Chapter

Organized Irresponsibility (II)

Marie Keenan

in Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199895670
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919604 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895670.003.0009
Organized Irresponsibility (II)

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This chapter explores the social, emotional, and institutional context of the men's offending, paying particular attention to rules, obedience, loneliness, power, and opportunity. The clerical men who went on to become perpetrators of child sexual abuse and who participated in the study constructed their priestly or religious vocation on fear: fear of breaking a celibate commitment and fear of displeasing others. The accompanying way of “doing” priesthood involved strategies for their attempts to live a chaste and obedient life, such as adopting a submissive way of relating to others, avoiding relationships with women, and avoiding particular friendships with men. Such strategies produced poor adult attachments, a fear of emotional and physical intimacy, and prolonged emotional loneliness.

Keywords: sexual offenders; child sexual abuse; Catholic clergy; fear

Chapter.  15107 words. 

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