Clergy Sexual Abuse Across Traditions

April 8, 2002

Source: Newsday

On April 8, 2002, Newsday reported that "from Episcopal and Protestant churches to Jewish synagogues and Hindu temples, religious leaders... are reflecting on the sexual abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Church and its potential impact on their own houses of worship... In truth, the scourge of clergy sexual abuse has been exposed in virtually every religious faith and denomination... Members of the Jewish Orthodox faith recently... [faced] their own sexual abuse scandal involving... a leader in the Orthodox Union's National Conference of Synagogue Youth... Until this year, the Orthodox Union had no system for fielding sexual abuse complaints. Now, the group has training sessions, procedures for sexual misconduct" and an extensive support network. "The only non-Christian denomination that has been hit with allegations of child sexual abuse on the scale of the Catholic Church is the Hare Krishna. Almost 100 former Krishna children... are suing the Hindu sect, alleging years of sexual, physical and mental abuse in the Krishna schools... But, in contrast to the Catholic Church, the Hare Krishna were more open in responding to the crisis... and created a child protection office to investigate and report abuse... At the Hindu temple in Flushing, temple president Dr. Uma Mysorekar said... 'All religions are sacred. So, if leaders are not following the moral precepts,... it becomes a mockery. Young people will lose faith.'"