Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse Hardcover – 1 Sep 2005
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About the Author
A.W. RICHARD SIPE is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. He was trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic Priests. In the process of training and therapy, he conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic. Sipe is known internationally and has participated in 12 documentaries on celibacy and priest sexual abuse aired by HBO, BBC, and other networks in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. He has been widely interviewed by media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, People magazine, Newsweek and USA Today.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.