Few takers for priest sex abuse scandal study's '1960s permissiveness' conclusion

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Washington, May 19(ANI): A study done on youth sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has provoked condemnation for concluding that the permissive society of the 1960s was to blame for the rise in sexual offences by priests.

The four-year study, titled "The Causes and Contexts of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010", said that most of the abusive priests were ordained in the 1940s and 50s and were not properly trained to confront the social upheavals of the 1960s.

Researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice also found that gay priests were not more likely than heterosexual ones to abuse and that a small minority of accused priests meet the clinical definition of pedophiles.

David O'Brien, a historian of American Catholicism at the University of Dayton, said the report was dangerous because it seemed to exonerate bishops.This recalls an old tabloid banner headline from an early pre-Boston stage of this crisis: 'Bishops Blame Society'," The Guardian quoted O'Brien, as referring to the sexual abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests dismissed the report as "garbage in, garbage out" because the bishops providing much of the funding for the report.

The investigation was commissioned by Catholic bishops, but lead researcher Karen Terry defended the independence of the findings.

"This is our report. None of the bishops had any influence on the findings of the study," Terry said. (ANI)

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