6 Aug 2008

Author explores Catholic sexual abuse cases

The Oklahoman - August 6, 2008

by Benet Exton

Material several years in the gathering fills a 675-page book that is an in-depth study conducted by a former federal investigator and practicing Catholic, Leon J. Podles.

The book, "Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church” (Crossland Press, $22.95) examines public records about sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests and others over the years.

Podles took 10 years to collect his research and write his book. The case stories are at times graphic.

He examines how Catholic bishops and other clergy and laity responded to accusations against priests. He also reviews the various therapeutic treatment centers to which abusive priests were sent.

He not only researched abuse cases in the United States but also considered other abuse cases around the world. Over and over, Podles says the victims were ignored and were not helped, whereas the abusers were protected and helped.

This book will make the reader either be angry or cry because of the many injustices committed. It is recommended reading to those looking for an in-depth examination of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

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