UNMASKING INTEGRITY

THE CHALLENGE BEFORE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

  • Kochurani Abraham Indian Women Theologian’s Forum, Kerala
Keywords: Abuse on Nuns, Clergy, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Gender, Indian Church, Patriarchy, Revisiting Theology, Sexual Abuse, Theology of Priesthood, Vulnerability

Abstract

Clergy sexual abuse and the inappropriate ways of handling the crisis have led the Church to grave crisis of credibility and integrity. The situation is like a sickness that afflicts the health and wellbeing of the body that we call the Church. This pathological condition poses a challenge to the ecclesiastical system, to unmask itself in a manner that will help diagnose the deeper roots this disease and, in the process uncover the integrity of ecclesiastical life and mission. In this paper the issue is addressed taking the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy. The basic problematic underlying this issue is identified as the unresolved gender question and the consequent power equations that exist between clergy and nuns within the gendered hierarchical structure of the ecclesiastical setting.

The privileged positions that priests and bishops enjoy as the ‘head’ with spiritual leadership and decision-making powers and the gendered spaces that nuns occupy and the roles they play in the Church make them highly susceptible to abuse. This crisis calls for a critical revisiting of ecclesial life in its theology, structural settings, and practices so that in the process of unmasking, the Church could recapture its relevance in keeping with the Christian vision and praxis.

Author Biography

Kochurani Abraham, Indian Women Theologian’s Forum, Kerala

Kochurani Abraham is a feminist theologian, researcher, writer and trainer on issues related to gender, sexuality, spirituality and ecology. She has a Licentiate in Systematic Theology from the University of Comillas, Madrid, and a PhD in Christian Studies from the University of Madras, India with a special focus on feminist theology. She teaches feminist theology and feminist spirituality in some institutes of formation. She is the former Convener of the Indian Christian Women’s Movement (ICWM) and the present Vice President of the Indian Theological Association (ITA). She is active in the Indian Women Theologians’ Forum (IWTF) and the World Forum of Theology and Liberation (WFTL). Her book Persisting Patriarchy: Intersectionalities, Negotiations, Subversions published by Palgrave Macmillan (2019) deals with the interplay of gender and religion.

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Published
2020-06-30
How to Cite
Abraham, K. (2020). UNMASKING INTEGRITY. Asian Horizons, 14(2), 393-406. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/ah/article/view/2908