Paraphilias among Roman Catholic priests: what we know, and do not know, about sexual clergy-abusers of minors
More details
Hide details
Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie, Instytut Psychologii, Katedra Psychopatologii i Psychoprofilaktyki
Submission date: 2020-02-14
Final revision date: 2020-02-25
Acceptance date: 2020-03-01
Online publication date: 2020-06-30
Publication date: 2020-06-30
Corresponding author
Jacek Prusak   

Akademia Ignatianum
Psychiatr Pol 2020;54(3):571-590
The issue of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church is widely discussed in the media. Nevertheless, the term ‛priest-pedophile’has been used inaccurately to identify perpetrators. There is very little research directly dealing with this group of offenders among Catholic clergy, and we do not yet have any theory that would adequately explain this type of behavior. Attempts to psychologically characterize priests who sexually abuse minors have brought limited success so far. The purpose of this article is to present the most important issues and clinical dilemmas related to the diagnosis and treatment of paraphilias among Catholic clergy, signifying similarities and differences between clergy and other perpetrators of sexual offenses against minors, present typology of sexual offenders among priests, and discuss therelationship of victims’ gender with sexual orientation and celibacy of perpetrators. The author demonstrates that using the term ‛priest-pedophile’ is not only misleading, but is sometimes used to deliberately mislead. On the one hand, to create a moral panic effect, suggesting that the Catholic clergy is at increased risk of this type of crime. On the other hand, indicating gender and age of the most of their victims, suggesting that people responsible for this kind of abuse among Catholic clergy are homosexual priests and thus select a scapegoat responsible for the problems of the Church institution.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top