Richard Sipe reviews Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal


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I thank Rick Springer for this link and Richard Sipe for his review of this important book, and for all he has done for victims/survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse.

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Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal




by Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael D’Antonio, was recently released.

Available: Amazon.com: Books

Reviewed by AW Richard Sipe

It is the most comprehensive and complete history of the clergy abuse crisis and survivor movement ever written.

“The main thing people should know about the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is that it is a confrontation between those who would tell radical truth, in all its messy, disturbing, and seemingly contradictory forms, and an institution devoted to secrecy and hierarchy.

Mortal Sins covers the movement that sprang up around the problem of clerical abuse and follows it from its beginnings in Minnesota and Louisiana to Pope Benedict’s resignation. Along the way it reveals the transformation of its leaders –especially lawyer Jeff Anderson of St. Paul–and the gradual shift inside the church.”

The narrative exposes the dynamics of the greatest crisis the Catholic Church in America has ever faced. The story weaves together the metamorphosis of a cast of characters who took on the corruption of one of the most powerful institutions in the world.

That includes Tom Doyle, Jason Berry, Richard Sipe, Barbara Blaine, John Manly, Pat Wall, and others.




    3 Responses to “Richard Sipe reviews Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal”

  1. ClevelandGirl Says:

    I just finished the book. It’s really good. It’s a capsulized chronology of the exposure and legal fight. Frank L., this book does not talk in any detail about the abuses themselves, though some examples are given. It’s mostly about Jeff Anderson, Tom Doyle, Richard Sipe, Patrick Wall, Barbara Blaine, and others who have fought in the courts and in the media. It goes right up to where Roger Mahony’s criminal concealment of abuse was exposed by the release (finally) of the LA diocese documents and the resignation of Ex-Benedict. I’ve recommended it to my hubby, who hates hearing about the latest abuse incidents, as it’s more like a true-crime story about the legal fights and legal victories and setbacks as well as the change in public opinion over time (specifically the last 20 years). Worth it!!!

  2. John Mollish Says:

    I’m finishing the book today and I believe strongly that it’s worth reading. I thought I knew most of the information about the sex abuse crisis already. However, I was surprised to find new linkages that had previously eluded me, pointing to a network of clergy who keep silent about the sexual abuse of children and adults because they themselves have been compromised in some fashion. I am sure this book is not the last one to be written on the crisis which, if I’m not mistaken, has not fully been revealed in all of its sordid details. Thanks to the primary heroes in the book; namely, the thousands of victims who have come forward, light can be shone on an intolerable injustice which needs to be dealt with. And thanks to heroes such as Richard Sipe et al, who by risking their personal and professional reputations, validated the truth of which the victims speak and addressed the underlying problems in the church which made the abuse possible. These heroes remind me of the words of Harvard Professor, David Thomas, “Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.”

  3. Augusta Wynn Says:

    That is such a gorgeous quote from Professor Thomas. Thank you, John. And I’m with you, Cleveland Girl, this Mortal Sins will make it impossible, (hope) for any literate Catholic to hide behind the few bad apples baloney.

    Because of the brave movers and shakers- Sipe, both Doyles, and all the decent hearted and brave, the world is indeed changing, and the teachings of Our Lord will no longer be perverted by the men in the palaces.

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