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Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church

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With this exposé, the Boston Globe presents the single most comprehensive account of the cover-ups, hush money and manipulation used by the Catholic Church to keep its history of sexual abuse secret.


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With this exposé, the Boston Globe presents the single most comprehensive account of the cover-ups, hush money and manipulation used by the Catholic Church to keep its history of sexual abuse secret.

30 review for Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ilya

    An infuriating read. The victims are boys, typically needy children of poor, single mothers, who were delighted to have presence of a man in their boys' lives, especially a priest. The culprits are 'Men of Church', who would systematically wrap themselves in God and enter these families who came to know, love, and trust them for the sole purpose of molesting their children. Even bigger culprits are the cardinals and bishops, who knew about the abuse for decades and did nothing to stop it. Betraya An infuriating read. The victims are boys, typically needy children of poor, single mothers, who were delighted to have presence of a man in their boys' lives, especially a priest. The culprits are 'Men of Church', who would systematically wrap themselves in God and enter these families who came to know, love, and trust them for the sole purpose of molesting their children. Even bigger culprits are the cardinals and bishops, who knew about the abuse for decades and did nothing to stop it. Betrayal is an ideal example of why the dying art of investigative journalism is vital for preserving a functioning democratic society.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    Well, I haven't learned anything new from the read. I might not be aware of every case presented there but as a wholeness I wasn't astonished at all. Yes, shocked at the scale of depravity, cynicism and attempts to cover everything up but sadly not surprised. I was devastated to see victims bullied or abashed, demeaned or pointed as guilty for what had happened to them while perpetrators quietly, without much fuss were moved to another city and parish to complete ignorance of new parishioners th Well, I haven't learned anything new from the read. I might not be aware of every case presented there but as a wholeness I wasn't astonished at all. Yes, shocked at the scale of depravity, cynicism and attempts to cover everything up but sadly not surprised. I was devastated to see victims bullied or abashed, demeaned or pointed as guilty for what had happened to them while perpetrators quietly, without much fuss were moved to another city and parish to complete ignorance of new parishioners thus the vicious circle of abuse and injustice could whirl again and again. What terrifies me the most is the fact how easily everything could be denied or manipulated and brushed under the carpet. And the voices of victims and their families and supporters frequently called unworthy and untrustworthy or simply offensive towards the Church and attacking the Catholics and their religious faith. I assume it was easier that way, just shift the guilt upon others and pretend to be the victim oneself. That level of hypocrisy is hard to swallow. To pretend everything is an attack on Church to dismiss suffering of victims of abuse and violence. Spotlight perhaps is more known from the movie at the same title, surely is easier to follow. We have there group of journalists from Boston Globe and their investigation we can focus on. It feels more like detective story. This one is a reportage and we're literally peppered with places, dates and names, both victims and perpetrators, and mechanisms of hiding crimes. My reading coincided with releasing the documentary on sexual abuse in Polish church. I don’t hold Polish Catholicism in high repute, I’m afraid. It feels kind of cheap and flashy to me, you know, all these pictures of every saint, peregrinations, pilgrimages, and monuments of pope JPII on every single square in the country. And this handy phrase offence against religious feelings that is simply a catchcall to cover ignorance or discredit every symptom of different views. Believe me, I don’t want to make a generalization on such a delicate matter like faith but, well, to me testimony of faith is something else and something more than just attending Sunday service. I know people who are strong believers and I can see it, their deeds don’t contradict what Church teaches and sometimes I’m a bit jealous of their great belief and unbending confidence. But in general I don’t equate faith in God with faith in Church. As one could expect the film mentioned above, the title could be translated as Don’t tell anyone received very mixed opinions, both from church authorities, politicians and common viewers. The overall repercussion was rather positive and by this I mean many strong and supporting opinions from every community but in the long run I don’t think it will purge church of sexual predators. I don’t have much hope for compensation for wrong for victims, I don’t see guilty priests behind the bars. I don’t sense genuine willingness to remedy the damages neither can I see more reflective attitude towards the Catholic church in Poland. As long as Church is viewed more as institution than house of God nothing really can change.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dana Stabenow

