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Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,238 ratings  ·  47 reviews
"Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church is the first of its kind in the country. Journalist Aries C. Rufo shows a Church that is cloaked in secrecy. It keeps the wrongdoing of its bishops and priests - in sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement - within its confines and lets them get away, unpunished. Accountability, after all, ...more
Paperback, First Printing, 211 pages
Published 2013 by Journalism for Nation Building Foundation
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K.D. Absolutely
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Robertson T. Poblete
This book is shocking. Well, at least for me who do not normally follow the local news especially on things that do not really interest me. One of these things is the local church. I am not a religious person but being a Catholic I do the minimum: hear the mass every Sunday and when the inspiration comes to me, pray the rosary.

Frankly, I still view the Catholic church as nothing but a business institution and to continue to exist, it has to make profits. It is a political organization too
Gabriela Francisco
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The truth shall set you free." The fact that a libel case was filed against the author was enough to make me want to read it. And having read it, I can say that the author did not write it in order to tear down the CBCP or the Church in the Philippines. It is a must-read for every Filipino Catholic, so that we will not follow blindly the orders of fallible men leading a political institution that in no way represents the true face of the Catholic Church.
Diane Briones™
Interesting read about the scandals harrowing the Philippine Catholic church. --Diane ™

Rufo sheds light on a closeted organization and does it through an excellent journalistic endeavor. Here are interviews of prominent and relevant characters in the politics of the Catholic Church in the Philippine setting. Insomuch as he exposes the scandals that has beset the organization, Rufo also brings you to the roots of such anomalous behavior. His analysis starts at the organizational structure and
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
For those with a penchant for titillating controversies, the book is a journalistic mine of the most recent church scandals. But for those looking for a more indepth analysis of the ills of the Church, how scandals in the Church reflect current problems in Philippine society, how the sins of the Philippine Church fare with the sins of the global Catholic Church, now and based on its 2000 year history, etc. the book is relatively shallow. Even the secrets about which the book speaks of are hardly ...more
Igmidio Galingan
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book is an eye opener. When before Filipinos might see the ills of the Catholic church as an abstraction relegated to history or just something only foreign countries might have, this book will set the record straight that those ills are existing and may even be flourishing here in the Philippines. In abroad the Catholic Church are already facing challenges, here they are still held in high esteem even undeservingly so. Hope this book changes that.
Michael Elefante
Jan 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Rufo may have been presenting facts about Catholic Church in this book of his but clearly his intention is for him to defame the Catholic priest to the readers and in due course to lost faith in the Roman Catholic region.

I have read this with an open mind. Clearly the narration here is one sided, often to depict the religious in a bad light.

Sorry, Mr. Rufo, I know not all Catholic priest are holy, but my trust with the Church and my faith is much deeper and cannot be tainted with this work of
Wanda Madelaine
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well...that was something. Although honestly speaking, I am not surprised.

Priests are human beings. They err. I just don't understand why people would put their faith in them and not God.

Still, we have not learned from the past.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book contains if not sensitive issues on the Roman Catholic Church, its shocking. Considering that I dont always watch the news to follow the politics and move the Catholics. The information that the book contains made me see the Catholics in new perspective. They might be holy as they trying to look like, but there are dark secrets that they try to hide from the public. Issues on Celibacy and having family; transparency in their funds, the clout of the church in the policy making, and ...more
Jan-Jan Batugan
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
In this investigative book authored by Aries Rufo, readers peek into the secret lives of those who are deemed as divinely impeccable. The revelations are almost dumbfounding yet they are also reconciled by examples of holy men who walk what they talk.

At the outset, the book may seem to appear as incriminating the men of cloth, however, it should also be noted that the book is no less than a desperate cry for a reform in a respected institution that has long held a firm grip and control over the
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Religion fornicates with Politics, the former is corrupted, the latter is degraded. When Religion and Politics sleep together, can we really tell them apart?

This book looks at the Philippine Catholic Church through a different lens. What it sees cannot be ignored. Recommend reading for everyone that love their Church. And their Politics.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
On June 20, 2013, many news organizations issued articles discussing a report released by the World Health Organization titled Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. The results? One in three women has faced intimate partner violence or sexual violence. 40% of women killed worldwide were slain by the partner.
And therein lies the wondrous hope that man has often
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
The anecdotes and articles in this book are not surprising. Rumors about Catholic priests being hypocrites have been around since forever.

I just didn't like how the author injected his own personal opinions in a supposedly neutral book. After all, Rufo's a journalist. Reading words like "hypocritical" "sinned" etc. is quite annoying. Leave the comments to the readers.
Jun Resurreccion
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very enlightening view of the roman catholic church in the Philippines. We've all heard rumors of these before but this book went out to verify the facts about these rumors. Did not shake my faith though because that's between me and my God. It just reminded me that priests are human and just like anyone else, they can rise above human frailty or succumb to it...
Lea De La Cruz
May 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read this book because of my curiosity as to why the author is being accused of libel but got disappointed since it contains issues that I watched on news and read on newspapers before which make it hardly a secret.
Rainier Moreno-Lacalle
heart-wrenching but liberating!
Grethel Ulang
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every devout catholics should read this as a test of faith to the church.
Anne Lourdes
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The part about Sister Rita though..
Levi Dasig
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's true to the Philippines and brought out broader knowledge in the book make open the minds of the reader to know the Truth of the cult of catholism
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An eye-opener mer. Well-researched.
Jim MendioLa
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition excited to know their secrets
Jojo Ibit
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bhi-bondoc
why i cant read this book
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Larry Cano,
Mar 14, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I have been trying to secure a hardcopy but I guess I have to continue searching
Feb 11, 2017 marked it as to-read
I recommend this to a friend.
Reynaldo Dizon
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Linda Hill
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well researched chest of truths about clerics as humans who fail their vocation and trusting Catholics. A must read for all faithful not to discredit Catholicism but to arm them with enough knowledge for discernment. This book has not made me believe less in the Catholic church which to me is just a facilitator for my faith in Christianity. I however srongly oppose Church meddling with government particularly re RH!
Thanks for writing this book Mr Rufo.
Matthew Lopez
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
My understanding of the Catholic Church has been transformed but the book talks about scandals which is true and cannot be ignored. No human institution in the world is infallible, whether the State or Religion. Rufo in his magnum opus before his untimely death shows the human side of the Catholic Church that although is incomplete in its details provides for future scholarship later on.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Finished in between an 8-hour commute from Laguna to QC and back. The wonders of heavy traffic, indeed. (About the book? Pretty much confirmed what I knew, but I still can't believe that they were THAT messy.) Update for this book Sept 2017: available at Fully Booked BGC, P450.
Joe Padilla
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
We need to know the real story
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