Review: Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church – Boston Globe

betrayalBrought completely up to date in this new paperback edition, this groundbreaking book provides a detailed, devastating account of the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up that has left millions of American Catholics shocked, angry, and confused. Encompassing the story in its entirety–as it has unfolded throughout the U.S. and throughout the Church hierarchy–BETRAYAL brings into focus the scores of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children, and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes.
– One of the most resonant and influential works of investigative journalism since Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting on Watergate.
– Astonishing court documents, secured through the efforts of Globe journalists, are reproduced in an appendix.
– An essential, insightful, helpful text for the Church leaders, both lay and clergy, who have already begun charting a new course for the Catholic Church in America.
– The hardcover edition of BETRAYAL is now in its fourth printing with more than 50,000 copies in print.

Rating: 4/5

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 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.

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