Sexual Abuse Scandal
New book "Broken Trust" helps to bring healing to all involved in sexual abuse

.- Go into any bookstore, and you are sure to find numerous books on the sexual abuse crisis that the Catholic Church has been plagued with during the last few decades. But what you won’t find is a book that looks at both sides of the unprecedented tragedy—the stories of the abused and those of the abusers.

The authors of the newly published book, Broken Trust, zero in on the sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church by examining the lives and histories of the abusive priests, the experiences of the victims, and by offering suggestions about how all involved can heal.

While media coverage often exposes the abhorrent specifics of sexual abuse cases, this book takes care to look at the lives of the priest-abusers.  Broken Trust brings to light the untold life-events of five different priests whose past ordeals set them on the path to continue the cycle of abuse.

Sexual Abuse Has More Than One Victim

While never excusing their shocking behavior, the authors are able to see the priest’s  wounds as the cause of their abusive actions.  “We came to realize that they too had a trauma and abuse history, which was the root cause of their behavior.”  The priests’ stories in this book were from abusers who have taken responsibility for their behavior and have recovered from it.

The priest’s stories are told from their point of view while discussing their struggles with childhood abuse, familial issues, homosexuality, alcohol, and the loss of loved ones. 

The book also shares three stories from survivors of clerical sex abuse. Their stories of fear, pain and manipulation are truly heartbreaking, but their steps forward are nothing short of acts of tremendous strength as they move on with their lives.

Each story from the priests and the victims is followed by a commentary providing psychological and spiritual perspectives.  “The commentaries elaborate on what created the horrible abusive cycle these individuals were caught up in and what helps to heal them, stop the abuse cycle, and prevent it from continuing.”

Solutions for Real Healing

In the final section, the authors present ideas for healing.  One of the authors has already started to treat those who were involved in abusing through a residential program.  The facility houses priests who are no longer serving in active ministry.  This program helps the residents in finding a new role within the world.

These stories are told for several reasons, but first and foremost, to prevent sexual abuse from ever happening again.
“The more we know and understand these men, the more we will know how to protect children and others who are vulnerable.”  The authors add that another motivation “is to promote a healing dialogue between abusers and victims.”  “In the limited number of situations where the abuser has been able to personally apologize for his abuse to the victim, we have seen healing for both parties greatly facilitated.”

The authors point out this is a major way that the Church can help to heal the wounds of the victims as well as the abusers. 

Restorative Justice

“The Church could sponsor and organize such healing dialogues between priest victim-abusers and victim.  These dialogues could be part of a Church-sponsored program of what is called restorative justice.  This approach attempts to avoid the adversarial relationships of civil suits.  These suits may bring some victims significant monetary compensation, and tort lawyer’s sizable fees, but they are certainly not designed for healing victims.  They, in fact, tend to keep the victim stuck in the anger stage of healing.  Restorative justice, with professional mediation between the Church and the victim, could lead to a healing settlement of monetary compensation and payment for the victim’s counseling.”

While addressing the needs of the victims and the abusers, “healing is possible.  There is hope.”

Broken Trust was published by The Crossroad Publishing Company in May of 2007 and is authored by Patrick Fleming, Sue Lauber-Fleming, and Mark T. Matousek.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: