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The Priestly Sins: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Andrew M. Greeley
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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This extremely topical novel by the prolific author, priest and sociologist, has a particular perspective on the crisis facing the Church today; Greeley, who has been humanizing the Catholic hierarchy for readers of popular fiction for decades, makes it all too clear how and why pedophile priests were protected by their superiors, shuffled from parish to parish, allowed to victimize so many youngsters for so long--and are cointinuing to do so even now. Father Herman Hoffman, Greeley's sympathetic protagonist, is a whistle-blower whose efforts to do the right thing are so forcefully resisted by his superiors that his parish, his priesthood, and even his own faith are put to the test. In this somewhat wooden docudrama, the evil archbishop is routed, the bad priest dies, the good priest is promoted, the victims are avenged, and the road to the bestseller list paved with good intentions. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Greeley's experience as both a priest with 50 years of service to the Catholic Church and as a bestselling storyteller (The Cardinal Sins, etc.) perfectly equips him to take on the difficult subject of sexual abuse and its ensuing coverup. Greeley makes his position quite clear: "those who might seem to be the worst sinners are not the predators possessed by their own uncontrollable urges, but other priests who know about what the predators have done and remain silent or even defend them out of mistaken loyalty. And still worse are the bishops and bureaucrats who hide the truth...." Greeley builds his case and his fiction on the life of Herman Hugo Hoffman, whose Russian German forebears were farmers in the plains states of Midwestern America. His is a gentle story of growing up in a rural, close-knit family among other like-minded immigrant families in the town of Lincoln Junction. Herman's feisty, red-haired neighbor Katherine inserts herself into his family at age eight and grows up to be his best friend and lover until he enters the priesthood. The sweet story of Herman and Katherine is framed by the trial of child abuser Father Lenny "Lucifer" Lyon, whom Herman, several years before, walked in on while the priest was brutally raping young parishioner Todd Sweeney. The bulk of the novel is a study of Herman's calling and rise to the priesthood, and it's an affecting story. This is a well-told tale of love and courage that makes its valuable point without resorting to unnecessary violence or cheap and easy shock effects. It's fiction, but for anyone interested in the ongoing controversy it's a must-read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Prennant et profond 28 juillet 2013
Par Hadrien
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Le début du livre est un peu dure, mais ensuite c'est un livre passionnant avec surtout vers la fin un côté plus réfléchi et profond (sans devenir lourd).
A lire si vous voulez avoir une vision (celle d'un prêtre qui ne pense pas comme les autres) sur les problèmes et les défauts de l'église le tout enveloppé dans une histoire qui se lit très très facilement.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.0 étoiles sur 5  33 commentaires
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "Priests stand together, just like cops and doctors." 2 avril 2004
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur
Setting this powerful novel in the imaginary Archdiocese of Plains City, Fr. Andrew Greeley uses the Midwest as the setting for a chilling examination of the Church's long-time cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by priests. Though the book is fiction and the main character imaginary, all the details, according to the author, have actually happened somewhere in the United States. The novel opens with an eight-page "partial transcript" of the case of Todd Sweeney against the Church, a stunning testimony in which Fr. Herman "Hugh" Hoffman reveals that when he was a newly ordained "farm boy, six weeks into his first assignment," he responded to a child's screams and witnessed Father Leonard "Lucifer" Lyon assaulting Todd Sweeney. In surprisingly graphic detail Fr. Hoffman describes what he saw and the cover-up that evolved when he reported this crime to the Monsignor and Archbishop.
Having established all the above in the opening chapter, the author then examines the life of Hugh Hoffman from his childhood in a closely knit farm family through his school years, his genuine (and passionate) love for Kathleen Quinlan, with whom he had a two-year affair, and his college years. His self-examination, his fears, hopes, and recognition of his own failings, show realistically the evolution of this "farm boy" into a committed priest. A dramatic contrast with the pedophile priest, the author uses him to show how good priests, over the years, have had to reconcile the teachings of the Church with the imperfect reality of the Church's structure.
The author does not mince words, vividly describing the systematic psychological warfare waged against those who challenge the status quo, and he is uncompromising in his depiction of a seminary system which, in need of priests, accepts and often ordains people who have clearly shown their unsuitability to work with children. The novel is absorbing, with plenty of action, and the author's decision to tell the story from Fr. Hoffman's point of view adds a new dimension to a problem which has been seen until now almost exclusively from the point of view of the immediate victim and family. The author's comparative statistics regarding abuse by priests vs. abuse by married clergy of other denominations, in the conclusion, support his heartfelt belief in a celibate priesthood, but these statistics are not footnoted, and they change the tone of the novel and make the ending feel a bit didactic. This is an honest and searching examination of a terrible problem, however, highlighting the difficulties faced by caring priests who have found themselves trapped within an unresponsive system. Mary Whipple
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 AN ACCOMPLISHED, COMPELLING READING 14 avril 2004
Par Gail Cooke - Publié sur
Those of you who have had the privilege of attending one of Rev. Greeley's lectures as he travels about the country know that his voice is both distinctive and compelling. In all probability, as a novice priest his training in the reading of scripture has added a timber, a luster, if you will to his speaking. From wherever this ability comes he possesses a voice that commands attention, which makes this audio edition of "The Priestly Sins" a particularly fine listening experience.
