Ripped from headlines that have been contemporary for more than a year, "Betrayal ..." is the Boston Globe newspaper's investigative staff product of the problem of pedophiles and molesters (and there's a significant distinction between the two) in the Catholic priesthood. What may sound like editorializing seems to be verified by supporting documentation of priests who victimize boys of all from adolesence to young adulthood, and the book reads more like an elongated newspaper article, not that that's bad. But, at its heart, "Betrayal ..." maps out what a convincing argument that an inordinate number of child molesters seem to be in the clergy. If you can get past the sheer devastation of divine trust shattered and totally destroyed and the childhoods literally decimated, "Betrayal ..." also posits the question of why the child abuse crisis exists. One plausible theory, though certainly not justification for sex with children, is that the celibate nature of the priesthood perverts sexual desire to the expression of child molesting. That one sounds, and one would hope, more plausible than the terrifying other possibility that the priesthood attracts what "Betrayal ..." classifies as homosexuals. With that theory, however, the unfair and inaccurate implication that homosexuals are also child molesters isn't satisfactorily explored and dismissed. On this count, "Betrayal ..." might be serving the hopefully unintended fears that fuel homophobia. More fully, though, the book states clearly what is indeed a crisis by any standard. The non-Catholic whose church is not under fire may not be as moved by the sense of betrayal that the Catholic faithful may inevitably suffer. However, "Betrayal ..." and the priests who offer their commentary are barely spared from coming off as a crisis of faith and, instead, must be read as a crisis of man and not the God of worship. In the end, the Catholics among us cannot help but feel betrayed by the men in whom we have entrusted our children. And by remembering the crisis is man-made, we don't have to lose our faith in the God of our worship. In the end, those of us who are Catholic may conclude that our church's heirarchy has to be dismantled, accountability institutionally implemented and the demons of our children prosecuted along with being treated.
1. This book is an excellent investigation into what occured in Boston involving the Catholic church and sex abuse.
2. It is also an excellent book in explaining the power of the Catholic Church in the culture and politics of Boston. This power may explain why Cardinal Law and others were able to get away with such abuses of power.
3. This is an extremely painful read as it details exactly what occurred to these children while they were being abused.
4. With that said, THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ALL CATHOLICS!