Richard Sipe

A.W. Richard Sipe is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. He was trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic Priests. In the process of training and therapy, he conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic.

Sipe is known internationally and has participated in 12 documentaries on celibacy and priest sexual abuse aired by HBO, BBC, and other networks in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. He has been widely interviewed by media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, People magazine, Newsweek and USA Today. 

Sipe has been featured on many television programs where he has explained this problem including The Point with Anderson Cooper in 200. Sipe was joined by Phil Saviano to discuss the church's response to these allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.  

"The pattern is if a priest gets into trouble and it's close to becoming a scandal or if the law might get involved, they send them to the missions abroad"

Richard Sipe is devoted full time to research into the sexual and celibate practices of Roman Catholic bishops and priests. That path now leads him to the study of the sexual teaching of the church and its effects on behavior especially sexual abuse of minors by clergy and the tangle of sexual problems that some people claim are blocking every religious agenda and destroying beyond repair the credibility of the Catholic Church in sexual matters. He has spent his life searching for the origins, meanings, and dynamics of religious celibacy.

Sipe is also on SNAP's recommended reading for his books Sex, Priests and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis and Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse which explore various aspects of the questions about the pattern and practice of religious celibacy. He spent 18 years serving the Church as a Benedictine monk and Catholic priest. In those capacities, he was trained to deal with the mental health problems of priests. Both as a priest and married man he has practiced psychotherapy, taught on the faculties of Major Catholic Seminaries and colleges, lectured in medical schools, and served as a consultant and expert witness in both civil and criminal cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

"Have we learned nothing from 20 years of sexual abuse crisis, over 6,000 priests reported as abusers and 100,000 of young victims? The pattern and practice goes on unabated and unreformed."

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