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Broken Trust: Stories of Pain, Hope, and Healing from Clerical Abuse Survivors and Abusers Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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Broken Trust: Stories of Pain, Hope, and Healing from Clerical Abuse Survivors and Abusers + Shattered Soul?: Five Pathways to Healing the Spirit after Abuse and Trauma
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824524101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824524104
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If there is any light to be found in the darkness of the Catholic clerical sexual abuse scandal, these authors point the way toward it by letting five recovering abusers tell their stories. Fleming and Lauber-Fleming, both psychotherapists, and Matousek, a chemical dependency counselor, say the abusers with whom they have worked professionally all have suffered some kind of trauma, often sexual abuse, that in turn affected their behavior as priests. These stories need to be told, the authors say, in the interest of breaking the cycle of abuse. Abusers whose stories appear in the book had to meet strict criteria, including taking full responsibility for their behavior. The book also includes narratives from three victims, one of whom is Lauber-Fleming, and makes a strong case that priests who abuse are sick, much like alcoholics. The authors insist that such priests can be helped, and they present a proposal for church-sponsored healing dialogues between victim and abuser as well as a model of residential recovery based on a facility directed by Matousek. Readers who are open to hearing the voices of abusers will find a very human portrayal, but one that also offers sound solutions. (Apr. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

Tales of anguish straight from the news headlines - that is the thrust of Broken Trust. Here are the stories of the priest abusers in their own words - words of anger, repentance, and even self-delusion. Here are the stories of the abuse survivors, laden with pain and trauma. What brought the respected clergy to abuse boys and girls, men and women in their trust? Is there hope for hope for healing? This book explores the devastation and fears of the survivors, and the tragic mistakes by the Catholic hierarchy. The counselors offer their own expert perspectives on the stories, with one perspective particularly meaningful: one of the counselors herself survived clerical sexual abuse.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Fuhrwerk on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Broken Trust is a u-turn in the plethora of literature spawned by the multitude of clergy abuse cases published in recent years. The glaring magnified light under which these eight cases are exposed reveals poignant details, indeed the very humanity under which the abuse occurs. This is not an emotional revelation meant to capture sympathy. reveal salacious detais or glean accolades of any kind.

Contrarily, it exposes the humanness, the sorrow, the life-changing forces that created the situation and the gut-wrenching depths to which an individual much reach to reclaim his or her life.

The first five cases are written by Catholic priests who have sexually abused minors. The personal narratives strike a chord with the reader that reveals an honest humility and the struggle to change one's life. The touching quality of each story resonates with an honesty, an openness, and a desperate day-to-day struggle to grow spiritually while facing the devastation caused by their behavior. The book does not purport to see them in any other light than souls who are committed to working diligently, with guidance and supervision, to become redeemed.

The last three stories are those of victims. Again, the purpose is not to castigate the perpetrators, but to show that life does not end, nor does it have to be permanently crippled the by abuse. Quite the contrary, through counseling, prayer and the tenacity of the human spirit, these three former victims have become strong, productive, spiritual energies who have created positive changes not only for themselves but in the work they care called to do. The abuse they suffered no long shackles them but indeed has created roots from which new life has emerged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V. Schmidt on March 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Broken Trust provides deep insight into the reasons why clergy become perpetrators of abuse. We can blame and create villains out of these men who abuse. We can call for them to be defrocked and jailed but the real stories of their own abuse and pain as children leads us to a place of at least beginning to understand why they then abuse others. I am a survivor of abuse and it has taken me years to heal. In order to stop the abuse we have to know why it began in the first place. Broken Trust tells the stories of five priests who have abused and three survivors of abuse. Their stories are tragic, their abuse seems unforgiveable and yet we see how they can overcome and heal those hurts, seek forgiveness and make amends.

The three survivors of abuse by priests speak boldly of how they healed the pain from sexual abuse and have transformed their pain instead of transmitting it to others. As a Christian I find Broken Trust to be a clear voice in helping all of us understand the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. This issue is huge for the Catholic Church and all denominations. Until they can seriously look at these issues apart from trying to protect Holy Mother Church, they will not get it. The newest allegations of abuse in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands will perhaps draw their attention. I encourage everyone to read Broken Trust to read about the real stories of real people dealing with real abuse.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is just what I wanted. It arrived with some of the pages bent at the top. Possibly something hit them and caused this. It prevented me from giving it 5 stars. I am in the process of reading it now. The price was excellent and everyone should check out Amazon.com before buying anywhere else first!FP
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John H. Boyle on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An excellent approach to a difficult subject.

BROKEN TRUST ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Leon J. Podles on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a bad book, a very bad book. It is not so much the Hallmark card prose of the authors (which perfectly suits the shallow moral and spiritual attitudes of the authors), as both the stated and the hidden purpose of the book, that makes the book pernicious.

The therapist-authors have abusers and victims tell their stories. We are invited to feel sympathy for the wounded humanity of the abusers, who suffer from pedophilia and young-woman-a-philia and blue-eyed-blond-hair-young-man-a-philia. That is, the priests like to have sex with people that they shouldn't have sex with. The abusers suffer from "sex addiction," that is, they really like having sex (who doesn't?).

The stated purpose of the book is to get everyone beyond anger so that abusers and victims can meet and reconcile. The therapist-authors admit that some money must be paid (for therapy of course), but there is no mention of paying damages for lost income, disrupted family relationships, and general pain and suffering. This approach saves the bishops money. It also saves them having to open their files to a jury or to the public, since donations might drop or some bishops might have to go to jail if the full truth were known. As Timothy Lytton's new book, "Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse," only the tort system brought about reform in the Church.

The abusers are after all "wounded healers" (Henri Nouwen has a lot to answer for), and why can't they be returned to ministry once they are "cured"? The priests in this book are also whiners. What they did would have gotten them burned at the stake in the past; they whine about not being able to say mass publicly.
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