Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 14 Issue 6 (November/December 2004), Pages 411-510

Clerical child sex abuse: the response of the Roman Catholic Church (pages 490-494)


The response of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) to the clergy child sex abuse crisis is examined in the context of six cases in an Irish archdiocese. The RCC was not proactive in engaging with complainants and did not accept organizational responsibility for its personnel. Its statements on the crisis were abstract and sometimes transcendent in tone and its attempts to account for its inaction used apologia rather than apology. The Church's reliance on apologia is similar to that found in secular bureaucracies that believe themselves to be ‘client‐independent’. It is argued the Church needs to implement a ‘client complaint’ procedure similar to that found in ‘client‐dependent’ commercial enterprises and that it must also reconnect with its own core values. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>