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Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church Hardcover – June 7, 2011


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Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church + Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II + Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038553132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385531320
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Money dominates the third of Jason Berry’s important books about the Catholic Church. Render Unto Rome probes deeply into the culture of the church. To painful questions about money and sex, Berry finds, the response of the church is always the same – secrecy and silence." --Thomas Powers

"The Catholic Church wants us to believe that it can reform itself from within. This book shows that it simply can’t. If you are an entrenched member of the hierarchy, you are not going to like this book. If you are a Catholic who believes that truth will lead to change – and that the Vatican needs to change, and change fast – Render unto Rome is your catechism." --James Carville

"A captivating read, Render to Rome is an astounding revelation of the church's financial system, and required reading for those who donate to the church or are interested in the ongoing effort to restore the credibility of the church and its hierarchy." --Sister Joan Chittister, OSB

"Once again Jason Berry is ahead of the curve when it comes to writing about the Catholic Church. Nothing about this book is superficial. This is a prodigiously researched work that looks at the church with both breadth and depth, and it is fascinating." --John M. Barry, author of Rising Tide and The Great Influenza

"As a writer, Jason Berry has the jeweler’s eye for significant detail that combines with the novelist’s art in telling a story; as a reporter and researcher, Berry is thorough, compelling, and complete." --George Fish

About the Author

"Jason Berry is the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion, and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance" — Phyllis Theroux, USA TODAY

Jason Berry achieved prominence for his reporting on the Catholic Church crisis in Lead Us Not Into Temptation (1992), a book used in many newsrooms. He has been widely interviewed in the national media, with many appearances on Nightline, Oprah, ABC and CNN. USA Today called Berry “the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance.”   Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, written with Gerald Renner (2004) has Spanish, Australian and Italian editions. The film he produced based on the book won Best TV Documentary Award at 2008 Docs D.F. -- Mexico City International Festival of Documentary Film.

Jason Berry produces documentaries and writes on culture and politics for many publications. Up From the Cradle of Jazz. a history of New Orleans music, reissued in fall 2009 has new sections on the cultural impact of Hurricane Katrina. His other books include Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi, The Spirit of Black Hawk and Louisiana Faces: Images from A Renaissance with photographs of Philip Gould. He received a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship for research on jazz funerals and a 1992 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship for reporting on Louisiana demagogues. His play, Earl Long in Purgatory, won a 2002 Big Easy award for Best Original Work in Theatre.

He is also the author of Last of the Red Hot Poppas, a comic novel about Louisiana politics.

Jason Berry lives in New Orleans.

www.jasonberryauthor.com


More About the Author

Jason Berry's first novel, Last of the Red Hot Poppas, takes the reader on a ride through the corrupt and vibrant culture of southern Louisiana, which Berry has been reporting on for decades. This "spiritual comedy," as Berry calls it, borrows on the nove

Customer Reviews

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Easy to read and informative.
hellfire
Jason Berry's work, which is by now very well known, spells out the details of the scandals besetting the Roman Catholic Church.
Joe Komadina
I learned much about my own faith needs reading this series of books, and am more adult in my faith for the lessons learned.
Jacob Z. Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Fox Friends of Creation on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jason Berry, along with his colleague Gerald Renner (now deceased) will forever be remembered for the solid investigative journalism that revealed the truth about the sordid life of Fr. Maciel Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ so honored and beloved by the late John Paul II. Their book, appropriately titled Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, was roundly ignored for years by the Vatican and the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith headed by Ratzinger. It demonstrated that letters and formal requests to be heard by victims of Maciel's sexual abuse in seminaries he founded were ignored for years; it makes one weep and outraged at this man's perfidy. Yet, Pope John Paul II was so enamored of Maciel's fund raising prowess and of his all-obedient troops that he took him with him on plane rides to Latin America and ordained fifty-some of his priests in a massive public showing of support in St Peter's square. Ratzinger once commented that it would not be "prudent" to go after Maciel since he had done so much good for the church. Try telling that to the twenty-some seminarians he abused AND the two common law wives he had on the side along with four children, all of whom (boys and one girl) he also abused sexually. Ratzinger as Pope Benedict finally got around to investigating Maciel and his Legion of Christ order which, among other strange and fascist practices, demanded a vow of not speaking badly of the "saintly founder" (that is, Maciel). Maciel was not only a great fund raiser and recruiter for the priesthood, he was also enamored of Pinochet and other right wing dictators.

