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Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church: When Adults are Victims

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As Catholic sex abuse scandals once again dominate headlines from Boston to Belgium, and even the fast-track canonization of Pope John Paul II is marred by questions of culpability, the role of the Catholic hierarchy in enabling clergy abuse seems indisputable, admitted even by die-hard church partisans like the Catholic League. But what’s less understood is how these same patterns persist in today’s Church, where demographic shifts and a dwindling priesthood may be creating a new set of scenarios for abuse. The story of Katia Birge is a case in point.

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