They were the men most trusted: Father Geoghan, Father Birmingham, Father Shanley, Father Trupia, and hundreds of others. They were the rulers of the Catholic Church: Cardinal Law, Cardinal Egan, Cardinal Mahony, and others. They had all taken vows to live by the gospel and to care for their parishioners.
And they were believed.
Now, the investigative staff of the Boston Globe delivers the full, devastating account of the Church’s decades-long cover-up that has left millions of American Catholics shocked and angry. Spanning the United States and the entire Church hierarchy, Betrayal tells the story of a platoon of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children, and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes.
When accused, abusive priests were quietly whisked away by Church officials to new parishes. Church leaders treated priests who were alleged to have raped children with excessive compassion, and victims with scorn and cold indifference. Politicians, police, and prosecutors often followed the Church’s lead, allowing habitual abusers shelter and escape. The Church secretly paid out more than $1.3 billion in “hush money” to buy victims’ silence — and thus keep tens of millions of Catholics from knowing the truth about the men who ran their parishes.
It was the Boston Globe in January 2002 that originally broke the story of how the Boston archdiocese coddled pedophile priest John Geoghan, triggering the scandal within the Catholic Church, and throughout the crisis the Globe has continued to lead the media in reporting on major new developments. Betrayal adds new, never-before-disclosed details. It shows exactly how and to where abusive priests were shuffled, as well as who knew about the problem and did nothing to stop it. Betrayal also explores the nature of sexual abuse and whether a disproportionate number of abusers are found in the priesthood — and, if so, why. And the book paints a vivid picture of the struggle ahead, as Catholics confront their Church and call for sweeping change.