A new study links a rise in cases of clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, to the Woodstock-Era wave of social and sexual freedom. It’s stirring strong reaction.
Attorney Daniel Monahan has helped file half a dozen lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on behalf of survivors of abuse by clergy. He questioned some of the findings, in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice study. “It certainly is presumptuous to say there’s been a drop-off in these cases based on the statistics that they’re using because typically survivors don’t come forward until their 40s or 50s,” said Monahan. “To blame this on the cultural mores of the 60s I think is ridiculous at this point. This certainly has been going on for a long time and we’ve seen survivors who were abused going all the way back to the 50s.”Monahan said the report sends abuse survivors the message that the Church is still most interested in protecting the bishops, the hierarchy, and priests rather than helping survivors. The Philadelphia Archdiocese declined to comment on the study.