• Konrad J. Noronha
Keywords: Clergy, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Integrity, Seminary Formation, Sexual Abuse


Attention needs to be paid to the overall growth of seminarians and clergy and religious. The focus has to be on the four dimensions of human formation, and any deficiency needs to be addressed early in formation of the seminarian and through ongoing formation of the clergy and religious. This might help in averting untoward mishaps with regard to misconduct or inappropriate behaviour. Integrity or uprightness is what is called for in Catholic clergy and religious. Because of lack of this virtue some fell prey to misconduct that includes sexual abuse. This article looks at sexual abuse in general and sexual abuse in particular through various theories that include the biological, physiological, neuromoral, psychological, and moral theories of development. Some developmental programs and interventions are also discussed. The Holy Father has called all clergy and religious to open their hearts to the immensity and the importance of the task of safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults.

Author Biography

Konrad J. Noronha

Konrad J. Noronha, SJ, PhD (USA), MS (USA), MTh (Delhi), BHMS (Pune), is the Director and Coordinator of the Pastoral Management Program at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India. He has a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counselling from Loyola University Maryland; a Masters in Systematic Theology from Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi; and a Doctorate in Counsellor Education and Supervision from Loyola University, Maryland. He is a visiting scholar to the Institute of Psychology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. His work focuses on adult clients, especially seminarians, clergy, vowed religious and older adults. He has done extensive clinical work the United States of America and his home country India, and has published articles in edited books and journals. Recent book: Spirituality in Practice: Thematic Frameworks for Counseling, Cognella Academic Publishers, USA.


Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, “The Church in Times of Crisis: Responsibility of The Bishop Dealing with Conflicts and Tensions and Acting Decisively,” (2019, February 21), Retrieved from

Catechism of the Catholic Church,

Congregation for the Clergy, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (2016),

Daniel Turner, Martin Rettenberger, Lena Lohmann, Reinhard Eher, Peer Briken, “Paedophilic Sexual Interests and Psychopathy in Child Sexual Abusers Working with Children,” Child Abuse & Neglect 38, 2 (2013) 326-335, 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.07.019

Dominique A. Simons, Sandy K. Wurtele, Robert L. Durham, “Developmental Experiences of Child Sexual Abusers and Rapists,” Child Abuse & Neglect 32, 5 (2008) 549-560, doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.03.027

Holy See Press Office (2019, February 22), “Synodality: Jointly Responsible,” [Press Release],

Holy See Press Office (2019, February 23), “Openness to the World as a Consequence of the Ecclesial Mission,” [Press Release], resources/resources_suoropenibo-protezioneminori_ 20190223_en.html

Holy See Press Office, (2019, Feb 21), “Taking Responsibility for Processing Cases of Sexual Abuse Crisis and for Prevention of Abuse” [Press Release],

Judie Death, “‘They Did Not Believe Me’: Adult Survivors’ Perspectives of Child Sexual Abuse,” by Personnel in Christian Institutions (2013), Crime and Justice Research Center Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane,

K.J. Noronha (2017) “Clergy Sexual Abuse,” in Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, ed. David Leeming, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2. doi, 10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9

Karen J. Terry, Alissa Ackerman, “Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: How Situational Crime Prevention Strategies Can Help Create Safe Environments,” Criminal Justice and Behavior 35, 5 (2008) 643-657, at 655.

Katherine van Wormer, Lois Berns, “The Impact of Priest Sexual Abuse: Female Survivors’ Narratives,” AFFILIA 19, 1 (2004) 53-67, at 65. doi: 10.1177/0886109903260667

Konrad Noronha, “Formative Perspectives on the Sexual Abuse Crises,” Vinayasadhana 10, 1 (2019).

Leam Anthony Craig, “How should we Understand the Effect of Age on Sexual Recidivism?,” Journal of Sexual Aggression 14, 3 (2008) 185-198, doi: 10.1080/13552600802073132

Merriam-Webster, 2020,

Pope John Paul II. Pastores Dabo Vobis (25-03-1992), content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_25031992_ pastores-dabo-vobis.html, no. 26.

Sabina Cehajic-Clancy and Rupert Brown, “‘You Say it Best When You Say Nothing at all’: Effects of Reparation, Apology and Expressions of Emotions on Intergroup Forgiveness,” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 25, 1 (2019) 61-71.

Scott D. Easton, Leia Y. Saltzman, Danny G. Willis, “Would You Tell Under Circumstances Like That? Barriers to Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse for Men,” Psychology of Men & Masculinity 15, 4 (2014) 460–69, at 463. 10.1037/a0034223

Shichun Ling, Rebecca Umbach, Adrian Raine, “Biological Explanations of Criminal Behavior,” Psychology, Crime & Law 25, 6 (2019) 626–640, doi:10.1080/ 1068316X.2019.1572753

Steve Melluish & Gerald H. Burgess (2019), “Global Mental Health: Training in an International Context,” International Journal of Mental Health 48, 4 (2019) 253-256, doi: 10.1080/00207411.2019.1644066

The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002, A Research Study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (February 2004), Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Thomas G. Plante and Courtney Daniels, “The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church: What Psychologists and Counselors Should Know,” Pastoral Psychology 52, 5 (2004) 381–393

W. Smallbone, Richard K. Wortley, “Child Sexual Abuse: Offender Characteristics and Modus Operandi,” Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice 193 (2001), Australian Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice & Governance, School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Queensland Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology,

How to Cite
Noronha, K. J. (2020). SEXUAL ABUSE: DEVELOPMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR FORMATION. Asian Horizons, 14(2), 407-420. Retrieved from