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Clergy child sexual abuse: The restorative justice option.

Gavrielides, Theo
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) in, Katherine S. van Wormer and Lorenn Walkers, eds, Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications. Los Angeles: Sage. PP. 131-141.

This paper makes three arguments. First, it looked at extant scientific studies and faith-based papers to assess the extent to which clergy sexual abuse cases constitute a different phenomenon that stretches beyond criminology and the rules governing the breach of law (civil or criminal). The paper concludes that these cases have an additional dimension not identifiable within other child sexual abuse cases. This dimension is of a dual nature. It relates to the violation first of an individual’s basic human right to faith and to the sacramental culture of Catholicism. Secondly the paper argues that because of the unique nature of these cases, it is only through a user-let process that long lasting and genuine solutions can be sought for both parties. The argument is based on research studies conducted with victim survivors and accused dioceses. The paper also provides a summary of what the parties involved in these cases really want. Finally, the paper argues that these user-led processes can be delivered by various forms of dialogue, one of them being RJ. (excerpt)


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