The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Study: Clergy sexual abuse an ongoing problem

More than 3 percent of adult women who attend religious services at least once a month have been victims of clergy sexual abuse, according to researchers at Baylor University, Waco, Texas .

Four percent of respondents said they knew of a close friend or family member who experienced a sexual advance by a clergy member in their congregation, the study said.

Baylor researchers said their report is the largest scientific study into this issue in the U.S. "Because many people are familiar with some of the high-profile cases of sexual misconduct, most people assume that it is just a matter of a few charismatic leaders preying on vulnerable followers," said Diana Garland, dean of Baylor's School of Social Work and lead researcher in the study. "What this research tells us, however, is that clergy sexual misconduct with adults is a widespread problem in congregations of all sizes and occurs across denominations."

One of the case studies involved an ELCA member coerced into a sexual relationship by her pastor.

Researchers, Garland said, hoped the findings would prompt congregations to adopt policies to protect members from "leaders who abuse their power."




Posted at 4:47 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/19/2009

Thank you for this important article on clergy abuse.

Information on clergy abuse is at : http://ritualabuse.us/research/clergy-abuse/

Catherine Holtz

Catherine Holtz

Posted at 5:00 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/19/2009

I am an adult abused by my pastor.  I've spent over 20 years trying to get this man out of the priesthood.  He remained a priest abusing other women.  I was and still am the choir director of a large parish.  The Bishop is as corrupt as this priest.  I am in the Diocese of Rochester, NY.  Hopefully, all these men will be punished for what they have done to the victims and their families.

Madaline E. States

Madaline E. States

Posted at 12:33 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/20/2009

I am the survivor of a United States Government human experimentation called Mk_Ultra.  Mk_Ultra can research through Google. For the last 20 years I have been attempting to have the government acknowledge their responsibitity toward void of informed consent, my being used like a lab animal and of course without avail.  

In my opinion, survivors of such abuaes of power must form a strong accountability group and demand that not only accountability but actions be taken for the develipment of legal action enforcemnt mandate.

Survival within itself is an indication of inner strength and courage.  We must not let this amoral behavior continue to lead our global society.  The horror stories I have read and the horrors which I have survived need the window of a global register.  What we are talking about is the abuse of power which is so arrogant that it feels as if it untouchable.  Let's see what we can do to change the manner in which we are governed.  Thank you for listening to this long comment.


Madaline E. States



Chris Caffes

Chris Caffes

Posted at 1:10 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/21/2009


I am an adult male age fifty that was victimized as a child in & out of several different church setting. My family was a fairly high profile upper middle class one with two working parents in the 60's that was the rareist thing about us i would say and most likely what made me more vulnerble? I also lost my mother to Drunk drivers in 67 and it was all over the front page so that brought out the sicko's further, a traumatized 8 year old with a single parent (jack Pot) Anyway guard your kids and watch for withdrawl, my abuse was never caught and has now ruined not only my life but my children and wifes as well! I Do blame the church and think you better watch your backs when Jesus does return, stop judging me for being raped and i'll stop hating you for allowing it to happen and then deny and covering it up every chance possible.


The Madd Greek

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