This volume takes a close, dispassionate look at the entire history of the issue of sexual abuse among the clergy, and especially among the Roman Catholic clergy. From the first rumblings to today's headlines, Philip Jenkins has written a fascinating, exhaustive, and, above all, even-handed account that not only puts this particular crisis in perspective, but offers an eye-opening look at the way in which an issue takes hold of the popular imagination. Jenkins reassures us about our local clergy, but also delivers a disturbing message about how vulnerable we are to the news media. Meticulously documented and dispassionately argued, this volume marks a watershed in the discussion of an issue of enormous current interest, one that will not disappear from the headlines any time soon.
Philip Jenkins, one of the world's leading religion scholars joined Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion as Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion.
"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