Now Jason Berry continues his probings into the sordid facts about the Roman Catholic Church in our time.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James A. Husing on July 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
RENDER UNTO ROME BLOWS THE LID off the Catholic Church's finances. I found the book to be a page turner. I read it in a couple of days. Anyone who reads this book who is a Catholic will reconsider donating any money to the church. They have misspent millions of dollars to pay off years of misconduct by priests and the sexual abuse scandals. I highly recommend this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Gillenkirk on July 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Investigative author Jason Berry takes us where few non-clergy -- and no women -- have ever gone: inside the gilded parlors and secret vaults of the Roman Catholic Church. This reverent yet scathing revelation of the crippling financial impact of the Church's widespread pederasty scandal tells a gripping tale through the experiences of dioceses and parishes in Boston, Los Angeles, Cleveland and elsewhere in the U.S. The villains? Arrogant and unbending princes of the Church -- bishops, cardinals and popes -- portrayed in maddening detail, and a non-functioning system of Vatican accountability. The heroes? Devoted and desperate parishoners, priests loyal to Christ and his mission of mercy rather than to corrupt colleagues and the bottom line, and whistleblowers and investigators like Mr. Berry himself. This book reveals the tragic consequences of blind obedience to authorities who insist they speak for God, and the incompetence of oh-so-mortal clergymen, including Popes John Paul II and his successor, Joseph Ratzinger, aka Benedict XVI. This book is a must-read for the faithful, and those who like to be immersed in a real-life saga of Good v. Evil. Get thee to a bookstore and "Render Unto Rome"!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Veritatis gladiator on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Render Unto Rome", the new powerful book written by a first class journalist, Jason Berry, has given to all men and women of good will a deeper understanding of the dynamics of corruption endemic in some major religions. Among other merits, Jason Berry is a sincere friend and strong defender of the many victims left destroyed by the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the froud, sexual predator and incestous founder of the Legion of Christ.

Jason's factual accuracy, master journalistic style and vast documented research courageously expose the corruption, filth and greed that stains many walls and corridors in the Vatican and sectors of the Catholic church.

Congratulations and kudos to Jason Berry for his tireless resolve in denauncing corruption and deceit, while defending Truth, Integrity and Justice.

Juan J. Vaca
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Michael D'Antonio on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
No writer anywhere has devoted more time and energy to understanding the Catholic Church than Jason Berry. The depth of his knowledge and experience are evident here. A solid invetigator, he follows the money to show where the priorities of church leaders lie and he reveals the currents of faith and devotion that move everyday Catholics to hold the hierarchy accountable. Paced like a suspense novel but grounded in documentation, Render Unto Rome is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the modern church as both a religious institution and a power player on the world stage.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Z. Campbell on August 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
RENDER UNTO ROME is an amazingly well written, factually rich book. Although reading Mr. Berry's earlier works, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION and VOWS OF SILENCE, would give the reader in-depth context, Mr. Berry brings the reader of RENDER UNTO ROME up to speed on the facts of an old well-hidden church problem.
In RENDER UNTO ROME historical context is provided to help one understand the long traditions which have allowed A RIVER OF MONEY TO RUN ONE WAY TO ROME (Peter's Pence.)
In order to subsidize settlements of USA priest sex abuse cases, ruthless "suppression" of whole parish-communities of Catholic believers has occurred. Some established inner-city church families have been evicted to pay these penalties for wrongs perpetrated elsewhere. An aloof, isolated, calloused hierarchy have allowed this pilfering. Amazing cases of simple in-house grand theft of church funds went unreported and ignored.
Yet, Mr. Berry's tone is fair and compassionate to all involved. In no way is he unfair towards church officials. RENDER UNTO ROME is accurate. The constructive tone of this amazing book offers to the church much needed self-awareness, and self-accountability.
Jason Berry's own Catholicism has been strengthened as has been his faith in Christ, in spite of the many ugly institutional wrongs. He chooses to work to repair the church. He stands tall and speaks of much needed correctives in church structure and administration. He awakens in the reader the sense of responsibility to become part of the solution, and not to passively bow to the status quo. One comes away from reading RENDER UNTO ROME aware of the important need for the faithful to insist on accountability. Good bookkeeping would help also.
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