October 23, 2005

Abused priests shatter code


Sunday, October 23, 2005
No one knows for sure how many priests have been sexually abused as minors or seminarians by other priests, but there are indications the percentage is significant.

No known studies have be done to determine exact figures, according to Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist, former priest and author of several books on clergy sexual abuse. However, his research indicates 10 percent of seminarians had been sexually active with priests or other seminarians during formation between 1960 and 1985.

Sipe said the code of silence among priests is so strong that it prevents many priests from being honest about the issue - even in a survey.

Others, like the Rev. Robert M. Hoatson of New Jersey, have experienced the clerical code of silence that dictates priests don't criticize other priests.

"The black and white line of silence is stronger among the clergy than the blue code of silence among police because at least they get to go home. We are enmeshed in it 24/7," Hoatson said.

Posted by kshaw at October 23, 2005 08:09 AM