Mar 21 2013

History of Sexual Abuse By Catholic Clergy Has Been Tacitly Condoned Since The Earliest History of the Church: Recovered Memory Series

Despite the efforts to portray the sexual abuse scandals of the last few decades as a modern phenomenon only, the abuse of children, adolescents and adults dates back to  the early history of the Catholic church.

In his essay, “A Very Short History of Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church”, Reverend Thomas Doyle states:

“The most dramatic and explicit condemnation of forbidden clergy sexual activity was the Book of Gomorrah of St. Peter Damian, completed in 1051.  The author had been a Benedictine monk and was appointed archbishop and later cardinal by the reigning pope.  Peter Damian was also a dedicated Church reformer who lived in a society wherein clerical decadence was not only widespread and publicly known, but generally accepted as the norm.   His work, the circumstances that prompted it and the reaction of the reigning pope (Leo IX) are a prophetic reflection of the contemporary situation. He begins by singling out superiors who, prompted by excessive and misplaced piety, fail to exclude sodomites (chap. 2).  He asserts that those given to “unclean acts” not be ordained or, if they are already ordained, be dismissed from Holy Orders (chap. 3).  He holds special contempt for those who defile men or boys who come to them for confession (chap. 6).  Likewise he condemns clerics who administer the sacrament of penance (confession) to their victims (chap. 7).  The author also provides a refutation of the canonical sources used by offending clerics to justify their proclivities (chap. 11, 12).  He also provides chapters which assess the damage done to the church by offending clerics (chap. 19, 20, 21).  His final chapter is an appeal to the reigning pope (Leo IX) to take action.”

My friend Elaine alerted me to an article using a report on clergy abuse in the Catholic Church by the John Jay Report claiming the victims of rape and abuse were homosexual young men who often were consenting partners.


The article goes on to claim the sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church were a result of the societal upheavals of the 1960’s, notably the so called sexual revolution.

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