This work challenges many myths about clergy
sexual abuse, demonstrating that the sexual abuse
of minors is a problem that haunts virtually every
institution, religious and secular, where adults interact with young people. It also provides compelling evidence of the tremendous progress that the
Church has made in preventing abuse, contrary to
public perceptions. Indeed, the media, Hollywood,
and activist lawyers have poisoned the public mind
with tales of old cases of abuse, giving the impression that nothing has changed.
The root causes of the scandal occupy a large part
of the book. The role of enabling bishops is covered, focusing on why they acted as they did. Their
motives ranged from the natural tendency to favor
one's in-group, to elitism and ineptitude. An overreliance on advice from therapists proved to be particularly damaging.
The role that homosexuality played was central to
the scandal; it is given extensive treatment. While
homosexuality does not cause sexual abuse, the
prevalence of emotional and sexual immaturity
among homosexuals explains why they committed
most of the molestation.
The sexual revolution that unfolded in the 1960s
did not escape the Catholic Church, especially the
seminaries, making the 1970s the most disastrous
decade for the sexual abuse of minors. Much discussion is afforded the pernicious effects of radical dissent within the Church; its role in accounting for the
scandal is incontestable. Activists outside the Church
also played a role in fomenting dissent, the results of
which proved to be damaging.
Many lessons have been learned, which is why
there has been such great progress in combating the
sexual abuse of minors, but some tough questions