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The Institute of Living started its treatment program for pedophile priests in the mid-1980s, when the problem first received national attention. In 1985, the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe of Lafayette, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to abusing 11 boys and admitted molesting dozens more. He served 10 years in prison.

There are numerous centers in the United States and Canada that treat priests for a variety of problems. Some of the centers, such as the Saint Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada, and the St. John Marie Vianney Program in Dittmer, Missouri, treat clergy and other religious leaders almost exclusively.

While treatment centers focus on remedies, the Christian Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality in Chicago concentrates on prevention. Experts in psychology, medicine and theology train seminary instructors to deal with sexuality issues among students. The institute was founded in 1995, and since then, 700 seminary instructors have been trained there.