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American Psychological Association


The sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church has made headline news across the country and world for years. Yet, even with such remarkable publicity, so much misinformation and myths about the problem persist. It is important for psychologists, as well as other mental health professionals, to be better informed about these myths and misinformation in order to better serve their clients who may be impacted by the story. Those impacted include not only clerical abuse victims, their families, and clerics themselves but also Catholics in general, who may be troubled and demoralized by the ongoing and unfolding crisis and related media attention. Because the Catholic Church includes over a billion people worldwide and touches most Americans, Catholic or not, in one way or another through their extensive system of primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, clinics, and charitable organizations, it is critically important to dispel the most common myths about clerical abuse in the Catholic Church and separate fact from the fiction that often gets highlighted and perpetuated by the press. This paper seeks to inform readers of the facts and dispel the most common myths regarding clerical abuse in the Catholic Church.


Copyright © 2019 American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.



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