    This is the story the Boston Globe did on pedophile priests that published in 2002 and exposed the culture of pedophilia in the Catholic Church nation- and worldwide. I've read some history and I have a lot of time spent in Ireland where the Church behaved even worse to its members (see the Ryan and Murphy reports, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_...), and all of the Catholic Church scandals are just a case study in that old aphorism, Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The first few chapt This is the story the Boston Globe did on pedophile priests that published in 2002 and exposed the culture of pedophilia in the Catholic Church nation- and worldwide. I've read some history and I have a lot of time spent in Ireland where the Church behaved even worse to its members (see the Ryan and Murphy reports, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_...), and all of the Catholic Church scandals are just a case study in that old aphorism, Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The first few chapters are pretty grueling, detailing some of the predatory priests and their abuse of minor children in their care, but where this book gets really valuable is in the last four chapters and especially the last two. A few items: The authoritarian nature of the Old World Catholic Church was bound to clash with the values of New World Americans. For many, the clergy sexual abuse scandal was the final straw in their relationship with the Church hierarchy, a relationship that had been fraying for several generations as U.S. Catholics struggled to balance their American values of democracy and egalitarianism with their Catholic understanding of authority and clericalism. And don't look for change from Rome anytime soon, because Rome, despite occurrences of clergy abuse in Catholic parishes all over the world, sees clerical abuse and the subsequent call for change as an American problem. It's a matter of simple numbers. The 60 million-plus Catholics in the United States made up a vibrant, and affluent, segment of the Church but were only 6 percent of Catholics worldwide... There are a lot of American Catholics calling for change on many fronts (priests allowed to marry, the ordination of women, tolerance of homosexuality, contraception), but so long as they submit to the authority of Rome, nothing will. This is a hard thing for the faithful to accept "I remember back in the 1950s if you ate meat on Friday, did not wear a hat or veil to church, or ate breakfast before Communion you could burn in hell for these sins," said one Catholic layman, Victor Conlogue. "How come there is no mention of Geoghan going to hell?" and may well in the end prove to be impossible, as witness the decline in church attendance, the precipitous drop in the number of priests, and the bankruptcy of Catholic dioceses across the nation. The chapter on "The Decline of Deference" is eye-opening if only as a portrait of from what heights the church had to fall. They were dizzyingly invulnerable to secular authorities in the US for a long time. I won't say this is a book for everybody but it's a crisp march through the facts of the original story that expands into an overview of the Catholic Church's role in American history and its place there today. And given the subject matter I found it remarkably non-judgemental. There is just plenty of information from which to draw your own conclusions. *** I read this book because I saw and loved Spotlight, the film about the reporters and editors of the Boston Globe who investigated and reported the story of pedophile priests in Boston and, it turned out, all over the world. Don't miss the film even if you're grossed out by the topic, because it's the best film of last year. It made a thriller out of the writing of a story, of all things, and I didn't think that was possible without drama-ing it up (see All the President's Men). My absolute favorite line from this film is when they're sitting in Marty Baron's office reading through the final draft of the story and Baron circles something and Bradlee says "What?" and Baron says, "Another adjective." I suppose only another writer could understand why I love that so much. Which also probably excludes the understanding of all boys from 10 to 14, for whom most movies are written today. This, gloriously, isn't one of them. I also love the film because it shows journalists doing their jobs, even those who you can tell really don't want to, like the assistant managing editor and the publisher, either of whom could have put the kibosh on the story from the getgo. It is extremely well written, the acting is superb (I didn't know Liev Schreiber could do subtle and Michael Keaton has just never been better, and I could mention Stanley Tucci but come on, when isn't he great) and it is so very well scored (mostly a single piano and I'm thinking of that one scene where the piano melds into church bells ringing) and so very well filmed. Virtually every scene of a Boston street has a church tower in the background, and there is a scene where the Spotlight team finds out that the 13 pedophile priests in Boston they think they are writing about may really be more like 90 (eventually it will be 249), and the camera pulls back so excruciatingly slowly, dwarfing their figures in the story's shadow. It's the perfect visual metaphor for both the story of the reporters doing their jobs and the story of pedophile priests they are writing. [Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg5zS...]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    I’ve never been a fan of the Catholic Church. To be fair, I’ve never been a fan of most forms of organized religion but Catholicism has always struck me as particularly weird and off-putting. I don’t really have skin in the game—I am as agnostic as they come—but I always thought Luther made a few good points. And by “always,” I mean “since I was first exposed to the tenets in college.” I hadn't met an actual practicing Catholic until college, and the only things I knew about the faith before my I’ve never been a fan of the Catholic Church. To be fair, I’ve never been a fan of most forms of organized religion but Catholicism has always struck me as particularly weird and off-putting. I don’t really have skin in the game—I am as agnostic as they come—but I always thought Luther made a few good points. And by “always,” I mean “since I was first exposed to the tenets in college.” I hadn't met an actual practicing Catholic until college, and the only things I knew about the faith before my religion courses at MC was that they have a pope, Jed Bartlett and JFK were Catholic, and they do confession. And I think maybe I only knew about confession because I’d seen it on Days of our Lives? That’s really embarrassing but entirely possible. Anyway, I was in high school when the sex abuse scandal broke and because I had zero connection to the church and no one around me was really talking about it, I was kind of aware that the story existed without knowing many of the details. I definitely didn’t stop to think about the implications until much, much later. Last weekend, my husband and I went to see the movie Spotlight, which tells the story of the Boston Globe’s reporting on the scandal. Aside from being an incredibly powerful true story, it’s a very well-made movie and I highly recommend it. But I walked out of the theater positively buzzing with anger. So many of the finer details of this story – the sheer number of victims, Law’s promotion – were new to me and all I could think was, “How the fuck could anyone know all of this and still support this organization?” Wanting to know more, I did a quick search on BN.com and downloaded this book. Originally published in 2002, it’s been updated with a new introduction that discusses the movie. It examines all of the findings that the Spotlight team uncovered in the course of their investigations: dozens of priests molested hundreds of children – primarily young boys from impoverished, single-mother homes – and the church hierarchy, instead of protecting victims, shuffled these priests around to cover up their crimes. This book was an even bigger eye-opener than the movie. It's hard to read, but comprehensive and to-the-pint. The details told here of abuse and cover-up, of justification and immoral behavior on behalf of men claiming to be among the country’s highest moral authorities are so disgusting that I don’t think I have adjectives in my vocabulary potent enough to express it. The whole sad story leaves me with nothing but an even stronger negative opinion of the Catholic Church as an organization. I know good people who are Catholic, but the hierarchy seems to be about as morally bankrupt as it gets.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I recently saw the movie Spotlight and found myself completely riveted. Thus I decided to read the book version. As a former Bostonian I followed this scandal of pedophile priests and the Catholic church's coverup very closely. Nonetheless, the book and movie revealed details of which I was totally unaware. I spent most of my viewing and reading with my mouth agape. The book includes eye-opening letters written by Cardinal Law (the man responsible for the coverup) and Father Geoghan (one of the I recently saw the movie Spotlight and found myself completely riveted. Thus I decided to read the book version. As a former Bostonian I followed this scandal of pedophile priests and the Catholic church's coverup very closely. Nonetheless, the book and movie revealed details of which I was totally unaware. I spent most of my viewing and reading with my mouth agape. The book includes eye-opening letters written by Cardinal Law (the man responsible for the coverup) and Father Geoghan (one of the most egregious perpetrators). Pleasant reading it is not but very important it is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Owen

    I read this book after seeing the movie, Spotlight. As a former Catholic living in Boston at the time most of this was taking place, it is familiar to me. The book is a good review and summary of the scandal and I do remember the arrogance of the leaders of the Catholic Church at that time and the book captures this effectively. A lot of relevant documents are included at the end. The actual scandal is so outrageous that it is difficult to believe that it was allowed to happen. The book is a well I read this book after seeing the movie, Spotlight. As a former Catholic living in Boston at the time most of this was taking place, it is familiar to me. The book is a good review and summary of the scandal and I do remember the arrogance of the leaders of the Catholic Church at that time and the book captures this effectively. A lot of relevant documents are included at the end. The actual scandal is so outrageous that it is difficult to believe that it was allowed to happen. The book is a well-written and thought-out narrative of the events.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tobin Elliott

