Ever since I read the list of priest abusers released by the Jesuits on 1/15/2019, I have been trying to deal with the pain of having known some of these abusers personally both before and after I was a Jesuit seminarian in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. In an effort to broaden my perspective on this issue I have recently been reading a 2011 report presented to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops by a John Jay College research team. It is entitled “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.”
I intend to reflect on this difficult issue in a series of posts over the next few weeks. Although I never suffered any priest abuse myself, more attention needs to be paid to what I believe has been the most neglected aspect of this abuse, at least until recently, namely its effects on survivors.