Lessons on sin and forgiveness : a crisis in the Roman Catholic Church

Death, Jodi (2012) Lessons on sin and forgiveness : a crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. In Atta, Abe (Ed.) Catholics and Catholicism in Contemporary Australia : Challenges and Achievenments. David Lovell Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 299-306.

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One of the greatest challenges facing the Roman Catholic Church (the Church) across the world continues to be found in addressing complaints of child sexual abuse (csa) by clergy. The list of Catholic clergy in Australia who have been criminally processed for sexual offences against children is disturbingly long. As disturbing as this list is, more disturbing are the accounts of clergy who have not been criminally prosecuted, but protected within the cloister of the Church. It is increasingly recognised that the significant difficulty with child sexual abuse in Catholic Churches, in particular, has not been the presence of perpetrators but the response of Church leadership to allegations of csa by clergy. Those who have faced criminal charges have often done so due to the resilience of victim/survivors and not because of the support of Church structures or culture. The Church has been slow to come to terms with the realities of the perpetration of csa by its clergy and even slower to recognise the need to prioritise victims in any effective, just response. The church has been slowest of all recognising that there are significant cultural and discursive challenges to confront in addressing the management of csa by clergy. There is, however, progressive recognition of the role that discursive constructs of forgiveness have played in perpetuating the crises and ultimately in perpetuating abuse. The institutional praxis of forgiveness can be demonstrated not only in the Church, but in lessons learned from use of forgiveness as an institutional response to mass violations of human rights. This paper explores the juncture between criminality, church culture and forgiveness in responding to csa by clergy.

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ID Code: 56601
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Clergy Sexual Abuse, Catholicism, Forgiveness, Truth and Reconciliation, Child Sexual Abuse
ISBN: 9781863551427
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > OTHER PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (229900)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 23 Jan 2013 02:07
Last Modified: 22 May 2013 07:22

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