Socialization Processes and Clergy Offenders

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses feminist theory to investigate how the socialization processes used to maintain the clergy community in the Roman Catholic Church contributes to a vulnerability in some clergy for sexually abusing children. This vulnerability is identified first in an examination of the literature on the impact of socialization processes on clergy offenders between the 1960s and 1980s. A comparison is then made with the implications of the apostolic exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis, which provides a theological basis to clergy formation. The article argues that the document works to ensure a continuity of socialization processes that not only have been shown to create a vulnerability for committing child sexual abuse but compound existing vulnerabilities. The article concludes that constraints produced by the preservation of a hegemonic masculinity and patriarchy retain a threat of violence against children and require recommended reforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-865
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016


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