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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113576 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Spotlight on Priests Who Are Pedophiles
Journal: National Law Journal  Volume:10  Issue:30  Dated:(April 4, 1988)  Pages:1,28-29
Author(s): R Sherman
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 3
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the incidence of Catholic priests' child sexual abuse, the Catholic Church's institutional response to the problem, the civil liability involved, and issues in civil proceedings against Catholic archdioceses that employ priests who have sexually abused children.
Abstract: Although there are no accurate figures on the incidence of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in America, attorneys who represent victims of such abuse and investigative reporters indicate that known cases represent only the 'tip of the iceberg.' Plaintiffs' attorneys throughout the Nation report a pattern in the Catholic Church's response to the problem: Bishops attempt to appease victims' families, keep it from the police, and transfer the priest to another parish where the abuse begins again. In civil proceedings, plaintiffs' attorneys and investigative reporters indicate the Catholic Church uses seal orders and settlement stipulations to protect dioceses' reputations and victims' identities. As the defendant in civil proceedings, the Catholic Church through counsel has claimed the expiration of the statute of limitations and denies responsibility for a priest's activities outside of parish duties. Various court decisions and pending legislation in many States tend to undermine these defenses.
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Civil proceedings; Religion; Vicarious liability
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