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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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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b3cb750) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
111 of 126 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884a221c) out of 5 stars A Superb Book 16 Aug. 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
89 of 104 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884a2270) out of 5 stars See page 205 10 July 2006
By Mary Pitcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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."

and

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.
68 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884a26a8) out of 5 stars Clerical Abuse 7 Dec. 2006
By Chares G. Muhle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884a2690) out of 5 stars A long overdue expose 14 April 2009
By Janice Rigert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
66 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884a2b58) out of 5 stars Sex, Preists and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2000-year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse, by Doyle, TP, Sipe, AWR 14 Aug. 2006
By K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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