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Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic ChurchGender, Power, and Organizational Culture$
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Marie Keenan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199895670

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895670.001.0001

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Sexuality and Masculinity

Sexuality and Masculinity

(p.129) 7 Sexuality and Masculinity
Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church

Marie Keenan

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers the first part of the thematic analysis of the accounts of clerical men who have sexually abused minors as they consider some of the factors that gave rise to their sexual violations. It examines, in particular, the sexual dimensions of the men's offending. All the clerical perpetrators who took part in this research battled with sexuality during their priesthood or religious brotherhood. The problems related to deeply embodied shame, emerging from a sexual ethic that rendered bodies bad and every sexual thought, feeling, and action sin. Poorly prepared for a life of celibate living and lacking the skills necessary to develop intimate relationships safely within the context of a celibate commitment, the men denied their need for intimacy and male sexual expression, or concealed their needs from others, in particular from other clergy.

Keywords:   Catholic clergy, child sexual abuse, sexual offenders, clerical men, sexual feeling, sexual expression

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