Sexual Abuse by Presbyterian Ministers

Texas Attorney for Victims of Sex Abuse by the Presbyterian Church

 
The Presbyterian Church is not shielded from sex abuse scandals.

 


The Presbyterian Church (USA), has also been exposed in cases of ministers abusing youth.

The most high-profile instance so far involves a California man who is suing the denomination, alleging that he was molested by an older boy in 1988 at a church-operated boarding house in Africa, and that church leaders on site allowed it to occur.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Louisville, Kentucky, where the PC-USA is headquartered, states that the denomination had received reports before 1988 of alleged abuse at the facility and that it “knew or should have known ... that its mission children were vulnerable to sexual abuse.”

An "independent" panel commissioned by the church, in a 546 page report found wide-spread abuse within the ranks of the Presbyterian Church.

The Panel was formed based on overwhelming evidence of sex abuse.

The panel, which spent several years investigating charges of physical and sexual abuse involving the children of missionaries serving overseas from the 1950s to 1990, ultimately named nine individuals, including ministers ordained with the denomination, whom the panel determined had abused children.

A similar investigation in 2002 had found “overwhelming” evidence that a Presbyterian minister and missionary had sexually abused at least 22 girls and women over a 40-year period, both in Africa and the United States. The minister retired from the Highland Park church in 1985. Additionally, between 1968 and 1970 a male Methodist missionary had abused children of Presbyterian missionaries at the same African facility.