Understanding the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse: Betrayal and Recovery (Paperback) book cover

Understanding the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Betrayal and Recovery

Edited by Robert A. Mc Mackin, Terence M. Keane, Paul M. Kline

© 2009 – Routledge

236 pages

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About the Book

The sexual exploitation of a child by one who has been recognized as a representative of God is a sinister assault on that person’s psychosocial and spiritual well-being. Many survivors of such abuse present with a range of symptoms consistent with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as well as common co-occurring problems, including substance abuse, affective lability, and relational conflicts. Yet there are additional themes, particularly the impact of the abuse and institutional betrayal on the family, profound alteration in individual spirituality, and changes in individual and family religious practices, which differentiate this abuse from other traumas.

Understanding the profound and multidimensional effects of clergy perpetrated sexual abuse and the betrayal of trust by religious leaders on individuals, families and communities requires the collective wisdom of many voices. This book brings together the perspectives of survivors, practitioners and scholars to examine this unique form of interpersonal violence from theoretical, clinical and spiritual perspectives with consideration given to future research needs.

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Child Sex Abuse.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Robert A. McMackin, Terence M. Keane and Paul M. Kline


2. In Their Own Voices: A Qualitative Study of Men Abused as Children by Catholic Clergy Paul J. Isely, Peter Isely, Jim Freiburger and Robert McMackin

3. In Their Own Voices: Women Who Were Sexually Abused by Members of the Clergy Kathryn A. Flynn

4. Survivors’ Perspectives on the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse on Families of Origin Leslie H. Wind, James M. Sullivan and Daniel J. Levins


5. A Unique Betrayal: Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Context of the Catholic Religious Tradition Joseph J. Guido

6. A Single-Case Study of Rabbinic Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community Amy Neustein and Michael Lesher

7. The Impact of the Clergy Abuse Scandal on Parish Communities Paul M. Kline, Robert McMackin and Edna Lezotte


8. A Theoretical Foundation for Understanding Clergy-Perpetrated Sexual Abuse Jason M. Fogler, Jillian C. Shipherd, Erin Rowe, Jennifer Jensen and Stephanie Clarke

9. The Impact of Clergy-Perpetrated Sexual Abuse: The Role of Gender, Development, and Posttraumatic Stress Jason M. Fogler, Jillian C. Shipherd, Stephanie Clarke, Jennifer Jensen and Erin Rowe

10. The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Sexual Identity Formation in Gay Men Stephen Brady


11. Restorative Mediation: The Application of Restorative Justice Practice and Philosophy to Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases Douglas E. Noll and Linda Harvey

12. Problem and Solution: The Spiritual Dimension of Clergy Sexual Abuse and its Impact on Survivors Kenneth I. Pargament, Nichole A. Murray-Swank and Annette Mahoney

About the Editors

Robert McMackin works with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston and a member of the Tufts University School of Medicine clinical faculty.

Terence M. Keane, Ph.D. is Director of the National Center for PTSD-Behavioral Sciences Division and Associate Chief of Staff for Research & Development at VA Boston Healthcare System. He is Professor and Vice Chairman in the Division of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also Professor of Clinical Psychology at BU.

Paul Kline has worked in the field of child and family mental health for many years. He is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College where he teaches courses concerned with the care of children and families coping with violence and mental illness.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Sexuality
MEDICAL / Allied Health Services / General
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General