    My god. You want to read the most terrifying book? Read this. The only horror story that comes close to this is Jack Ketchum's criminally under-read The Girl Next Door. Both made me uneasy and angry. The difference is, Ketchum based his fictional novel on a real-life event. Betrayal can't hide behind fiction. I had to take this book in small sips, because I became enraged with something virtually every page. Betrayal is the perfect title for this. How else could you describe a 2000-year-old religio My god. You want to read the most terrifying book? Read this. The only horror story that comes close to this is Jack Ketchum's criminally under-read The Girl Next Door. Both made me uneasy and angry. The difference is, Ketchum based his fictional novel on a real-life event. Betrayal can't hide behind fiction. I had to take this book in small sips, because I became enraged with something virtually every page. Betrayal is the perfect title for this. How else could you describe a 2000-year-old religious institution that holds incredibly strong beliefs on what constitutes sin, from eating meat on a Friday, to gays, to birth control, and also holds to antiquated notions such as only male priests, celibacy, and the fact that they are above the laws of men? And yet...for all these beliefs, when their so-called "men of god" commit an act that, personally, I believe is worse than murder: The destruction of a child's innocence and the terrorism that occurs during the act, and the guilt and pain that follow that child through the rest of their lives. And those that oversee them, the ones that should be holding them to the high values they are expected to uphold, instead look the other way, send them back into the same opportunities, often with glowing recommendations. And also to place blame with the victims. Or the families. That is evil. And, for me, offers incontrovertible proof that if there truly is a god, then they are an evil and twisted force that has no right to be venerated and worshipped. This is a horrifying book to read. Yet, it should be read...especially by those that claim the Catholic faith. Because this shows that absolute power corrupts absolutely. If there was any justice, the church would fall. I hated this book. I'm glad I read it. I now know the true face of evil.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    I grew up Catholic but not religious type where everyone would take every thing seriously, and when I seen news reports about the abuse that the catholic church was covering up, I felt disgusted but at the same time it not the first time that a religion would try and cover up any kind of abuse by using the bible and what not. I didn't see the movie Spotlight but when I saw this book in Barnes & Noble I just needed to get it and I read right after another book I got in Target. I immediately felt s I grew up Catholic but not religious type where everyone would take every thing seriously, and when I seen news reports about the abuse that the catholic church was covering up, I felt disgusted but at the same time it not the first time that a religion would try and cover up any kind of abuse by using the bible and what not. I didn't see the movie Spotlight but when I saw this book in Barnes & Noble I just needed to get it and I read right after another book I got in Target. I immediately felt sick with what I was reading and how it was being handle by the church. Some parents were outraged when they hearing their children were being abuse and some just wiped it under the bridge and pretend to not care at all. After reading this book, it just broke my heart and angry about what I was reading and how all these priest prefer to be in denial about it. Honestly this is what happen when you decide to use religion to dictate your life decisions. Look at the Duggar family and the caused that the parents chose rather than facing consequences. It disgusting. In my point of view. I hope that the movie did some justice from what I read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cyd

    An excellent book. The only thing that was a bit of a "let down" was that it was not like "All the President's Men" in that it is just The Boston Globe's original reporting shaped into a book and doesn't detail how the Globe Spotlight team approached the story. (I'll have to watch the movie for that :-) That's simply a head's up for anyone expecting something else.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Jones

    Very disturbing read. I find it hard to rate, as it's a factual account if what happened. It's not as if I could write 'it's a good story'.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kath ❅

    Not rating this because it's not really that kind of book but I did find it very informative. This is not a book about the process of reporting this story for the Boston Globe but it about the story itself so don't go in expecting a book like All the President's Men. This was written in 2002 and there is some language I would consider a bit outdated. This is a very upsetting story presented in the style of a newspaper piece. This reads as an amalgamation of many articles. This meant at times I fo Not rating this because it's not really that kind of book but I did find it very informative. This is not a book about the process of reporting this story for the Boston Globe but it about the story itself so don't go in expecting a book like All the President's Men. This was written in 2002 and there is some language I would consider a bit outdated. This is a very upsetting story presented in the style of a newspaper piece. This reads as an amalgamation of many articles. This meant at times I found the story a bit repetitive or circular but overall I found this very well done. This story is what spawned the movie Spotlight but the actual stories are quite difference since this, again, is a book about the crisis not the process of reporting. I would recommend this to anyone who is aware of this scandal but maybe wants to understand it better.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sean Owen

    Betrayal is a solid summation of the Catholic child molestation scandal in Boston. The story all but defies belief. I finally got around to reading this book when Cardinal Law died. He was truly a despicable human being and deserved to live his final years in a jail cell rather than in comfortable retirement in the Vatican. The things that happened to these kids was shocking, but the willingness of the church to cover up the abuse and the facilitate the abuse by transferring the molesters to new Betrayal is a solid summation of the Catholic child molestation scandal in Boston. The story all but defies belief. I finally got around to reading this book when Cardinal Law died. He was truly a despicable human being and deserved to live his final years in a jail cell rather than in comfortable retirement in the Vatican. The things that happened to these kids was shocking, but the willingness of the church to cover up the abuse and the facilitate the abuse by transferring the molesters to new parishes where they could abuse new kids was outrageous.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Although the information in this book is important, it's presented in a disjointed way.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nev

    This book is horrifying. It covers the true stories of people in the Catholic church in Boston who protected pedophile priests over protecting the children they were abusing. Time and time again cardinals, bishops, and people within positions of power in the church would just take an abusive priest out of one parish and end up transferring him to another parish after a short “treatment.” Where inevitably the priest would resume sexually abusing children. This book is written by the Spotlight tea This book is horrifying. It covers the true stories of people in the Catholic church in Boston who protected pedophile priests over protecting the children they were abusing. Time and time again cardinals, bishops, and people within positions of power in the church would just take an abusive priest out of one parish and end up transferring him to another parish after a short “treatment.” Where inevitably the priest would resume sexually abusing children. This book is written by the Spotlight team at The Boston Globe newspaper based on their investigation that lead to a series of articles starting in 2002. Originally I thought this book was going to be more like the movie Spotlight where it would show how they investigated the story and uncovered all these details. However this book just the outcome of the research, which is still fascinating even if it wasn’t what I was expecting. Seriously, I just wanted to scream when I was reading this. All of these men were more concerned with protecting the image of the church and their priests than with protecting children. These “treatment” facilities were jokes and basically just told the church what they wanted to hear so the priests could be put back into parishes. So much abuse could have been avoided if they just turned the priests over to proper authorities instead of letting them back around children over and over again. This book can be a little confusing at times because there are just so many different names of people. Also, because I pretty much know nothing about Catholicism I would get confused about the hierarchy of the different members of the church. Seriously, just fuck all the people who covered this up for years.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Juliette

