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Rome Reports

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Priests publish a book about how to recognize future pedophiles

Fr. Hans Zollner Co-author, “The Church and Pedophilia: An Open Wound”“We wanted to know more about this problem and to see what psychologists and psychiatrists had to say. ; We got deeply into the issue and wrote this book.”

Fr. Giovanni CucciCo-author, “The Church and Pedophilia: An Open Wound”“This book intends to help priests understand how to report problems and to be aware of the public relevance that a priest has.”

Cucci and Zollner are psychologists as well as priests, so they?ve been studying what happened from psychological and religious points of view.

Fr. Giovanni CucciCo-author, “The Church and Pedophilia: An Open Wound”“This is a serious problem and there are very few psychological studies on the topic. ; We are calling attention to that. ; There has been little psychiatric and psychological research done for fear of labeling or discriminating against people.”

The work not only delves into the problem of priests who have committed abuse, but it also presents possible solutions.

Fr. Hans Zollner Co-author, “The Church and Pedophilia: An Open Wound”“We want to teach seminary directors and novitiates to recognize signs indicating the possibility that a priest or someone aspiring toward priesthood could develop a pathology.”

Fr. Giovanni CucciCo-author, “The Church and Pedophilia: An Open Wound”“If a person has one of the signs, that doesn?t mean he?s a pedophile; it means we must give him extra attention. ; It doesn?t mean he?ll fall into pedophilia, but ; perhaps that he doesn?t know how to listen, doesn?t have the capacity to give himself to others or to serve those who need most. ; He?s a priest focused on himself.”

The authors say some of the symptoms leaders should have in mind include the concept the priest has of his power and his interactions with adults. ; If he lacks the capacity to interact in a normal way with people his own age, they say he could try to fill the void by abusing children.

Cucci and Zollner say this is a serious pathology, but that it can be detected and in some cases redirected if educators know when and what to ask future priests. ; The pair of psychologists and professors at the Gregorian Pontifical University are publishing their conclusions after several years of study.

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