© 2019

Sociological Perspectives on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Hierarchy

An Exploratory Structural Analysis of Social Disorganisation


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies book series (BRIEFSRESTU)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Vivencio O. Ballano
    Pages 1-26
  3. Vivencio O. Ballano
    Pages 51-60

About this book


This book, as an exploratory sociological analysis, broadly examines the major structural factors which contribute to the social disorganization of the Catholic hierarchy as a clerical community, facilitating the persistence of clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Using some tenets of the social disorganization theory on crime and deviance as the overall theoretical framework with some perspectives from social organization, social network, and social capital, and secondary literature and qualitative data to support the arguments, it examines the (1) diocesan clergy’s social interaction, mutual support, and social control system in the hierarchical community, (2) connection between mandated clerical celibacy and clerical sexual abuse, and (3) the implication of the laity’s lack of empowerment and ecclesiastical authority to monitor and sanction clerical behavior. The Catholic hierarchy prides itself as a unified community of clerics under the Pope who shares the one priesthood of Christ. But the current clerical sexual scandals and the inability of bishops to adequately manage clerical sexual abuse cases make one wonders whether the Catholic clergy is indeed a cohesive and socially organized community which inhibits clerical sexual abuse. This book invites Church authorities, theologians, scholars, and lay leaders to understand the persistent clerical sexual abuse empirically and to come up with structural reforms which enhance the social network and social control systems of the Catholic hierarchy against clerical sexual misconduct and support victims.


Catholic Clerical Sexual Abuse Social Disorganization Catholic Hierachy Social networks in the Catholic Church Clerical celibacy Clerical Abuse in the Catholic Hierarchy Sexual Scandals in the Catholic Church Lay empowerment Social Interaction of the Clergy Supervision of Clerical Behavior in the Hierarchy Social Disorganization Theory Social control Catholic Laity Social Bonding in the Clerical Community

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)ManilaPhilippines

About the authors

Dr. Vivencio O. Ballano was a diocesan and Jesuit seminarian for 10 years and Theology professor in Catholic universities for 12 years before becoming a sociologist. Currently, he is Associate Professor V of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and College Researcher-Manager of the College of Social Science and Development (CSSD) of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Manila, Philippines. He received his doctorate in Sociology from the Ateneo de Manila University and master’s degree in Theology from the Loyola School of Theology (LST), Ateneo de Manila University. He is the author of the two Scopus-indexed books: Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam (2016) and Law, Normative Pluralism, and Post-Disaster Recovery: Evaluating the Post-Disaster Relocation and Housing of Typhoon Ketsana Victims in the Philippines (2017), all published by Springer Nature Singapore. His research interests include sociology of law, religion, media piracy, post-disaster management, and Catholic Social Teaching. He is currently working on his next project, also a Springer Brief in Religious Studies under Springer Nature Singapore, on Catholic Social Teaching and the common good using the sociological approach.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Sociological Perspectives on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Hierarchy
  • Book Subtitle An Exploratory Structural Analysis of Social Disorganisation
  • Authors Vivencio O. Ballano
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs Religious Stud.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-13-8824-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-13-8825-5
  • Series ISSN 2510-5035
  • Series E-ISSN 2510-5043
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 97
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Catholicism
    Sociology of Religion
    Sociological Theory
    Social Aspects of Religion
    Christian Theology
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