To varying degrees, U.S. priests continue to harbor discontent with church leaders and at times feel like they are walking on "eggshells" as a result of the clergy sex abuse crisis, reports a recently released study.
Carried out by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, "Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood since Vatican II" also says the scandal:
- Caught many priests off guard, that they had been "unaware of the full scope of the problem";
- Was "almost never" linked by study participants to homosexuality or clerical celibacy as underlying causes;
- Should include the question: "Is there a dark side to priestly fraternity?"
Based at Georgetown University, the CARA researchers used a sample of 2,400 diocesan and 800 religious priests. It employed surveys, focus groups and individual interviews.
Two chapters -- a little more than a fourth of the book-form study -- focus on the sex abuse issue. Both chapters are largely based on interviews and anecdotes.