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Is Nothing Sacred?: The Story of a Pastor, the Women He Sexually Abused, and the Congregation He Nearly Destroyed Paperback – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: United Church Press (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829812709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829812701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Simonds (folkarts@mn.tds.net) on August 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book deals with the growing problem of male pastors sexually abusing their parishioners. What is intended to be a position of trust , is used in ways that can destroy lives. The pastor uses his power and pastoral office to victimize parishioners. The result is destruction of lives, marriages and sometimes congregations. I know the damage this can do, and of the problems people struggle with to put their lives back together. Ten years ago I left parish ministry in a congregation in the Midwest. I had spent two years there, following a pastor who had not only been sexually abusing that congregation, but also had been doing the same sexual abuse in his former parish. At that time the Bishop's office let him move, perhaps in hope against hope that he would not offend again. Now a strict policy has been formed to deal with the problem . There is also an effort to screen pastors to prevent such abuse by pastors. While it is not a poplular explanation today, some clergy are evil. This book is helpful and well worth reading, as are all her books. A few years ago, I heard Marie Fortune give a guest lecture at a Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. There were both male and female seminary students at the lecture, as well as a few pastors who had experienced the effects of a pastor who had sexually abused them or their congregation. Sadly, some of the male seminarians walked out of the lecture withn the first 15 minutes. August 9, 1999
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James L. Park on September 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Marie M. Fortune
Is Nothing Sacred?
When Sex Invades the Pastoral Relationship

(New York: Harper & Row, 1989) 167 pages

This is the story of one church where the minister
had sexual relationships with several members.
It is told from the perspective of the women (ages 20-60)
who were victimized by the seducer.
The book was put together by a woman called in
as a consultant by denominational officials.

The minister was a charismatic, 'spiritual' person,
who had a series of secret affairs with perhaps a dozen women
in his church over a period of 4 years.
He easily manipulated the women into bed with him
because they were under his spell as their minister.
One became involved with him because she was very active
on church committees and in youth work.
One was seduced when in a vulnerable state
because of the death of her husband.
She was told that sex with her minister
would be part of the healing-recovery process.
One was an employee of the church.
And one was a married female minister of the same denomination.
Physical comforting of women in distress
often turned into a sexual encounter.
And he talked some of the younger women
into having sex with him by promising to marry them.
All of his victims blamed themselves in some degree
for allowing themselves to be seduced.
This self-blame kept the problem hidden for years.
A conspiracy of silence (with only vague rumors circulating)
reigned among all the women he had seduced or abused.
But an informal women's grapevine developed
to warn other women who might become his victims:
This minister is a romantic/sexual predator; watch out for him.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Morgana on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will anger the reader in how things were covered up. I encourage all women, no matter what faith to read this. This is why if a woman is raped/sexually harassed in church she should go strait to the police and not bother with church politics. Once this kind of thing makes it on the 6pm news the church will address the problem unlike how it was handled in/by this congregation.

After reading this I can't believe most of the women stayed in that church for as long as they did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jabef on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A compelling and indepth look at abusive clergy and the effects that misuse of authority can result it. This is an great book on the inner workings of an sexually abusive clergy person. It also discusses ways to prevent such misuse of authority from occurring. Great book!
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