From the father as king to the child as king

  • Javier Elzo Imaz Universidad de Deusto
Keywords: child abuse, clergy, human rights, cultural change, father, child


In the summer of 2018 several research initiatives worldwide revealed the lacerating reality of the profusion of child abuse committed by the Catholic clergy, in most cases, decades before. Other contemporary research has shown that, among some reduced —but relevant— intellectual circles, the social interpretation of the child as a subject of rights is now very different from what it used to be. From the 1960s and 70s up to our days, there has been a clash between two different paradigms: One has been waning, which is the one focusing on the father; while the other has waxed, which is the one focused on the child. We have moved from the father as key figure to the child as key figure. This shift has also taken place in the patriarchal model of Catholicism, although, of course, it is not enough to explain the increasing cases of child abuse among the clergy.

Received: 16 June 2019
Accepted: 26 October 2019
Published online: 20 December 2019


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How to Cite
Elzo Imaz, Javier. 2019. “From the Father As King to the Child As King”. Deusto Journal of Human Rights, no. 4 (December), 203-25.