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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses$
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James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.001.0001

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Understanding the Patterns of Clergy Abuse Litigation

Understanding the Patterns of Clergy Abuse Litigation

(p.11) Chapter 2 Understanding the Patterns of Clergy Abuse Litigation
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses

James T. O’Reilly

Margaret S. P. Chalmers

Oxford University Press

From the first suggested sexual conduct by the priest to the ultimate lawsuit outcome and possible removal, the patterns of clergy abuse case handling often involved cover-up and denial followed by scandal and liability payments. The chapter discusses the way abusers approach their victims, including grooming and seduction, including the breach of trust involved, as well as the impact of clergy abuse allegations on the bishop and diocese, including loss of assets (and which assets of a parish may be especially vulnerable) and increased insurance premiums. In some cases, the financial drain may cause a diocese to file for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Keywords:   grooming, seduction, breach of trust, diocese, bishop, bankruptcy, allegations

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