Vows of Silence


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Vows of Silence
Abuse of Power in the Papacy of
John Paul II


Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

By Jason Berry and Gerald Renner

READ: Boston Globe Book Review

Going far beyond the recent headlines about the Catholic Church, Jason Berry and Gerald Renner's Vows of Silence follows the staggering trail of evasions and disinformation that leads directly to the Vatican-and taints the legacy of Pope John Paul II. Based on years of research and hundreds of interviews, Vows of Silence is a riveting account of Vatican cover-ups and the tumult they have caused in the church worldwide. Both a profound criticism and a call to reform by two Catholic writers, the book reveals an agenda of top-down control under John Paul II and a hierarchy so obsessed with secrecy as to spawn disinformation.

Vows of Silence cuts between the life story of Father Tom Doyle, who sacrificed a diplomatic career with the Vatican to seek justice for sex-abuse victims, and Father Marcial Maciel, an accused pedophile and founder of the Legion of Christ, a cult-like religious order that began in Mexico, opened prep schools in countries around the globe, and won the favor of John Paul II in Rome. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Father Doyle and with ex-Legionnaires who filed a canonical suit against Maciel, as well as interviews with Vatican insiders and an array of sources in Ireland, Canada, and Australia, the authors provide a penetrating account of a hierarchy directly in conflict with its followers.

With scrupulous, factual reporting, Vows of Silence chronicles the Church's struggle between orthodoxy and reform-going straight to the heart of one of the world's largest power structures. Jason Berry has published five books, including the highly praised Lead Us Not Into Temptation. He writes for many publications and appears often on national television.

He lives in New Orleans.

Gerald Renner is a veteran journalist who recently retired from the Hartford Courant, where he was a staff writer specializing in religious news, issues, and trends. He lives in Norwalk, Connecticut.

MARCH 2004
Religion 6 x 9, 388 pages Index, notes
$25.00 $39.50 in Canada
eBook: 0-7432-5381-7
Previous book: Lead Us Not into Temptation (Jason Berry),
0-25206-812-2, University of Illinois Press, 2000

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests