Copyright © 2014 by James Leonard Park

    Selected and reviewed by James Park.

    James Park's two books on sexology are:
Imprinted Sexual Fantasies:
A New Key for Sexology

Variations of Sex & Gender:
Six Phenomena Frequently Confused

    Red comments represent the opinions and evaluations of this reviewer.
These books are organized by quality, beginning with the best.

1. Thomas P. Doyle, A.W. Richard Sipe, & Patrick J. Wall

Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes:
The Catholic Church's 2000-year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse

Los Angeles, CA: Volt Press:, 2006)       388 pages
(ISBN: 1-56625-265-2; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: BX1912.9.D69 2005)

    This is the definitive book on Catholic priests having sex with children.
Since the beginning, the Roman Catholic Church
has tried to handle the problem of priests violating their vows
by re-assigning them to new parishes,
sometimes after some months of religious rehabilitation.
Protecting the reputation of the Church has almost always
come before doing anything to help the victims.
But millions of dollars have been paid in compensation,
sometimes after court cases to determine the truth.

    Priests have a special power and authority
in traditional Roman Catholic thinking:
The priest is the representative of God or Christ on Earth.
They have the power to forgive sins and grant absolution.
Many victims of priests' sexual interests
have no way to deal with what is happening to them.
This is especially true of young children.
Thus the abuse can sometimes last for a few years,
until the victim is old enough to say "no".

    This book does not explain why
so many priests are sexually aroused by children.

But there is probably nothing about the preparation for priesthood
that turns ordinary men into pedophiles.
Rather, men who already have imprinted sexual interest in children
might be attracted to the priesthood in the hope that the vow of celibacy
will save them from their inclination to have sex with boys.
However, the history recounted in this book shows
that joining the Roman Catholic priesthood
is not a good technique for dealing with any sexual inclinations.

    Roman Catholic canon law has attempted to deal with the problem
of priests violating their vow of celibacy in various ways. 
But this book shows that none of these methods has been effective.
The abuse continues in every generation of priests.

    More recently civil legal authorities have had to act against priests
and the bishops who hide their violations.
The abuses of the clergymen discussed here
violate both religious rules and criminal law.

    No examples are offered of priests successfully rehabilitated
by any of the several retreat-centers and therapy programs
established for offending priests.

    Offending priests must be removed from ministry as soon as possible.
And several have been sent to prison for their crimes.

    Bishops who simply re-assigned offending priests
to new parishes (often without any acknowledgement of the reason)
should be disciplined by church law and/or the civil legal system.
Covering-up the violations only guarantees that new crimes will be committed.

    As the 21st century continues, more former priests and bishops
will find themselves living in prison.

    This book was published 8 years before this review,
but, contrary to the expectations of the authors,
very little has changed in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Honest priests and bishops might be the only force
that will rid the Roman Cathoic priesthood (including bishops, etc.)
of that minority of men who continue to hide
their sexual misbehavior
behind colorful robes.
The facts are now out here for everyone to read.
Anyone who says that he did not know has been willfully ignorant.
Concerned Catholics will read this book and weap.
Then both laypersons and non-offending priests should
take effective action to rid the priesthood of as many violators as possible.

    Next the many training programs for prospective priests
will have to find some effective ways to identify young men
who (for whatever reasons) have sexual responses to children.
The priesthood is not the best profession for them.

    The Roman Catholic Church has a deep problem.
A surprising number of priests are abusing children.
This book displays the problem in great detail.
Now the Church must cut out the cancer or die.

    If I were a bishop, this is what I would do:
I would add to my website a WALL OF SHAME,
which would list all the priests under my authority
who were removed from ministry for their sexual behavior.
This listing would include a picture of each offending (former) priest.
It would explain the nature of their violations:
(1) breaking their vow of celebacy,
(2) committing immoral sexual acts, and/or
(3) being convinced of sexual crimes.

    This Wall of Shame would list:
(1) all of the past assignments of the offending ex-priests,
(2) how they were discovered,
(3) when they were defrocked,
(4) whether they were put in prison for any crimes, &
(5) what help was provided and what compensation was paid to the victims.
If they are still alive, it would explain where they are now.

    Especially when such facts become public information
as the result of civil and criminal enforcement by secular authorities,
there is no point in the Roman Catholic Church denying
or trying to minimize these violations.
This book does name offending priests and what happened to them.
And it names the places in the United States
that have surprisingly high percentages of priests in violation.

    Not only will such Walls of Shame show that the RC Church
is making serious efforts to purge itself of sex-offenders,
but it will warn other young men who are thinking of joining the priesthood
in an attempt to control their unwanted sexual urges:
If you have a sex-script that might lead to the same fate
as the men listed on the Wall of Shame,
seek treatment and do not attempt to become a priest.

2. Marie M. Fortune

Is Nothing Sacred?
When Sex Invades the Pastoral Relationship

(New York: Harper & Row, 1989)       167 pages 

     This is the story of one church where the minister
had sexual relationships with several members.
It is told from the perspective of the women (ages 20-60)
who were victimized by the seducer.
The book was put together by a woman called in
as a consultant by denominational officials.

     The minister was a charismatic, 'spiritual' person,
who had a series of secret affairs with perhaps a dozen women
in his church over a period of 4 years.
He easily manipulated the women into bed with him
because they were under his spell as their minister.
One became involved with him because she was very active
on church committees and in youth work.
One was seduced when in a vulnerable state
because of the death of her husband.
She was told that sex with her minister
would be part of the healing-recovery process.
One was an employee of the church.
And one was a married female minister of the same denomination.
Physical comforting of women in distress
often turned into a sexual encounter.
And he talked some of the younger women
into having sex with him by promising to marry them.
All of his victims blamed themselves in some degree
for allowing themselves to be seduced.
This self-blame kept the problem hidden for years.
A conspiracy of silence (with only vague rumors circulating)
reigned among all the women he had seduced or abused.
But an informal women's grapevine developed
to warn other women who might become his victims:
This minister is a romantic/sexual predator; watch out for him.
Finally one woman called a meeting of all the victims she knew about.

     It took 4 years to remove this offender from his parish.
But those who read this book will not be as likely to deny
that it could happen or to delay taking action.
Is Nothing Sacred? is a good place to begin
reading about the problem of sex between ministers and parishioners.

3. Peter Rutter, MD 

Sex in the Forbidden Zone:
When Men in PowerTherapists, Doctors, Clergy,
Teachers, and OthersBetray Women's Trust

(Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1989)       240 pages

     This book is a comprehensive, compassionate,
and thoughtful treatment of an emerging problem of our time:
sex between men in positions of authority
and their clients, patients, parishioners, or students.
Peter Rutter is a psychotherapist;
many of his examples describe
the violation of the theapist-client relationship.
But the "forbidden zone" includes all situations of professional trust.
Women enter these professional relationships
with the hope of some healing or personal growth.
But after they have opened themselves trustingly to these men
who are supposed to help them,
they sometimes find that they are drawn into sexual relationships
that seem mainly for the benefit
and healing of the clergyman or therapist.

     Sometimes the women are also seductive,
but it is the professional's responsibility to maintain
the sexual boundary between himself or herself
and the clients seeking help.
Rutter says that this professional taboo against sex with clients
should be as strong and as lasting as the incest taboo
between a father and his daughter.
Even as they grow older, moving away from the original relationship,
it is never appropriate for a father to have sex with his daughter.

     Seduction by religious leaders and therapists is especially easy
when a psychologically-vulnerable woman confuses
her emerging passion for life with her passion for sex.
The helper or healer must not take advantage
of the woman's mixed feelings, focusing them on himself
because that serves some psychological need of his own.

     One poignant example involves a 5-year sexual relationship
between a seminary dean (male, married, with 5 children)
and a female student (who was 21 when the sexual relationship began).
Instead of the religious vocation she had sought,
she found herself in a sexual vocation,
as servant of the man she most admired.
She was able to break it off only when she found out
that he was having sex with other women as well.

