Jason Berry proves to be a true defender of the faith, an upstanding Catholic, unafraid to confront the moral decay running rampant in the Church today. Every statement is documented, proving its truth. This book is not an attempt to discredit the Church, but a compassionate understanding of the troubled Church and a serious attempt to make the Church confront its problems. Berry is not an author with a bone to pick. He is a sincere Catholic interested in seeing his Church live up to its full potential, eliminating views which lead "into temptation".
This is truly a can't-put-down book about the current crisis in the Catholic Church--priest abuse of children. Jason's book was written before the present crisis that erupted in 2002, but it gives solid background of other priest-pedophile cases dating back 30 years or so.
Jason is not content to just quote other sources--books, newspapers, magazines--as others have done concerning this scandal. He actually went and interviewed the priests, bishops, parents, and most importantly, the victims. He doesn't just state the facts, which could become boring, but he has the gift of writing that made me feel that I was actually there, seeing and hearing what he was seeing and hearing.
Nothing else got done in my house for over a week because I was so wrapped up in his true characters and his gritty, gutsy reporting style. This is not a book for the faint of heart, and Jason does not pull any punches in his investigative reporting. He proves himself vulnerable, however, as he revealed that he cried with victims and became angry with the system that let this abuse be a continual event. He remains a Catholic as I am because he feels that there is still hope that the Catholic Church can correct itself and become what Jesus meant it to be. I feel the same way.
The Catholic hierarchy is shown as more caring about the male buddy system than they are about our children who need our protection. The guilty priests, who should have been defrocked and turned over to the authorities, were nonchalantly transferred to other parishes with no warning to other parishes about the new priest in their midst and his dangerous, dark side.
Jason's writing is powerful and real. When I read the part about a man who became terrified because he felt that the devil was after him after he had talked to a pedophile priest, that terror transferred itself to me. It was 2 a.m. and I had been unable to stop reading Jason's book. I needed to go downstairs to get my medicine, but I was afraid to do so. My house alarm had been on so I knew that no BODY was in the house, but I felt the same evil that Jason's character had felt. It was as though an evil menace was there in the room with me. I knew that this menace did not want me to read Jason's book and thereby learn about all the evil that had been buried in the Catholic Church for so many years and that Jason's reporting was now bringing to the light.
Fortunately, the terror did not last long. A beautiful peace soon settled over me, and I knew that a protective Presence had entered my room, dispersing the evil menace. This loving Presence wanted me to continue reading Jason's book so that I would be knowledgeable and would be prepared for necessary changes that I believe the Holy Spirit will make in the Catholic Church.
Thank you, Jason, for a remarkable book and all your labor that went into it. I do not know you but I feel that I do. Keep up the good work.