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Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse Hardcover – March 29, 2006
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A great, very important book...the bishops DON'T want you to read. -- Eugene Kennedy, author of
A hard-hitting exposé ... -- David Yonke, Toledo Blade, July 1, 2006
A much-needed read. -- Online Catholics
Gold Medal, Religion -- 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards
They discuss...the failure of the hierarchy to manage priest perpetrators or provide succor to the children. -- Reference & Research Book News in Reference & Research Book News on August 2006
This is a page-turner that reads like The DaVinci Code, except that this well-documented book is NOT fiction. -- Kenneth E. Lasch, JCD in FatherLasch.com
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once you realize that celibracy will always be required of priests, the need for some sexual outlet will always be present so there is no need for dragging up history to prove that... Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by Dr. Cos
It is good that at least some people are in the Church. This priest, still a priest but no longer part of the hierarchy, is a founder of SNAP (Survivor's Network of Abuse by... Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by Dawn Aberg
A. W. Richard Sipe (born 1932) is a former Benedictine monk-priest of 18 years (he resigned his priesthood, and is now married), a sociologist and author/coauthor of books such as... Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Steven H Propp