    When I was in grammar school, we had an hour of religious instruction by the one of the priests every week. During one class, the priest took off his plastic Roman collar, and we were all scandalized. He laughed and said, “This is just part of my uniform. It doesn’t make me special. I’m not different from your mom and dad.” I don’t remember much from those classes, but I remember that, and it’s colored my perception of the clergy. It was so different from what we were told until that moment. Prie When I was in grammar school, we had an hour of religious instruction by the one of the priests every week. During one class, the priest took off his plastic Roman collar, and we were all scandalized. He laughed and said, “This is just part of my uniform. It doesn’t make me special. I’m not different from your mom and dad.” I don’t remember much from those classes, but I remember that, and it’s colored my perception of the clergy. It was so different from what we were told until that moment. Priests aren’t a higher class of people. Ordination didn’t bestow mystical powers. Priests are just people. ”I remember reading the first Spotlight reports and just getting furious,” recalled Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly . . . . “I found myself yelling out loud, My God, this is about children!” (p. 125) I don’t think anyone can be emotionally prepared to read Betrayal unless they read the original Spotlight reports. I didn’t. I only knew the outlines of the scandal, and that alone shocked and angered me. I expected to be horrified when I read the details, but I didn’t expect the waves of nausea and the profound shame that my Church did this. Betrayal documents the abuses committed by priests, notably in the archdiocese of Boston, on children. Some of those children were as young as four-years-old when they were sexually assaulted or raped by the men their parents told them they could trust. These priests used the respect that their vocations brought them so that they could insinuate themselves into families. They used the prayers we are taught as children while raping the children. When these children finally told their parents and their parents confronted the hierarchy, the hierarchy did not punish the abusers. They simply moved the abuser to a different parish with no warning to the new parish. When other priests and religious sisters found out the truth, they covered for the abuser: there are accounts of another priest witnessing the crime and walking away. In fact, the Church blamed the parents and the children for the abuse. When the Globe's story broke, other Catholics turned against the families who reported the abuse and sought justice for their children. They, too, put the institution before their neighbors. It was one betrayal after another betrayal after another. I wondered Law thought when he sought to conceal the crimes. Did he think he was doing God’s work? Did he think children were less important than men who masqueraded as priests? Did he think that this rampant abuse would stay hidden? Did he forget that Christ said, “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known” (Matthew 10:26)? And it was revealed. I have no sympathy for the members of the Church hierarchy who put the crimes of men ahead of children. I believe in divine justice, and I look forward to the day when they own their sins to God and their victims and are punished forever. Every Roman Catholic needs to read this book so they know the heinous crimes that the Church perpetrated. Law may not have thought about the laity when he hid crimes of the men who worked in his diocese, but we are all one body. The hierarchy’s sins are our own if we allow this to happen. If we allow future crimes to be hidden and if we do not believe (God help us) future victims, then we will be complaisant in the sins of these rapists.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah (jellicoereads)

    I watched the movie ‘Spotlight’ two weeks ago, and I was utterly horrified, and yet hooked, particularly by the sheer scale of the abuse scandal and the process of investigation that took place. Burrowing down the rabbit hole of the internet, I discovered that there was a book written about the saga, containing much of the research that didn’t make it into the film. It became an international story about how the rights of powerless individuals are brushed away in the interests of a powerful insti I watched the movie ‘Spotlight’ two weeks ago, and I was utterly horrified, and yet hooked, particularly by the sheer scale of the abuse scandal and the process of investigation that took place. Burrowing down the rabbit hole of the internet, I discovered that there was a book written about the saga, containing much of the research that didn’t make it into the film. It became an international story about how the rights of powerless individuals are brushed away in the interests of a powerful institution, about how mortals can damage an immortal faith. I mean, I don’t really have much to add here – the sheer hypocrisy of the church leaders is/was utterly staggering, as was the scale of the abuse. The book details cases of other abusive priests within Boston, as well as the US as a whole (the movie only focused on one particular man), in addition to looking at the machinations of the Catholic Church that allowed the crimes to happen, the way in which incidents were ‘dealt’ with, and their reactions when everything came to light. There is also a chapter that tackles potential reasons why this type of abuse is so prevalent within the institution – indeed, at a higher rate than what takes place in average society – this was not just a case of a few bad apples. They weren’t sorry for what happened to those kids. They were sorry they got caught. Overall, I highly recommend watching the movie – it’s a must-see, despite the sickening nature of the subject matter. If, like me, you’re interested in more of the background, then Betrayal does a good job in providing supplementary material.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kan Chojnacki

    An infuriating book to read, but an incredibly important one. The books gives all the dark, sordid details about the church's relationship with it's priests who they knew were molesting little boys. Some of this book will truly disgust you but that's the point. This whole story is a disgusting tale of an organisation's disgusting actions in order to save face.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bert Z

    Yeah, I’m not happy!! This is the kind of book that when reading you feel the desire to throw at the wall in anger, the kind of book that makes you want to go and king hit the first priest you can find. All the people that put this book together should really be commended for their terrific work, it was a very hard book to read - I actually had to put it down a few times because I found it so emotional - so I imagine it would’ve been an extremely hard book to write, I take off my hat to the auth Yeah, I’m not happy!! This is the kind of book that when reading you feel the desire to throw at the wall in anger, the kind of book that makes you want to go and king hit the first priest you can find. All the people that put this book together should really be commended for their terrific work, it was a very hard book to read - I actually had to put it down a few times because I found it so emotional - so I imagine it would’ve been an extremely hard book to write, I take off my hat to the authors for that. The thing that I found so blood boiling about it was the sheer amount of cases, we’re talking hundreds of sexual abuse cases, potentially even thousands. These priests and nuns are supposed to be the holiest of the holy, the types of people you should be able to trust, but in reality, they’re anything but holy and trustworthy. I know it’s not all priests and nuns, the ones in this book give the decent ones a bad name, but when you read what’s presented in this book it makes it hard to see Catholicism as a good thing. There are major problems with the Catholic church, their stance on birth control just baffles me, and the fact that this kind of thing goes on to such a big degree, and is covered up, really says something, it makes me feel rather lucky that I was brought up in a strictly non-religious household. Such a heartbreaking, emotional and infuriating read but essential in my opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ursula Johnson

