Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis

Thomas A. Plante and Kathleen McChesney, editors

sexual abuse in the catholic churchTaking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done—and what it still needs to do—to protect children.

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002–2012 is a thoughtful, multidisciplinary commentary. Beginning when the scandal first broke in 2002 following the Boston Globe's "Spotlight investigton, this first-of-its-kind work offers a wide range of opinion, both positive and negative, on what has been done in the ensuing ten years to stop and prevent such abuse.


  • "A must read. Summing Up: Essential. All readers." - Choice

    "Plante, a clinical psychologist, and McChesney, who worked with the USCCB to develop its charter, offer a collection of essays by a broad range of contributors, including victims, lawyers, academics, psychologists, and priests themselves, who are living with the dark cloud now cast by the scandal... Contributors also explore how the scandals have opened the church to discussion of issues of celibacy, homosexuality, and the role of women. " - Booklist Online

    “Practical and effective reform can be the legacy of this book! Everyone who cares about protecting children from sexual abuse by trusted others should read this sourcebook on clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. Seen from the perspectives of those most knowledgeable—both inside and outside the church—the authors explain the why and how of sexual exploitation of adolescents by those charged with protecting them.” - Charol Shakeshaft, PhD, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University

    “This thoughtful book is a must read for those interested and involved with the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The authors have done a great service to both the Church and our society.” - Robert S. Bennett, Former Member of the National Review Board

    “Much has been written by many who have only a peripheral understanding of clergy sexual abuse. In this book however, Drs. Thomas Plante and Kathleen McChesney provide their unique insights gained from dealing directly with the toughest parts of the crisis in the Catholic Church. They, and the book's other contributors, have a deep understanding of this horrible evil in our Church—a Church that has been greatly wounded by this scandal and needs to be healed. All of us who have suffered with the victims will learn much from this book. and it will greatly assist in the healing of the Church and in creating structures that prevent these abuses from ever happening again.” - Sister Carol Keehan, DC, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)

    “A veritable who’s who of experts on clerical sexual abuse have come together to analyze the crisis and make important recommendations for the future.” - Thomas J. Reese, SJ, Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University

    For more information see National Conference on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, Santa Clara University, May 2012

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