetrator, and the bystander (whether family member, professional/clergy, or the community at large). Setting polemics to the side, Predatory Priests, Silenced Victims provides a sober and sobering analysis of the interlacing historical, doctrinal, and psychological issues that came together in the sexual abuse scandal. It is mandatory reading for all who seek thoughtful, informed commentary on a crisis long in the making and yet to be resolved.

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About the author (2007)

Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, Ph.D., is Co-Director Emeritus, Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Executive Director of their Trauma Treatment Center; co-author of Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse and The Supervisory Relationship; and author of Perversion of Power and Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church. She was a speaker at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002 Spring Meeting, and at the 2002 Annual Assembly of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and is a member of the Committee on Clergy Sexual Misconduct for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. She is in private practice in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Virginia Goldner, Ph.D., is Founding Editor, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and Clinical Professor of Psychology, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Derner Center for Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University.

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