A ministerial relationship is one in which a person receives pastoral care from a religious, including
- Members of religious communities
- Spiritual Directors and Pastoral Counselors
Sexual misconduct is a general term that encompasses sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexualized conduct or language between co-workers in the Church setting . It may include , but is not limited to:
- Unsolicited sexual advances and propositions
- The use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual or his/her body.
- The telling of inappropriate or sexually-charged jokes
- Retaliation against a co-worker who refuses sexual advances
- Offers of preferential treatment such as promotions, positive performance evaluations, or favorably assigned duties or shifts in exchange for sexual favors.
Sexual exploitation in the context of the Church consists of sexual contact between a religious and the person receiving pastoral care from him or her.
Sexual abuse in the context of the Church is sexual contact between a religious and a minor or vulnerable adult.
Sexual exploitation or sexual abuse can include physical contact or actions such as
- Sexual touch or other physical contact that makes the person being touched feel uncomfortable
- Giving a sexually charged gift (such as lingerie)
- A prolonged hug when a brief hug is customary behavior
- Kissing on the lips when a kiss on the cheek would be appropriate
- Showing sexually suggestive objects or pornography
- Sexual intercourse, anal or oral sex
Sexual exploitation or sexual abuse can also include verbal behavior such as
- Innuendo or sexual talk
- Suggestive comments
- Descriptions of sexual experiences, fantasies, or conflicts
- Sexual propositions