Catholic sexual abuse partly caused by secrecy and mandatory celibacy, report finds

Report examined findings of 26 royal commissions and inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and Netherlands

A Catholic church
A comprehensive study found mandatory celibacy and a culture of secrecy added to the risk of child sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Mandatory celibacy and a culture of secrecy created by popes and bishops are major factors in why such high rates of child abuse have occurred in the Catholic church, a comprehensive study has found.

The report, which looked at the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands since 1985, found that while the endangerment of children in institutions has been considerably lowered in Australia, children remained at risk in Catholic parishes and schools and Catholic residential institutions in other countries across the world, especially in the developing world where there are more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages, including 2,600 in India.

The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.

more:    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/13/catholic-sexual-abuse-partly-caused-by-celibacy-and-secrecy-report-finds

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