Child sexual molestation by priests and reactions of Catholic parishioners: A comparative study
This sociological study explores the effects an incident of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest has on Catholic parishioners. An interpretation of a comparative analysis was done between a parish in which an incident of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest occurred and a demographically similar parish with no such reported incident. Data from face-to-face survey interviews (N = 100) suggests that members of the Catholic Church whose parish priest had sexually abused children were more likely to indicate lower levels of approval toward Church policies than parishioners whose parish had no reported incident of abuse. Furthermore, it was found that differences in levels of religiosity affect parishioners' trust and confidence in the Catholic Church.