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106 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2006
This book is a most useful one - to say the least - for those of us, within the Church, grieved by these scandals and the utterly appalling manner in which they have been/are being handled. This excellent book should be required reading for bishops and priests everywhere.

Sadly, it would appear that there is not much enthusiasm among many clergy for being educated about the nature and extent of the evil that has devastated so many lives. That in itself is a terrible indictment of many in the institutional Church.

There are many false shepherds and - in Jesus' words - "hired hands", who DO NOT CARE about those wounded and torn by "wolves within the fold". They have sympathy for - and affinity with - their "brother priests" who are, in fact, sexual predators; and no love or compassion for their victims whose lives are so deeply scarred.
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85 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2006
When I first learned of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, I asked "how could this have happened?" This book answers that question.

On just one page, I learned that

Cardinals take an oath to never divulge anything confided to them that "might bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church."


In May 2002 a judge of the Holy Roman Rota, the highest court in the Church, wrote in a Vatican-approved article, that bishops should not report sexual violations of priests to civil authorities.

This scandal is NOT history. Thinking people must get informed and act.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
Anyone who thinks that sex abuse by Catholic priests is a recent problem should read this book. As the title tells us, it's a 2,000-year paper trail of abuse. And most or all of that time, Catholic authorities condoned and covered up the scandalous activity to protect the image of the church. I found this book most useful in my research for a book on Irish priests, "An Irish Tragedy: How Sex Abuse by Irish Priests Helped Cripple the Catholic Church." Many of these abusive priests were exported to America, undermining the church their predecessors had helped to build.--Joe Rigert, author.
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62 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2006
If this review seems harsh, it's because the lives of kids are at stake and the problem is NOT being addressed openly by the Catholic Church.

When I read a non-fiction book and come across a fact that startles me, I put a dot in the margin next to the sentence and, at the back of the book, list the page number. This helps me research and/or discuss matters of import while preserving their context.

Here are a few of the items I marked of Father Doyle's (et al) objective history of clerical celibacy and child abuse in the Catholic Church:

4- Solicitation in the confessional

21- Pope Leo IX decided to exclude "only those who had offended repeatedly and over a long period of time."

28 - Pope Benedict commanded that no two monks were to sleep in the same bed.

44 - Pope Benedict XIV condemned the practice of priests granting absolution to the very persons with whom they had engaged in solicitation.

60 - The John Jay College Survey review commissioned by the bishops found the 5,450 complaints of clerical sexual abuse included sixteen U.S. bishops.

To determine for yourself if this is a NEW problem, read pages 5,6,7,11,13,17,20,21,22,26,30,33,35,36,37,40,44,46,52,68,104,

170,211,214,215,223,225,226 and 235.

Oh, on page 258, we learn the Los Angeles dioceses uses the same PR firm earlier hired by Enron and Charles Keating.
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65 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2006
I found this book a fascinating and courageous examination of the clergy sex abuse issue.The historical perspective shed much needed light on contemporary atttitudes of Church authorities to the problem. The insights into the nature of the spiritual damage done to survivors are particularly welcome and valuable.

However the book was seriously flawed in several respects.There was significant amount of discussion about the widespread lack of observance of the mandatory celibacy rule for clergy, but the connection between breaches of celibacy and sex abuse was assumed rather than convincingly argued. Yet clergy sex abuse is perpetrated by clergy, including married clergy, in other religions and religous denominations which do not make clergy celibacy mandatory. The authors also failed to take cognisance of the fundamental nature of sex abuse as acts of violence and not merely as breaches of chastity or celibacy.

However, in spite of these lacunae,the book makes an important contribution to the literature about the issue.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2007
This book is an enlightening look at the issues behind the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and the failure of leadership to adequately deal with the problem, both decades ago and today. Doyle presents a candid view of the motives behind the decisions that have taken place behind the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the clerical culture. The book is well written, easy to read and easily understand. I highly recommend it to all Catholics.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
I think all practicing Catholics should read this book, but many won't. Why? The truth is too painful and it is easier to bury one's head in the sand and pretend that sexual abuse by clergy is really about "Catholic bashing" as one priest I know put it.

It's a tough read for Catholics, for sure.

Catholic people are a forgiving people 'cause churches are filled every Sunday. I am glad to see this because there are many, many, good and holy priests who have been and continue to be hurt by the sins of some very sick priests, and bishops.

The truth is very painful to swallow, but we cannot ignore it. If you want to face the truth, then read this book. I felt like I was being disloyal when reading about the scandal (Catholic guilt). I also feel like the Evil wants to destroy the Cahtholic Church so I must remember that I go to Church for Jesus who is present in the Eucharist and I will not stop receiving Jesus because of the sins of those who represent the church, they are human beings.
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51 of 64 people found the following review helpful
The most complete tell all about the extent and history of sexual abuse by catholic priests on innocent children and the extensive cover up maintained by the catholic church. It is a crime, a FELONY crime at that. Why do we let the church get away with policing themselves? Did we let Enron police themselves when they were caught? It's way past time we let the catholic church refer to sexual abuse in terms of a priests, "mistake" "in appropiate touching". etc. The catholic church needs to stand tall and admit what it really is - a felony crime. Their "audit", what a failure. When priests are found out and reviewed internally, there is no police record to show up on an audit. Everyone needs to read this book.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2006
This is a very informative book about the history of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church dating back to the Council of Trent. It is a valuable tool for professionals trying to get a grasp at the bigger picture of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2010
I appreciated the historical overview of celibacy as a policy, and the church's sometimes very open efforts to control psychosexually disordered priests. Although the authors do not take a position for or against celibacy, the book left me believing that most priests (and most human beings) are not cut out for lifetime celibacy. For some few, however, it might well be a good way to help focus on a spiritual path. I was puzzled when the book concluded by alluding to the need for a new "reformation" of the church, based in ressurrecting our direct connection to the teachings of Jesus. This gives the impression of authors who are deeply torn between personal loyalty to and identification with the church -- who can blame them? -- and a recognition that the church needs a complete overhaul analogous to the Reformation. To point out the obvious, the original Reformation resulted in forming new Christian institutions completely free from the Roman Catholic rubric, and was not initiated by the institution or its loyal members. The option for Catholics to join the "reformation" therefore amply exists in the form of Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Quaker, etc. alternatives. Culturally, therefore, the issue is not how we can renew the true spirit of Jesus' teachings, but rather, whether loyal Roman Catholics can reform the particular vessel for those teachings that is the church we know. I would love to see more specific ideas and plans proposed -- if possible -- for how the average lay Catholic can actively engage in asking for change as revolutionary as the book implies is needed. Truthfully, after reading this book, I don't believe any reasonable trust in the institution can EVER be restored. My trust however, can be handed to the authors for their courage integrity, and my thanks for the healing that has provided.
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