From Publishers Weekly
Since 1982, 400 Catholic clergy (out of a total of 50,000 American priests) have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. In this in-depth study, Jenkins, professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, examines the circumstances surrounding the molestation charges that peaked in the early 1990s. He looks at such prominent cases as those of Father Bruce Ritter, founder of Covenant House, who was forced to resign in disgrace in 1990; and the notorious Rev. James Porter, who may have molested more than 100 children before he was convicted and sentenced to prison. Jenkins probes scandals in other religions; looks at the traditional "anti-Catholic" feelings in the U.S.; documents the media's frenzied reactions to the charges; chronicles the feminist response to the allegations; and researches the financial drain on the Church caused by litigation (estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars) as well as the debate surrounding recovered memory and repressed memory. Jenkins (Intimate Enemies) has written a thorough, academic study that convincingly challenges the popular estimate of the extent of pedophiles in the Church.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"A thorough, academic study that convincingly challenges the popular estimate of the extent of pedophiles in the Church."--Publishers Weekly
"Philip Jenkins...brings to the issue of clergy abuse an experienced eye. Pedophiles and Priests
is a fine cautionary tale that should give all parties to the pedophile-priest crisis something to think about."--The New York Times Book Review
"For those who have been offended by the media coverage of the 'epidemic' of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, here at last is somewhere to turn for the facts."--National Review
"While he may overestimate the long-term consequences of the malfeasance he examines, Philip Jenkins' admirable study is without doubt the best account we have of clerical sexual scandal and the way it has been exploited by contending forces within contemporary religion and the media. The book is a model of scholarly and judicious treatment of a subject much sensationalized and therefore much misunderstood."--The Reverend Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief of First Things