    The Basis for the film Spotlight This book details the superb investigative journalism by the Boston Globe staff uncovering the horrific sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. This was the basis for the Academy Award winning film, Spotlight. The Pulitzer won by the staff was well deserved. This is a hard hitting work that tells the story without sensationalizing the tales. Facts are documented and include interviews with victims, some perpetrators and other concerned parties. It also looks The Basis for the film Spotlight This book details the superb investigative journalism by the Boston Globe staff uncovering the horrific sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. This was the basis for the Academy Award winning film, Spotlight. The Pulitzer won by the staff was well deserved. This is a hard hitting work that tells the story without sensationalizing the tales. Facts are documented and include interviews with victims, some perpetrators and other concerned parties. It also looks at the possible causes, examinations of church history, as well as American history. It does include some graphic details of the abuse, which is sickening. Even worse is the extraordinary measures the Church took to cover up problem priests and even had the audacity to blame young, innocent victims. Photos are included of many of the major participants and of many documents. Simply an outstanding book I found hard to put down. I read this book using immersion reading, while listening to the audio book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Billy

    This book was disturbing. I knew a good portion of the story growing up Catholic. Learned more when my dad read the book and told me a little bit about it. Pedophilia creeps me the hell out and some of the stories make your stomach turn. The most shocking and disturbing thing, however was the cover up. The Church had no clue how to handle the situation but kept acting as if they knew best and kept everything in house until it was too late and out of their hands. Even their subsequent actions and This book was disturbing. I knew a good portion of the story growing up Catholic. Learned more when my dad read the book and told me a little bit about it. Pedophilia creeps me the hell out and some of the stories make your stomach turn. The most shocking and disturbing thing, however was the cover up. The Church had no clue how to handle the situation but kept acting as if they knew best and kept everything in house until it was too late and out of their hands. Even their subsequent actions and statements make it seem like they still have not learned. Really wanted to read it so that I could make my own opinion rather than listening to others spout their opinions.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

    I hoped that that book would be more like the movie "Spotlight" and it's investigative reporting. But as the cover says the book is about the findings of the investigation. So the book is all about the predators, the victims and the cover-up, which makes it a bit of an uncomfortable read. The only positive part of the book it the end where reforms to the church have the potential to improve the previous culture of denial.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    A riveting account of the absolutely shameful priest pedophile scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church, though it appears the Church still refuses to change. Ever since childhood, I’ve questioned the teachings of the Church, disbelieving stories I was told in catechism. I do not practice organized religion but, instead, embrace a very personal spirituality. As a lapsed Catholic, I had to read this after seeing Spotlight, the movie it's based on. I turned my back on the Catholic Church afte A riveting account of the absolutely shameful priest pedophile scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church, though it appears the Church still refuses to change. Ever since childhood, I’ve questioned the teachings of the Church, disbelieving stories I was told in catechism. I do not practice organized religion but, instead, embrace a very personal spirituality. As a lapsed Catholic, I had to read this after seeing Spotlight, the movie it's based on. I turned my back on the Catholic Church after Pope Paul II declared that marriage without children was a sin, a choice I made for personal reasons. I still have my faith, but the Catholic Church itself is run by men in power.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Moon

    Horrible that this happened but I'm glad it was finally uncovered. Hopefully it helps others from having to go through it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abby Slater- Fairbrother

    I originally bought this book for myself and my brother. My little brother is a (soon to be) third year journalism student. I was keen to understand, what goes on behind the scenes in investigative journalism. I had also already previously seen the Hollywood movie Spotlight. I was looking for the extra depth that could have been missed in a movie adaption. What I found within the pages of this book, shook me to the core. The investigation began at the Boston Globe under editor Walter V Robinson. I originally bought this book for myself and my brother. My little brother is a (soon to be) third year journalism student. I was keen to understand, what goes on behind the scenes in investigative journalism. I had also already previously seen the Hollywood movie Spotlight. I was looking for the extra depth that could have been missed in a movie adaption. What I found within the pages of this book, shook me to the core. The investigation began at the Boston Globe under editor Walter V Robinson. The primary reporters were Matt Carroll, Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes. Although many more reporters would later join the cause. The original investigation was to look into the actions of Rev John J Geoghan’s crimes. Was this a one-off or a pattern of behaviour? What the team uncovered was multiple claims, some financially settled. They also uncovered records either missing or legally sealed. They began by attempting to unseal Geogahn’s papers. ‘The documents proved that the Archdiocese had known of Geoghan’s abuse of children for generations’ Yes, It took me a moment to digest that word too, GENERATIONS! Not days, weeks or months which would also be unforgivable, but generations. The Globe ran a piece, which covered 70 priests that can been accused and had financially settled cases. ‘The abuse was widespread and had gone unchecked for decades’ A further four reporters were added to the team Stephen Kurkjian, Thomas Farragher, Kevin Cullen and regional reporter Michael Paulson. This was due to the huge-scale of the investigation and pattern of systemic abuse. The book covers various angles of the investigation. The origins and its causes. The behaviour of abusive priests. Impact on victims. Role of key figures. How the Catholic church might change as a result. It is clear to see the Globe intended to get to the bottom of these cases and fully involve victims in the process of the journey. With 176 priests accused across the USA alone in just the first four months of expose in 2002. The team were going to have their work cut out. They also faced opposition from the church and had to bear in mind that of Boston’s 3.8 million population, 2 million identify as catholic. It would be a scandal that would surely rock Boston. Eventually it was a scandal, that rocked the entire Catholic faith across the world. ‘Nowhere else was the impact of the scandal more deeply felt. And nowhere else was the erosion of deference traditionally shown the church more dramatic’ The churches initial reaction of ‘damage limitation’ actively put abusers back into circulation. Allowing them to move freely around prominent positions within the community and allowing them so amass victims on a monumental scale. Early on, the expose led to resignations in France, Wales, Poland and Ireland. Geoghan himself at this point was known to have nearly 200 victims. So nonchalant, he would openly describe how he picked his victims. He began by targeting predominantly boys from poverty and single parent homes. He would appear to offer the mother ‘help’ by taking the young boys out for ice-cream or bathing them before bed. This gave him opportunity to abuse. The cover-up would involve politicians, police, prosecutors and judges. With the statute of limitations also being a hinder to the pursuit of justice. ‘If there are any heroes in this squalid tale, they are the victims, who found their voice, who found their courage, after years of suffering in silence and isolation, to step into the light and say, as one did “This happened to me, and this is wrong”’ The book does detail individual stories from survivors of the abuse. We hear from one of the mother’s who’s four sons were abused. Hearing her repeat their admissions to her, was heart breaking reading. Even through the pages of a novel, reading many years after the scandal broke. The pain is raw and real, every single word of it. If/when the mother’s found the courage to speak out about the abuse. Whether it be approaching other priests or bishops. The blame was often shifted to them, they were openly reminded that such accusations could ruin the priests career. This enabled the priests to hide behind their roman collars and evade justice. ‘Do you realise what you’re taking from him?’ – Bishop Thomas to Maryetta Dussourd (mother of victims) The victim blaming, and family shaming continued in multiple cases. Meanwhile, sensing his future maybe bleak, Geoghan began to protect his own assets. Signing over properties worth millions of dollars, for just a few dollars to his sister. Geoghan would also go one further, and play the victim himself. Insisting his actions made him ill, not a criminal. Geoghan was beyond shame and accountability. ‘Shame, embarrassment, and sometimes, warnings by their abusers kept many victims from disclosing the abuse. Others confided in family members who found it difficult to believe them’ The house of affirmation in Massachusetts, was a facility for sexually abusive priests. It was ran by Rev Thomas Kane. But priests received little in the form of psychoanalyse and treatment. What the investigation uncovered was that the ‘treatment centres’ enabled priests to just hide in luxury compared to the jail cells they should have faced. As the book details various decades and multiple cases, it is hard to review and summarise. But in 1984 the catholic church paid out $4.2 million to nine of Father Gauther’s victims. One victim was so viciously raped he was hospitalised. Gauther would eventually face criminal charges, unlike so many others. He was sentenced to 20yrs, served 10yrs and upon release abused another boy. One thing that is clear throughout the book, is that instead of tackling the root cause of the issue and seeking justice. The church was content to continue to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars as financial settlements. Whilst allowing abusers to continue in posts, with access to more victims. What struck me about this, wasn’t the victim’s right to financial compensation. That I fully agree with. But the arrogance of the church to utilise funds intended for charity etc, to cover-up abuse and legally tie the hands/voices of the accuser. As each settlement required a non-disclosure signature. The priests continued to abuse, the church continued to pay. With zero regard for the mental/emotional impact on the victims and future victims. The pay-outs would occur before legal suits were filed, meaning no public record. They also contained gag-order’s or the payments must be returned. In one particular case, Father Porter a serial child abuser of over 100+ victims over 14yrs. Was caught in the physical act by two fellow reverends; as two victims confirmed. Yet no action was ever taken. ‘In the past 15yrs 1500 American priests faced allegations of sexual abuse’ In the section entitled Predators, the investigation breaks down the various methods established and utilised by different priests. Rev Paul R Shanley was a popular priest that challenged church teachings on homosexuality. He openly embraced ostracised members of the community. He was known as the ‘street priest’ the cool ‘hippie priest’. His ‘therapy’ sessions often involved molestation and rape. When confronted with the victim’s accusations. He would hide behind the tired old excuse that ‘the child is often the seducer’. Shanley would go on to teach teens how to inject drugs, possibly just to enable further abuse. Shanley would go on to evade justice until he was 71yrs old. I found various chapters difficult to read. Especially the nonchalant attitudes of the priests. Which equally led me to question the severity of the impact upon victims. In the chapter entitled The Victims, you hear their stories of anger, denial, rage, shame, loss of faith, guilt and self-doubt. ‘He took everything. He took my innocence. He took my spirituality, he took my purity’ Thomas J Lambert (victim) For victim Patricia Dolan the abuse dominated her entire adult life. Patrick McSorley (Geoghan’s victim) fully aware of what made him an easy target for abuse (alcoholic father’s suicide) would go on to be extremely protective of his own children. Armand Landy (86yrs old) can still recall the abuse suffered at just 12yrs old in 1927. One victim would shoot their abuser and there were multiple suicides. The pain of abuse never left the victims. The explosion of the scandal would lead to 176 priests over 28 states of the USA to resign or be removed from their post. In just 20yrs the scandal had cost the church $1.3 Billion. What they were protecting was their notion that the church is a perfect society’ The investigation details how the public outrage at the scandal, broke down barriers and centuries of the church’s deference in just mere weeks. Whilst some legal professionals were prepared to give the church the benefit of the doubt. Others were not; and Judge Constance M Sweeney ordered the release of ten thousand pages of documents, declaring them public record. The public were outraged at the church’s failure to see the children as victims of despicable crimes. ‘We throw this word ‘abuse’ around, and it’s nice, inoffensive word. They were raping children. Where’s the indignation? Where’s the moral outrage?’ The investigation slowly began to force change in the system. Force the church to face up to its own hypocrisy. ‘Maybe to them, the victims are nameless and faceless. The victims are real to me’ Jeanine Pirro - DA Westchester county The hypocrisy of the church is further explored, when detailing the case of a 72yr old nun fired and ostracised for performing a baptism. The $50 million over 25yrs spent on ‘treatment’ for abusive priests. The title of this novel ‘Catholicism in crisis’ couldn’t be more apt. ‘We need more women. The power, and male dominance, and the secrecy are how this whole thing started’ Bonnie Ciambotti – Eucharistic minister. There is a documents section, at the back of the book. Which enables you to view the previously sealed court papers. This is a tough read, at times brutal. But unless we read it, digest the information and learn, how do we not continue to make the same mistakes? 5*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    If it is possible to enjoy a book like this then I did. The fact I spent most of the time reading it open mouthed with surprise just shows how devastating the findings of the investigation were. Paedophile priests regularly abusing children and having their deeds covered up by the Church authorities is as sad as it is shocking. Never should an institution be held in such high regard that it isn’t open to criticism. I hope the people involved are able to find some peace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Harbowy

    Eye opening For me, the crucial harm within the Church has been the complete disregard for the poor, or the marginalized, or the disabled, without quid-pro-quo obedience and humility by same to Its rules and expectations, while senior Church officials simply receive pardon and financial support no matter how great their crimes mount. This book, one hopes, is merely an anchor to document a moment in time when the Church became something other than Disciples and Apostles breaking bread. It became a Eye opening For me, the crucial harm within the Church has been the complete disregard for the poor, or the marginalized, or the disabled, without quid-pro-quo obedience and humility by same to Its rules and expectations, while senior Church officials simply receive pardon and financial support no matter how great their crimes mount. This book, one hopes, is merely an anchor to document a moment in time when the Church became something other than Disciples and Apostles breaking bread. It became a machine for criminal activity. That Geaogan and Shanley were provided for, room and board and allowances beyond, through their sixties, paid for by the donations of the faithful, not to mention the opulent accommodations made for more senior officials, while the poor and suffering were often physically and mentally tortured with threat and fact of living hell by same and agents of same, reinforces truly that "anti Catholic" sentiment is not without its own moral roots. Any other reading seems pale. God, if God exists, does not need the Church- but the Church has never before needed God inasmuch to justify its wrongs, its abuses and acceptance of its temporal sovereignty with impunity. Exactly how does the Church serve God, when God requires no food or shelter, therapy or medicine? A father suffers not one whit when their children commit venial sins to gather bread to eat- but a wealthy father imagines himself great suffering when their children dishonor their name, and cause that father loss of social standing. Are you here to serve Your social standing, or that of your children and flock? Are the guilty these boys who will be boys, or their Managerial Bishops and the {un}holy Corporation they serve? Indeed, Canon Law enshrines the personhood of corporations: shall we expect such person to pay no tax for gains they make off of our people? It's a convenient scapegoat, to misdirect one for the other. Sexual abuse by priests and others within the church is an easy way to imagine the problem, to remedy and alleviate the need to "do something", but merely treating this as a sexual issue is to ignore the greater human suffering. It would have cost the Church much less if it had devoted men like this to perpetual monastic retreat and care, rather than expecting sinners to labor or toil for their daily bread and punishing those for whose faultlessness is obvious. They have proven themselves time and again to be run more like rapacious for-profit corporations than like Apostolic sacraments. They serve the corporate social standing at the expense of their children and flock. They wish not merely to be good, but also to appear good before all. Theirs is an advertising need, not an apostolic need. They don't have an image problem with homosexuality. They have a managerial problem with how they choose to spend Church dollars. End tax free status for the Church as long as profits are moved out of the US to a wealthy conclave of Bishops. End tax free status of donations to the Church, from poor and rich alike. Seize property, when such property is ill gotten gain used in furtherance of a crime, the same way Johns and Drug Dealers have their property seized. Seize rectories and palaces stolen from the poor and needy, and operated as dens of enslavement and prostitution to the likes of abusive Priests such as this. Is it not obvious, on sitting and reading this book, that the Church has colluded to act as protector of those who prostitute and rape teenagers? It deserves Just Punishment. Is such punishment a Constitutional violation? No, the Church still has freedom to associate, to minister, and to govern on spiritual matters. But, it must be made clear that Caesar demands render what has been rightfully ceded His: the Coin, and the Tax. If we can establish no State religion, can we at least decide not to establish a right to tax free status for any religion that ministers against the rule of law?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    The movie Spotlight was fantastic, but after reading the book that it is based on, you realize the film just scratches the surface of the topic. I feel that I got a very well-rounded look at the issues raised by The Boston Globe and the immediate impact that their reports had on the church and its communities. The reader sees into the minds of the accused priests, the point of view of the victims, and how the institution itself handled the charges made against it. The data never felt repetitive; The movie Spotlight was fantastic, but after reading the book that it is based on, you realize the film just scratches the surface of the topic. I feel that I got a very well-rounded look at the issues raised by The Boston Globe and the immediate impact that their reports had on the church and its communities. The reader sees into the minds of the accused priests, the point of view of the victims, and how the institution itself handled the charges made against it. The data never felt repetitive; on the contrary, I constantly felt floored as claim after claim are revealed by The Boston Globe. As a Catholic who had a vague awareness about these accusations (I was only eleven at the time), reading this book really put into perspective why it was such a big deal. I knew there were accusations that priests were abusing children, but I had no idea just how many cases actually existed, for how long this had gone on, and how blatantly it was ignored and covered up by the church. Readers going into this book know the subject matter is going to be difficult to read. However, the book does not hold back in its coverage of the topic. I had anticipated vague references to what had occurred to the children, but, in reality, the readers are exposed to extremely graphic descriptions of nearly exactly what happened. Not only that, but we are given a lot more than a handful of these case descriptions to endure. It is not for the faint of heart, and makes for an incredibly dark reading experience. Even though it is hard to read, the shock value that results from these descriptions effectively hammers home the importance of the topic. This is such an important book, such an important topic, and such a tragic series of events that will continue to shape the Catholic Church for years to come. If you can handle how personal the stories get I would suggest everyone read this book. Like the Holocaust, this is a horrific event that human beings allowed to happen until someone stood up and said enough. History will repeat itself unless we all have an understanding of the past and how to avoid past mistakes. It is of even greater importance if you consider yourself Catholic, like myself. In order to be more vigilant in the future and have a clear understanding about the history of our church, we cannot blind ourselves from the atrocity that The Boston Globe heroically brought to light.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    5 out of 5 stars It has been a very long time since I have been both angered and awed about one subject, at the same time. I will admit now that I am not at all religious. I was raised agnostic, and how I view that term is simply that I have no religious background. I was taught to always believe in myself before I start believing in anyone, or anything else, and that, I guess, is how I direct my moral compass in life. Noting my upbringing, I'm not surprised I don't remember much about the sexual 5 out of 5 stars It has been a very long time since I have been both angered and awed about one subject, at the same time. I will admit now that I am not at all religious. I was raised agnostic, and how I view that term is simply that I have no religious background. I was taught to always believe in myself before I start believing in anyone, or anything else, and that, I guess, is how I direct my moral compass in life. Noting my upbringing, I'm not surprised I don't remember much about the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, when it was unearthed by the Boston Globe in 2002. I was only 10 at the time, but I can remember in vivid detail where I was, and what happened on 9/11, and I was only 9 then. A crisis in somebody else's religion didn't really effect me, and also I was 10, so I didn't really get the cultural ramifications of the scandal itself. Fast forward 15 years later, I became interested in learning more about the sexual abuse scandal after watching The Keepers on Netflix, because it was recommended to me that if I enjoyed the series, I should watch the movie Spotlight. While I had gotten a general knowledge about the subject matter of the film before watching it, I was still blown away by the movie itself. It deserved it's Oscar for Best Picture, I will tell you that much, because I was so upset after watching it, yet I still wanted to learn more. Thus, why I read this book. And, boy, does it pack a punch. A culmination of all of the Boston Globe's investigative journalism team, Spotlight's work, this book dissects every part of a scandal that was decades in the making. The first few chapters go into detail about the victims, and the priests who prayed upon them, with the victims recounting their stories of abuse in vivid, and alarming detail. While the sexual abuse itself is upsetting on its own, it is what the Church's hierarchy did to the victims, and their families that is the most stunning. Through their journalistic efforts, the Boston Globe team gives incontrovertible proof that the men in charge of the diocese's across the US, (and later revealed around the world) knew about the men who had been accused of sexually abusing kids, yet did very little to keep them away from children. The Boston Globe centers a lot of their findings around the priest John Geoghan, who was shuttled from parish to parish over several decades, each time it was reported that he had engaged in any kind of inappropriate actions towards young kids. Instead of getting rid of him, and reporting him to the proper authorities when charges were first laid at his door in the 1970's, his superior's covered up his transgressions by sending him to so called psychiatric centers for members of the clergy. He would spend a few months their getting 'fixed', before being sent back out into the world once more. Yet, he wasn't fixed, because you can't 'cure' a pedophile, and he would go on to abuse hundreds of young boys, before he was finally stripped of his title in the 90's. What makes this even worse, is that he wasn't the only one. In Boston alone, almost 250 priests have been accused of sexual abuse towards well over a thousand victims in between the period of 2002-2015. That is a staggering statistic. Yet, the Catholic Church's hierarchy did everything in their power to protect the monsters, instead of the victims, because they knew that if the truth got out, it would make them look bad. What I want to stress to anyone interested in reading this book is that this is not an attack on Catholicism itself. At no point did I feel as if this book was a crusade towards the destruction of a religion. Instead, this is a critical dissection of why this scandal came into creation, and how its impact may be changing the Church as an organization, for the better. It highlights how out of touch the Church's hierarchy is with the modern world. There is an entire chapter dedicated to how the Church views sex, and how a priests vow of celibacy, coupled with the lack of education given to young priests in training back in the 50's, 60's, and 70's is likely what gave rise to a large group of sexually immature men, who related more to prepubescent boys, then to adults. It even addresses how, if the Church is ever going to get back those who the scandal alienated, it is going to have to start listening to the laypeople (church goers), who are largely opposed to some of the Church's more medieval beliefs, especially about homosexuality, birth control, and the place of women in Catholicism. As a whole, the book gives a well rounded critique of the Church's failings, and hypocrisy, but still gives hope that, if they finally start listening to outside voices, there will still be a place for Catholicism 100-200 years from now. This is a must read for anyone, and everyone, in my opinion. This is a moment in history, that literally changed how the world saw a religion that wields a lot of power across the world. And it all came to be, because a group of reporters refused to give in to pressure to drop a story that they knew needed to be told. Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church is a glowing example of the importance of journalism. This teams efforts deserved their Pulitzer, because, this investigation is so powerful. A quote, from one of the victims, on the last page, sums up the entire book effortlessly. "The survivors, each of us in his own way, have spent our lives trying to move on, always weighing those two options. For some of us, suicide, substance abuse, or violence ended the struggle early. To varying degrees, those of us who have survived have begun to heal. We reclaimed dreams, earned degrees, formed families, went to work, even sought solace in spiritual practice. But we cannot escape the effects of the betrayals that were committed against us in God's name. They are inexorably woven into the texture of who we have become. That betrayal may not be a chargeable offense in a court of law. But there is no statute of limitations on its impact. And there should be no forgetting." And I don't plan to.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Battameez

    God, this is a difficult book to read/rate. While I was incredibly impressed with the scope of the research done by the reporters at the Boston Globe, this was a thoroughly heartbreaking book to read. To think that children and young people were attacked and hurt by so many priests in so many places--this book documents primarily the reported cases of sexual abuse in the US--and the archdiocese either ignored or entirely side-swept it is horrifying. One thing that bothered me in the entire book God, this is a difficult book to read/rate. While I was incredibly impressed with the scope of the research done by the reporters at the Boston Globe, this was a thoroughly heartbreaking book to read. To think that children and young people were attacked and hurt by so many priests in so many places--this book documents primarily the reported cases of sexual abuse in the US--and the archdiocese either ignored or entirely side-swept it is horrifying. One thing that bothered me in the entire book is how they keep referring to the whole-abusing-kids thing as a "sex scandal" when it's actually a mass-rape scandal, no? Maybe it's just dated lingo and for the early 2000's that was the language that suited the reportage best, but god was it hard to shut off my 2016 feminist brain off whenever they described the rape/assault/abuse scandal as a "sex scandal". That said, this is an extremely accessible, informative and empathetic writing about such a hugely sensitive topic and I am so glad it exists, because today we have a vocabulary to talk about people in power and how they exploit that power, thanks to exposés like these.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I watched the movie Spotlight a week ago and really enjoyed it. So much so that I wanted to know more (even though they do a great job telling a full story in the movie). I thought . . .these people are journalists . . there must be a book. This is that book. I was very tempted to give it four stars, because I enjoyed reading it, it's well written and it's such an important topic. I decided not to because this book is not for the feint of heart. It's not that there are graphic descriptions, it's I watched the movie Spotlight a week ago and really enjoyed it. So much so that I wanted to know more (even though they do a great job telling a full story in the movie). I thought . . .these people are journalists . . there must be a book. This is that book. I was very tempted to give it four stars, because I enjoyed reading it, it's well written and it's such an important topic. I decided not to because this book is not for the feint of heart. It's not that there are graphic descriptions, it's more that it is relentless, which is proper given the subject matter. But I found myself being relieved when the book was over as I could then stop thinking about pedophile priests. I feel a little guilty writing about my relief because it strikes me that is a luxury emotion on my part. I can put the book down and move on with my life in a way these child victims can not. In the end I'm so glad I read this book. I learned two important things. Investigative journalists are important. They keep us safe and they keep our leaders honest. And I learned that skepticism of authority is a healthy thing. And we should always listen to our children!

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