US Catholic Church study blames 1960s permissiveness for rise in sexual abuse

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A report on the child abuse scandal in the US Catholic Church has provoked condemnation for concluding that the permissive society of the 1960s was to blame for the rise in sexual offences by priests.

The investigation commissioned by Catholic bishops said that the peak incidence of sexual abuse by priests in the 1960s and 70s reflected the increased level of other deviant behaviours in American society in the period, including “drug use and crime, as well as social changes, such as an increase in premarital sex and divorce.”

Researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice said most of the abusive priests were ordained in the 1940s and 50s and were not properly trained to confront the social upheavals of the 1960s.
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