The widely-publicized cases of child sexual abuse by clerics in the past decade are rarely justified in church doctrine, but they were often affected by the religious leaders’ attitude that protecting the institution is more important than the child’s welfare. Also, the religious authority of the abuser is used to intimidate the child into accepting sexual advances and discouraging the child and the family from reporting the abuse to secular authorities.
Furthermore, churches have used First Amendment arguments to limit civil liability for clergy sex abuse.
The articles on child sex abuse in this index raise policy questions or illustrate how religion was related to the abuse or the coverup.
The following links to articles in our newsletters will open in a new window. Simply close the window to return to this page and to select another article. Also, many of these link to the front page of CHILD’s newsletters, but the article you click on may not be on the newsletter’s first page. In that case, find the article in the Table of Contents on the front and scroll to the appropriate page number.
Child sex abuse coverup among Orthodox Jews 7/22/2013
Louisiana court rejects religious immunity in child sex abuse
Religious defense rejected in child sex abuse
Ozark pastors charged in child sex abuse rituals