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

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Going deep behind the headlines about scandals in the Catholic Church, Jason Berry and Gerald Renner's Vows of Silence follows the staggering trail of evasions and deceit that leads directly to the Vatican -- and taints the legacy of Pope John Paul II. Based on more than six years of investigative reporting and hundreds of interviews, this book is a riveting account of Vat ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published March 4th 2004 by Free Press (first published 2004)
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Rob the Obscure
If you are interested in the significant problems of credibility facing the hierarchy of Roman Catholicism in the 21st century, this book is a worthwhile read.

The authors (Roman Catholics themselves)analyze the sexual subculture of the priesthood in the context of canon law and theological constructs as a way of helping to explain (although not condone)the secrecy, cover up, and lack of accountability that went all the way to the papacy of John Paul II.

As the American laity (the Church) grow in
Apr 10, 2014 Claudine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a disturbing book, which I was prompted to read after watching PBS' Frontline program (really expose), about The Vatican. As a life long Roman Catholic, the sexual abuse scandal has shaken me to the core. Some of my friends and family were abused, but kept quiet about it. It is not a new problem, but obviously one that the politicians (I won't refer to them as 'priests' or even 'clerics') at the Vatican ignored. The "old boys" club was and is alive and well and living at the Vatican. One ...more
Carlos Burga
This book was disturbing and depressing but extremely enlightening on the sexual abuse scandal that plagues the Catholic Church. Berry and Renner’s incredibly researched book goes beyond identifying the “what” of the story and centers squarely in the “why” and “how” of it. Their detailed account of Rev. Thomas Doyle’s first encounter with a cover-up of Catholic priests’ sexual crimes, as far back as the early 70s, gives the reader an inside look into how these charges were perceived by the hiera ...more
Marcia Buckie
Sep 26, 2012 Marcia Buckie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tough read for anyone, especially someone who was raised Catholic. On Amazon, many derailed this as anti-Catholic, but I think exposing corruption within the RCC is PRO catholic. Like Vatican II had been intended, the people of the church are as important as the hierarcy. They have been betrayed on many levels.

It is a detailed read, and sometimes I had to take notes to keep track of people. As much as it angered me, it also helped me put aside some bitterness I have..because it helped me to und
Harry Allagree
Mar 01, 2013 Harry Allagree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 2004, the book demonstrates the present virtual impossibility for any survivor of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church to ever get real and true justice. The intransigence and willful, calculated dishonesty and cover-up by the majority of the hierarchy and clergy on the upper levels of both the Vatican and the dioceses throughout the world, if continued, will almost certainly bring the Church down. This book traces only what's happened during John Paul II's reign, and su ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Chemteacher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic-church
The book, Vows of Silence, is an account of the child abuse scandals during the years of papacy of John Paul II.

The first part of the book deals largely with diocesan instances of abuse and the very slow coming-to-terms with it that occurred in the American Church and in Rome. It does cover details about the shock and resistance both here and in Rome, during the reign of Pope John Paul II, that prevented resolute and rapid resolutions. The book is well-researched and footnoted and this is valuab
Sep 16, 2014 Kathi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having read a more current book on the subject did not really learn anything new. Really admire Father Doyle but he was fighting against the wind. The Vatican is obviously as political an organization as any other administration. Sad. You would think with the numbers of priests and nuns leaving and no new ones being added the church would rethink their policies on celibacy.
Apr 17, 2012 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was published in 2004 and I think I've picked up most of this information from either reviews when it was published or in periodicals dealing with the priest sex scandal. I learned nothing new, but I was reminded of Ratzinger's complicity and John Paul II's co-equal guilt. I don't want to write anymore about this. Another to-be-read book that wasn't worth the wait. All it did was remind me how truly sad and pathological the Catholic hierarchy is. Never gladder to be an Episcopalian.
Mar 14, 2014 Mariellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative concerning the crisis in the Church. I also saw a documentary by Jason Berry with the same title. Both are good for people to understand the depths of the crisis and the cover-up. It will bee impossible for those interested in working toward perfecting the Church if they avert their eyes from these truths.
Apr 27, 2013 Dancingfoolvb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A disturbing yet voluminous rendering of the bizarre priorities of the modern Roman Catholic Church, which under John Paul and Benedict preferred to focus on suppressing liberal theologians while ignoring the systemic sickness of the priestly pedophile scandals. This is history with detail. Refuting this is denial writ large.
Antonio Nunez
Jul 21, 2013 Antonio Nunez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Key book about sexual abuse in the Catholic Churt, with particular detail about Father Marcial Maciel Degollado and the Legionaries of Christ. Very good investigative work.
Annika Cleeve
Feb 12, 2013 Annika Cleeve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I sadly recommend this book. Very well written, researched and presented.
Richard Hamrick
Eye opening to the inner works of the Vatican Political Machine
Jul 22, 2010 Ishki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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