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Predatory Nuns: Sexual Abuse in North American Catholic Sisterhoods

Predatory Nuns: Sexual Abuse in North American Catholic Sisterhoods
(2022)

Publisher’s Notes

Predatory Nuns: Sexual Abuse in North American Catholic Sisterhoods
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2022

Since its emergence in the mid-1980s, the sexual predator priest scandal has cost the Catholic Church in America more than $4 billion in compensation settlements and incalculable damage to its reputation. Predatory nuns were a problem too although their crimes have received little attention. Their depredations took place in convent novitiates, orphanages, boarding schools for Native Americans, and in Catholic schools, both elementary and secondary. Their victims, male and female, ranged in age from young adults to six-year-olds.

In this book, secular historian Brian Titley examines the criminal behavior of North American nuns and how religious sisterhood leaders responded to it. Mothers superior were loud in their refusal to accept responsibility for the crimes committed under their watch. Their instinct was to close ranks to protect the sexual predators and in doing so endangered countless children and young people. As for the complainants, they were treated as a nuisance to be brushed aside with a minimum publicity and expense.

This is the first major study of the Church’s latest sex scandal and presents a strikingly different image of convent culture from that depicted by Catholic historians.