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Beyond Belief: Abused by his priest. Betrayed by his church. The story of the boy who sued the Pope. Paperback – 14 May 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Export ed edition (14 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034092506X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340925065
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 2.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,032,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Colm O'Gorman is one of the most inspiring and dignified voices heard in Ireland in recent times. He has triunphed over sexual abuse.' (Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of the Republic of Ireland.)

'a powerful and moving story and Colm tells it so articulately in print and interview.' (ABC Radio National Life Matters)

Book Description

Abused by his priest. Betrayed by his church. This is the story of the boy who sued the Pope. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover
A powerful read. I couldn't out this book down once I started reading it. It is compelling, emotive and so very inspirational. A must read.

From what could have been a horror story full of abuse and hurt, O'Gorman has written a powerful book full of hope and possibility. He challenges the reader to be all that they can be, to speak up and speak out - to change the world. His story made me believe I could, his life shows that we all can, if we chose to.

His description of his relationship with his Dad speaks powerfully of love and the bond between a father and son which has the power to work through any difficulty. I was moved to tears and to above all hope as I read of their reconciliation and of the power of their mutual love and respect.

You must read this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a truly harrowing tale and not for the faint hearted,but very compelling reading.The abuse that children suffered at the hands of priests is astounding and was covered up from the top.This book is very much along the same lines as The Magdalene Laundrys where girls were systematically abused by priests and nuns.It makes me ashamed to be a Catholic and since these revelations I have turned my back on the religion as what was done to these children is beyond belief.The book portrays a young boys sickening abuse at the hands of his priest who he had looked up to.Children then were naive and were seen but not heard,hence why this abuse went on for so long.If you are interested in finding out the truth about the Catholic Church and how it covered this up then read this book
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Format: Hardcover
While I knew much of the author's story because of media coverage, this book was a real revelation. By being very honest, and laying bare his own motivations and history, the author manages to show the corruption and lack of outrage that he faced when he went public with his story of abuse. He shows how so many people knew what was going on, but did nothing to stop it. He shows how the hierarchy of the church did little to deter priests who had previously been accused by other children.

In the end, he calls us to action, to bring the church to take responsibility for the devastation it has caused by it's own inaction.

A must read. You won't believe it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A tragic story. I can see no light at the end of the tunnel, the only truth is in acknowledgement of what happened, by the church and the Vatican.
It is significant this man has used the truth to face what has happened to him. The Catholic church however does not seem to be able to see, hear or want the truth to be told. I really felt for that little boy. Having been brought up in a catholic home and church I can clearly see how they got and continue to get away with abuse of their congregation. I have a real problem with the level of control the church has imposed on people across the world. Sad that they can't impose the same control on themselves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a person of no faith, it is hard to understand the grip of power that the Roman Catholic Church had in Ireland. A grip that meant a Priest could arrive at a house and take an adolescent boy away with him for a weekend 'youth group' with the parents not raising the slightest doubt that this would be above board. Sadly, paedophile priests found that the RCC went out of its way to protect both them and itself and these abusers found themselves simply moved to another parish when complaints were made about their conduct.

As I said, as a non believer I do have to wonder why the parents of children who were brave enough to speak out about the abuse that had occured did not go directly to the police? Allowing the RCC to "deal" with such serious crimes "in house" played into the hands of the perpetraters. In a particularly infuriating chapter (The Full Report) the inspiring author Colm O'Gorman tells of the action the Bishop of Dublin took in 1986 when such crimes were brought to his attention. He approached an INSURANCE COMPANY on the advice of the church solicitors, and took out a policy to protect against the cost of any claims resulting from his priests raping and abusing children! Did he prevent the named priests from working with children? Report the matter to the police? Put robust child protection rules into place? No. He took out an insurance policy to pay out any future claims - when he SHOULD have been taking steps to prevent such claims arising.

So, there is the horror of the initial crimes against children - and the dispicable way the RCC 'dealt' with the matter.
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Format: Hardcover
I had reservations about reading this book as I normally don't enjoy reading accounts of abusive childhoods. While I understand the need for the authors to have their stories told, they usually make for uncomfortable reading leaving me feeling a little voyeuristic and even a little guilty. My reading time is meant as an escape from the daily drudge so the last thing I want to read is something that will bring me down. Nevertheless I read it on the recommendation of a like-minded friend and I am so glad I did.
The author starts by describing his early using the most wonderful imagery, bringing the sights, smells and tastes of his childhood alive but also very subtly expressing an innocence and naivety, not with him but by his family and community, that permitted sexual abusers to enter his life and fill it full of poison and despair. However the focus of the book is not on how society let him down and let this happen, this is a story about a man who wanted to change society so it would never happen again, and that is exactly what he did.
This has to be the single most inspiring story I have ever read, yes it made me cry but it also made me laugh out loud. This not a depressing account of abuse and pain but an encouraging tale of bravery, of standing up to the Church, of refusing to be paid off and go away. It is a really easy book to read and I would certainly read anything else he writes as he has real talent for writing. He makes you feel like you are there every step of the way, never getting letting the story get too upsetting or in later stages too bogged down in legalities and court hearings. It's a fascinating tale that everyone should read and I couldn't recommend it more.
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