Critique of the Vatican’s Role in Recent Child Protection Practice: A Brief Report

Faisal Rashid, Ian Barron (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    5 Citations (Scopus)
    369 Downloads (Pure)


    The current report aims to clarify the practices and implicit intentions of the Holy See in addressing child sexual abuse (CSA) by clerics in the twenty-first century. Church investigation reports, United Nations reports, press coverage, and academic literature were explored to understand the relationship between Church intention and practice. Various types of literature highlight the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) as an organization that is self-referential and self-defensive, with the implicit aim of protecting the reputation of RCC at the expense of children. Organizational responses are seen as promoting the protection of perpetrating clerics, resulting in the spread of CSA by clergy nationally and globally. Recommendations are made for the introduction of modern-day management practices in RCC, filtered through a faithful understanding of gospel principles. The authors suggest that the United Nations may be an important vehicle for fostering leverage for change in RCC child protection practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-153
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
    Issue number2
    Early online date28 Feb 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


    • Catholic Church
    • United Nations
    • children
    • organization
    • sex abuse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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