Using fiction as his pulpit Rev. Greeley addresses the sad story of sexual abuse by priests and the coverups perpetrated by church officials. He tellingly imagines the story of a young priest, Herman Hoffman, and his experiences after seeing a fellow priest abuse a child.
One needs look no further than Rev. Greeley's website to find his stance on the subject of abuse within the church. He writes: "I have, for the record, been warning Church leadership since 1985 that it was "sitting on an atom bomb" created by the reassignment of abusing priests. One victim of a priest is one too many. One reassigned abuser is one too many. The number of abusing priests (1205) and victims (4268), is horrific."
As in the past whether the subject was the celibacy of priests, the infallibility of the Pope, or the ordination of women, Rev. Greeley speaks with refreshing candor and intelligence. It would do us all well to listen.
- Gail Cooke
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Scandal in the Church 10 avril 2004
Par Ratmammy - Publié sur
THE PRIESTLY SINS by Andrew M. Greeley
Andrew Greeley's latest novel, THE PRIESTLY SINS, details a fictional account of a sexual abuse case involving the Roman Catholic Church. Greeley's appeal to his readers is probably the warm characters that he introduces in his books. In this particular novel, the reader meets Father Herman "Hugh" Hoffman, a very likable man who finds himself in the middle of this big controversy, as a witness to a rape of a young altar boy by a fellow priest.
The book is somewhat uneven in tone due to the interspersing of newspaper articles that are used to help follow the progress of this case. However, THE PRIESTLY SINS is mostly a story about the life of Father Hoffman, and the events that lead up to his involvement in this abuse case. Told in a very light hearted manner, Hoffman narrates the story of his childhood, his involvement with his childhood sweetheart Kathleen, and the path that led him to the priesthood.
It's difficult to say which is more interesting, Hoffman's life story, or the actual sexual abuse case that he was a witness to. Both plot lines were of big interest to this reader. An additional plus to this book is the appearance of the famous Blackie Ryan, Greeley's most popular character. I have yet to read a Blackie Ryan novel, but I will definitely look these up, after having read THE PRIESTLY SINS. I wouldn't mind too much to read another novel centering on Father Hoffman, as he is another very likeable character. THE PRIESTLY SINS gets 4 stars from this reviewer. A very enjoyable and readable book, it's a great introduction to the novels of Andrew Greeley.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Another feel-good book by Greeley 25 mai 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur
Greeley portrays a clean-cut image of a young Catholic priest against the backdrop of his tangential involvement in a sex abuse incident. The story contains two well-developed and sympathetic characters -- a boy and the girl next door -- and how they grow up together and support each other. We get a strong dose of Greeley's sociology about the statistical nature of priestly sex abuse. But, even that is enjoyable and reassuring, in that it puts the problem within a well-defined and managable boundary.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Church crisis 25 avril 2004
Par Matthew M. Yau - Publié sur
The controversial novel tells the story of Father Herman Hugh Hoffman, a gifted and aspiring young man (who always strives to be a good priest though not always succeeds because everyone sins) from the imaginary prairies of the Great Plains. In the first summer of his first parish appointment, Hoffman witnessed child abuse by a fellow priest Lenny Lyon in the parish rectory. He reported to the pastor, the bishop, the father of the victim, and the local police but was only rebuffed by the archbishop. What followed was such preposterous drama that sent Father Hoffman to an exile at a mental institution. The church vilified Father Hoffman for his denouncing a gifted priest favored partially by the archbishop and cleared by police. Soon the church went as far as portraying Hoffman as an allegedly gay priest who reported his homosexual fantasy as a fact. Under the fire from his fellow priests for selling out the church to appear and testify in court, the Archdiocese deplored all sexual abuse and claimed to have solid evidence that the plaintiff paid Father Hoffman to testify against the church.
The novel exposes the viciousness with which church authorities shun taking responsibility for serious felony. The so-called victim's advocate acted as the archbishop's official bishop who beated down resistance of the victim's family and exhorted them to settle the case. The church peremptorily denounced Hoffman's testimony but quailed to admit the truth that Lenny Lyon was dying of AIDS and, what's more, at whose funeral the church denied it was AIDS and blamed the affliction on the stress Hoffman started. The case evinces that the diocese had systematically and deliberately, through the church hierarchy, covered up sexual abuse and punished those who tried to report such crime.
The Priestly Sins leaves us a judgment of the crisis: that those who might seem to be the worst sinners are not the predators like Lenny Lyon (who actually repented and was anointed before his last breath), but other priests and church authorities who know about what the predators have done and remain silent and even defend them out of wounded pride. In another words, the novel has afforded a glimpse to the ongoing debate on celibacy practiced by priests. Whether celibate or not, abuse is caused by a syndrome that is deeply rooted in a personality disorder. The Priestly Sins, with its fictional setting and characters, conveys an air of verisimilitude to the church crisis.
2004 (21) © MY
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