The Sexual Abuse Crisis: What Have We Learned and What Issues Do We Still Have to Face? by Carolyn Moore Newberger, Ed.D.

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I come to this conference as a psychologist and as a person raised in the Jewish tradition. I was first introduced to the reality of child sexual abuse in the Church in a very unusual way. It was during the early 1970’s when I was an intern in Clinical Child psychology in Boston. I had a close colleague who told me in the coffee room one day that he had been a priest, and had left the priesthood. I knew he was a devout Catholic, and asked, “Michael, why did you leave the priesthood?” He replied, “Well, I was assigned to a large city institution that took in boys from the streets, and I discovered that these boys were being taken in and being molested by the members of the clergy and by the director of this institution. I couldn’t reconcile that with my values and beliefs as a Catholic and as a priest. I had to go. I couldn’t deal with it. I had to leave.” And so, there’s another fallout from these issues, which is the good men you have lost who otherwise would have been fine priests, as my friend Michael became a wonderful social worker in the lay world.

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