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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on March 12, 2008
This work, from a deeply invested observer, is well worth the read for anyone interested in making sense of the debacle served up by the ranks of American Catholic prelates over the past 30 years.

A small caveat: It provides a very conservative Catholic's view of the mess, and there is little patience displayed with things Catholic that arose post-1960.

This book deserved a much better editorial effort and a much more professional publishing house. Sadly, a reader often has to supply entire missing words, and re-reread whole passages to make sense of poorly punctuated text.
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on March 3, 2014
The author, a former editor of the diocesan newspaper of Boston, relates in sad detail the decline of that diocese from one of the world's most faithful to one of the most disobedient and degenerate. The story is a depressingly familiar one, of assimilation by the laity and betrayal by the clergy. And indeed, much of this book is taken up by the story of the Church in America as a whole. Boston is a special case though, considering the height from which it fell and the depths to which it descended. From the nation's Catholic stronghold, it became a diocese whose archbishops and Cardinals aided and abetted pederasts.

As the author details, the rot started far back in the Good Old Days, when Cardinal O'Connell was reliably reported to have had a homosexual lover. Nevertheless, despite his private failings, the Cardinal publicly ruled as befitted a Prince of the Church. It was his successor- the weak, compromising Cardinal Cushing- who began publicly to go a-whoring after liberal accolades with one accommodation after another with the rising secularist ascendancy, a spirit that reflected the feelings of a flock whose sole ambitions in life were increasingly materialist and assimilationist. Catholics of his time, having achieved equality and even power, were pathetically desperate to be thought of as regular Americans by the Protestant establishment and their Protestant neighbors, and were willing to ignore or discard the Faith in order to prove their adherence to the American religion. (It's not well remembered that, despite John Kennedy's strong support of government contraception programs and his public disavowal of any Catholic influence on his decision-making, the Church made no condemnation of the golden boy who made good at Harvard and was accepted by the Protestant Establishment).

This story is enlivened by local details and the author's own insider testimony, such as when he detected Cardinal Law in perjury during a deposition. On the whole though, informed Catholics will know this story by heart, as it played out in the same way in a hundred different dioceses. We understand how a homosexual clique caused the abuse crisis; we understand that the laity will, in some percentage, be seduced by sin; we understand that there will be heretics and schismatics in the Church. What we don't understand is why- in the face of these challenges- our bishops act the part of accomplices in the destruction of souls and the dissolution of our Church. Mere cowardice and incompetence just doesn't explain it anymore. Yet, nothing is done and nothing is likely to be done by the only people who have the authority to do anything. It's just a sad, sad story.
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on November 4, 2014
An excellent chronicle of how the Catholic Church in America self-destructed due to a lack of leadership from a bunch of weasels masquerading as bishops.
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on July 30, 2008
The author sees the basic problem clearly, the effort in Boston to "make it" by Catholics as if they constituted a sort of race rather than a religion. I think he errs in suiggesting that this atttude was universal in the USA.
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