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The Dark Night of the Catholic Church

Kevin Mayhew

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Product Code: 1501276

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Quick Overview

Examining the child sex abuse scandal
This timely and important book focuses on the current crisis within the Catholic Church over the sexual abuse of children by priests and other church personnel and the church hierarchy's failures in addressing the crisis.

Seventeen skilled practitioners have contributed their experience in readable and approachable language. The opening chapters deal with the difficult and perplexing issue of child abuse by clergy. These are followed by contributions by an abuser, two victims and a bishop who was responsible for responding to the abuse.

There are chapters on how best to respond to abuse, the appropriate treatment of victims and perpetrators and the proper pastoral response to allegations. The final section deals with education and the prevention of child sexual abuse in order to prepare people for ministry and ensure a culture of safeguarding in the Catholic Church.

This is essential reading for all priests and church personnel, concerned lay Catholics and professionals involved in victim treatment and perpetrator rehabilitation. Many chapters will also offer useful resources to media professionals.

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Product Code1501276
NameThe Dark Night of the Catholic Church
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorBrendan Geary and Joanne Marie Greer
Short DescriptionExamining the child sex abuse scandal
Pack Size1
Size150mm x 234mm
Count620 Pages
Date Published12 May 2011
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Sexual sex abuse catholic bishops children corruption sin catholic roman catholic church churches pmd12
This is a big book which deals with a big problem... Review by The Good Book Stall
Star Rating
This is a big book which deals with a big problem. It is an examination of the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in the 70s, 80s and 90s in America and in Europe. The contributors are religious from the Catholic church and other denominations and there are contributions by leading medical specialists from around the world. The book reveals how many bishops and religious leaders took an overly defensive and secretive approach to the problem, but that now the hierarchies and the pope have all apologised fulsomely for the abuse. There are chapters on current research into clerical abusers, on the testimonies of victims, on the treatment of offenders, on clerical celibacy as a possible cause, and on the shock waves among ordinary Catholics. This is an honest and insightful book. There is a spirit now within the Church of true repentance and a change of heart. There is a determination now never to deny the facts of the shameful past and to create a better future. (Posted on 07/03/2012)
This book is essential reading... Review by Thresholds Winter 2011 Edition - Tina Campbell, therapist, supervisor and safeguarding advisor the Bishop of Motherwell
Star Rating
The length of this review could never do justice to the wealth of information and professional and personal insights offered in The Dark Night of the Catholic Church. It has certainly been released at an opportune time when the Catholic Church in particular has been subject to a multitude of worldwide disclosures of clerical sexual abuse of children. The book contains contributions from 19 authors, and uniquely encompasses both the professional perspective, but also the voices of victims and that of an abuser. In this sense it is very different from other publications in this area.

There is already a considerable amount of literature available which examines the complex issues in relation to sexual abuse in the Christian Church and there are numerous written accounts from the perspective of those who have suffered such abuse. However, what is unusual and timely about this book is that it includes not only an examination of the complex nature of abuse but also sets the historical context – which is most enlightening. The book is divided into four sections.

Part one, ‘Understanding’, sets the historical context and includes an insightful chapter on the effect of clerical sexual abuse on the faith life of the victims, an area which can often become overlooked in supporting those who have suffered abuse. This will be particularly helpful to therapists.

Part two, ‘Listening’, presents moving and detailed accounts from victims of abuse and also from an abuser. This is sometimes not easy reading but I do believe it is important for professionals and also those who engage with survivors of abuse in the therapeutic world, to consider.

Part three, ‘Responding’, explores psychological treatment, spirituality, and includes a very useful chapter on canon law perspectives.

Part four, ‘Educating and preventing’, evidences the structures and systems already in place in the Church, implemented by a qualified and experienced body of both clerical and lay people throughout the world. It also includes some challenges for the future in terms of the importance of teaching human sexuality within formation courses for ministry.

This book is essential reading for anyone working in the Catholic Church and indeed other Christian faiths and those who have an interest in or work with the responsibility of safeguarding the children, young people and vulnerable adults in our faith communities. I would also strongly advocate that any therapist working with clients who disclose sexual abuse would certainly benefit from reading The Dark Night of the Catholic Church. (Posted on 11/01/2012)

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