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Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse [Hardcover]

Thomas P. Doyle , A.W.R. , Patrick J. Wall
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 21 2006
Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so-called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep-seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years. At times circumspect and at other times open and direct, Church leaders tried a variety of means to rein in the various violations of clerical celibacy. The sexual abuse crisis is not isolated from the questions of the celibate practice of all Catholic clergy and the moral questions that involve marriage and all human sexual behaviors. These are the main, yet unspoken, reasons why sexual abuse has been such an inflammatory and dangerous issue for the hierarchy. The Church abuse scandal of the contemporary era, rather than seen as a new challenge, is actually the catalyst for a complex process that is forcing the official Church to redefine its ideology of sexuality, its responsibility to its members and its role in society. The three distinguished authors have served as experts and consultants in over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, and have collectively spent over 70 years of official service within the church.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Book: Sex Priests and Secret Codes. Oct. 22 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would not recommend this book for the average person such as myself as it is full of religious and legal terminology. I appreciate the research and effort that went into it but had it been written in layman's terms I may have finished it.

However, for me it did re-confirm why I broke away from the Catholic Church long ago. I cannot be part of religion that condones very un-christian practices such as the abuse of children, the racism against some minorities and contempt for all other religions. At least that was my experience growing up in a small northern Alberta town and attending a Catholic school which was controlled by French speaking Grey Nuns who fluttered around the French speaking priest like he was God himself. I know the church leaders say they don't condone such behavior but the fact that they looked the other way, protected the guilty and covered up these atrocities is in my opinion a blatant stamp of approval. May their souls burn in hell!!!
Rebecca Marple
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
102 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Book Aug. 15 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
79 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See page 205 July 10 2006
By Mary Pitcher - Published on Amazon.com
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.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long overdue expose April 14 2009
By Janice Rigert - Published on Amazon.com
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.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catholic Church Sexual Abuse April 29 2009
By Misty609 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
62 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 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 Aug. 14 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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