Source: (2005) Contemporary Justice Review. 8(4): 345-365.Two years ago, Independent Academic Research Studies, a UK based international network, started a research and implementation project to explore the potential of restorative justice to help resolve sexual offending cases involving children and young people. One aspect of this project is the use of restorative justice with sexual offending cases that occurred within the Catholic Church. The purpose of this article is to report on the main findings of the first stage of the project, based on desk research into existing or past international projects dealing with the matter. The aim, however, is not to provide a literature review of the main arguments surrounding the topic, but rather a critical overview of the restorative programs and research projects that have been implemented to test the notion's application in sexual offending cases. The results of these programs will be contrasted with notorious cases that have been processed through the traditional criminal justice system. Therefore, this article is the first in a series on how restorative justice could be applied to help resolve the sexual scandals in the Catholic Church. Author's abstract.