     Altho the primary responsibility for guarding the sexual boundary
rests with the professional man or woman,
the client can also help to reinforce this taboo.
It is always better to talk too much
about the sexual boundary than too little.
When people do not discuss the romantic/sexual limits
of their professional relationship,
it is too easy to let their unexamined romantic programming
and imprinted sexual fantasies to take over.
One therapist just wordlessly undressed his client on the first visit
and had sex with her on the office floor.
She never returned so we know nothing
about the long-term damage this probably did her.
The most direct and dramatic action a client can take
when the professional becomes seductive is to stand up and leave.
Many victimized women interviewed for this book
see in retrospect that they should have left.
It would have been painful and difficult
to cut off an emotionally-charged relationship that suddenly,
but it would have been much less painful than the long struggle
with the harmful sexual relationship that followed.

     Most professions have written ethical rules and guidelines
prohibiting sex between a professional and a client.
(In Minnesota it is now a felony for a therapist to have sex with a client.)
But religious groups often do not have anything in writing
because ministers have been assumed to be
among the most moral members of society.
However, increasing disclosures of clergy violating the "forbidden zone"
show the need for religious organizations to make the rules explicit
—and to impose appropirate sanctions when the rules are violated.

     Dr. Rutter provides much useful technical information
about filing complaints (ethical, administrative, civil, & criminal)
against professionals in positions of authority
who use their power to seduce the people who come to them for help.

     Rutter also offers extensive advice for professionals
who are tempted to have romantic and/or sexual relationships
with the clients or parishioners who come under their care.
Even if the professional begins to dream of a possible future relationship,
he or she ought to refer the client to someone else,
because such fantasies can corrupt the professional relationship
so that no productive work can be accomplished.
And certainly if a sexual relationship has alrady begun, it must stop.
Both parties might seek treatment for this violation.
The professional should explain to the client that he has failed her,
not the other way around.
Once a relationship has entered the forbidden zone,
it is unlikely that it will ever become a sex-free relationship again.
The two parties need to acknowledge this mistake
and go their separate ways.
Both might need to explore more deeply
their own romantic inclinations and sexual responses.
A new therapist or helper of the same sex as the client
might be more appropriate,
since (as long as both are heterosexual)
that can help prevent the same problem from happening all over again.

     Sex in the Forbidden Zone also gives examples of people
who have successfully resisted the sexual temptation
and gone on to have very productive
non-sexual helping or mentor relationships.

     I recommend this book highly for both professionals and their clients.
It will be helpful to both sides of the forbidden zone.
I wrote 68 pages of notes and resposes.

4. Anson Shupe, William Stacy, & Susan E. Darnell, editors

Bad Pastors: Clergy Misconduct in Modern America

(New York: New York University Press, 2000)       256 pages
(ISBN: 0-8147-8146-2; hardcover)
(ISBN: 0-8147-8147-0; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: BV4811.5.B33 2000)

     A collection of articles on various forms of clergy misbehavior
—both mainstream clergy and cult leaders.
The problems of sexual and financial violations-of-trust continue.
This book updates and expands the information already available.
Almost all of the 12 authors are academics.
Thus they have gathered their information from printed sources
rather than from first-hand experience.

     Suggestion: Read the first two books in this bibliography first.
Then, if you still have the time and interest,
read this book to be brought up to date.

created 2001; revised 4-24-2009; 9-25-2010; 7-28-2014; 8-1-2014; 4-23-2018;

Related Bibliographies

    This bibliography is related to several others in sexology.
Here is the complete list:

Sexology                                      B-SEXOLO

Sex-Script Hypothesis                 B-SEX-SC

Variations of Sex and Gender      B-V-SG

I. Intersex                                     B-CRIT

II. Transsexualism                        B-TS

Transsexual Autobiographies      B-TS-AB

III. Sex-Roles                                B-ROLE

IV. Gender-Personality                 B-GEND

V. Sexual Orientation                   B-ORNT

VI. Cross-Dressing                       B-TV

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