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Document Details :

Title: At the Crossroads of Two Laws
Subtitle: Some Reflections on the Influence of Secular Law on the Church's Response to Clergy Sexual Abuse in the United States
Author(s): BEAL, John P.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 25    Issue: 2   Date: summer 2000   
Pages: 99-121
DOI: 10.2143/LS.25.2.887

Abstract :
During the past fifteen years, public and highly publicized complaints of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests have become a distressingly familiar feature of the ecclesial landscape in the United States.1It may be hyperbolic to claim, as Andrew Greeley has, that the phenomenon 'may be the greatest scandal in the history of religion in America and perhaps the most serious crisis Catholicism has faced since the Reformation.' Nevertheless, these complaints, some spurious but all too many well founded, have been costly to the Church – financially costly, of course, but spiritually costly as well.

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