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  Home :: 2006 October :: Bishops to Vote on Funding for Sex-Abuse Study

Date: 2006-10-27

Bishops to Vote on Funding for Sex-Abuse Study

Conducted by John Jay College

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 27, 2006 ( U.S. bishops will vote next month on a proposal to releaseone-third of the money earmarked to study the causes of clergy sexualabuse of minors in this country.

If the proposal is accepted, $335,000 will be used to underwritethe first three segments of the research, which is being undertaken bythe John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of City University ofNew York.

Last November the bishops accepted a proposal from John Jay for thestudy, called for by the Charter for the Protection of Children andYoung People, which was passed by the U.S. bishops in 2002.

The study, to be completed in 2009, is expected to cost $3 million.The U.S. bishops have committed $1 million toward it. Further fundingis being sought from Catholic and other philanthropic groups.

The first part of the study will look at the historical context andinfluences on the problem, so as to see "whether the incidence of abuseof children by priests is or is not consistent with overall socialpatterns of deviant behavior during the last half-century," says theproposal.

The second component will focus on Church response to cases ofsexual abuse, and will compare the actions of three "dioceses withoptimal response to reports of sexual abuse made after 1985 and threedioceses with notably -- via public record -- unsuccessful responsewill be studied," according to the proposal.

The proposal states that the third segment aims "to understand onan individual level, how priests with allegations of sexual abusediffer from other priests -- those with and without other problems --as well as sex offenders who are not priests."

The proposal notes: "It is important to recognize that the Churchis funding a study of groundbreaking significance in the field ofresearch into sexual abuse of children." The bishops will meet Nov.13-16 in Baltimore.

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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia