Canadian Expert Says with Treatment Most Priests Won't Abuse Againz

Catholic News Service [Vatican City, Rome]
Downloaded April 8, 2003

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With treatment and ongoing supervision, most priests found guilty of sexually abusing a minor will not offend again, the Canadian co-developer of a widely used risk assessment procedure told Vatican officials. "I believe most priests who have been caught will not offend again," said R. Karl Hanson, a senior researcher in the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. "The rate (of re-offense) will be greater than zero," but it likely will be much lower than the 15 percent expected among all sexual molesters after five years, he said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service. He also said no evidence exists that would suggest that choosing the celibate priesthood is a risk factor. Hanson, co-developer of the Static-99 and the Static 2002 risk assessment programs for sex offenders, was one of eight international experts invited to speak to Vatican officials at an April 2-5 symposium on pedophilia.

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