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Noted scholar confirms: Catholic Church subject to unique pressure on sexual abuse

June 08, 2010

In a noteworthy column published in USA Today, Philip Jenkins, the respected author of Pedophiles and Priests, points out that while sexual abuse by Catholic priests has become the topic of constant media attention, no one knows whether the problem is equally widespread elsewhere.

"No reputable scholar has ever conducted a survey of the abuse problem as it affects any other profession, in a way that would allow us to make direct comparisons with the Catholic clergy," Jenkins writes. He observes that the evidence against priests has emerged largely because the Church is a tempting target for lawsuits. The resulting stories, he says, have produced "a familiar mythology of specifically Catholic malpractice."


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