CLERGY SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: THROUGH THE LENS OF THE LOST SHEPHERDS
This qualitative research study deals with the experiences of priests who have committed sexual misconduct. Most studies on the reasons of clergy sexual abuse were based on archival data, specifically, statistical analyses of psychological test results, from treatment centres where priest-perpetrators were sent for rehabilitation. Due to the social stigma and fear of lawsuits, qualitative data are few and often come from accounts of the victim. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), the research explored the question: What are the reasons that led priests to be involved in sexual misconduct? Four themes emerged: a) Experience of loneliness, b) Unresolved issues in the past, c) Failure to maintain boundaries and, d) Lack of balance in the priestly life. This research probed the world of the priests as they shared their own experiences so that others could enter and understand the circumstances that led them to engage in abuse. Results of this study will be helpful in developing prevention strategies and appropriate rehabilitation programs on the issue of clergy sexual abuse.
A. Balagtas, Cop: “Priest had Booked Minor Twice” (2017), https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/918974/cop-priest-had-booked-minor-twice
A. Rufo, Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church, Manila: Journalism for Nation Building Foundation, 2013.
A.W.R. Sipe, M. Benkert, T. Doyle, “A Study of the Influence of Pathological Narcissism on the Clerical Sub-culture of the Roman Catholic Church and its Influence on the Formation of Clerical and Lay Spirituality,” 2013, http://www.awrsipe.com/reports/2013/Spirituality%20and%20the%20Culture%20 of%20Narcissism%20-%20Complete%20article%20-%208-30-2013.pdf
Al Jazeera (Producer), “Sexual Misconduct in the Philippines’ Catholic Church: Sins of the Father,” 101 East [Video file], February 16, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP6XU_Hymbo
B. Roewe, “’Uncommon Conversation’ on Sex Abuse Falls Silent,” National Catholic Reporter online, Retrieved September 28, 2017, from: https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/uncommon-conversation-sex- abuse-falls-silent
D. Garland & C. Argueta, How Clergy Sexual Misconduct Happens: A Qualitative Study of First-Hand Accounts, Social Work & Christianity, 2010.
F.D. Murphy, H. Buckley & L. Joyce, “The Ferns Report,” (2005), https://archive.org/stream/243711-2-complete-ferns-report-so-ireland/243711-2-complete-ferns-report-so-ireland_djvu.txt.
G. Manuel, Living Celibacy: Healthy Pathways for Priests, Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2012.
G. Robinson, For Christ’s Sake, End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church For Good, Australia: Garratt Publishing, 2013.
G.J.M. van de Aardweg, “Abuse by Priests, Homosexuality, Humanae vitae, and a Crisis of Masculinity in the Church,” The Linacre Quarterly 78, 3 (2011) 274-293, doi: 10.1179/00243631180388829.
J. Sanford, Ministry Burnout, New York: Paulist Press, 1982.
J. Wolf, ed., Gay Priests, New York: Harper Collins, 1989.
K. Terry, “Child Sexual Abuse within the Catholic Church: A Review of Global Perspectives,” International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 39 (2015) 139-154. 10.1080/01924036.2015.1012703.
P. Shinebourne, “The Theoretical Underpinnings of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Existential Analysis,” Journal of the the Society for Existential Analysis 22, 1 (2011).
T.G. Plante, Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1999.
T.G. Plante, ed., Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.