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The sex-abuse scandal, which has erupted anew in 2018, poses the greatest challenge that the Catholic Church has faced since the Reformation. In The Smoke of Satan, veteran Catholic journalist Philip Lawler explains why the crisis is even more severe than when it first commanded headlines in 2002, and how the failure of Church leaders goes all the way to the Vatican.
In this unflinching look at the crisis threatening the Church and her members, Lawler:
- Shows how the sex-abuse scandal is not a question of pedophilia, but of homosexual activitywithin the clergy.
- Explains how Catholic bishops have developed a habit of covering up serious problems, to avoid the serious divisions that have developed within the faith since Vatican II.
- Demonstrates a catastrophic rupture in Church unity, causing a breakdown in morale and discipline among priests, bishops, and laity, paving the way for the current crisis.
- Reveals the growth of a faction within the Vatican that is ready to make peace with secularism.
- Details the charges in the explosive “Vigano testimony,”— and the efforts by Vatican officials including Pope Francis himself to ward off a thorough investigation.
- Concludes with a program for reform, led by faithful lay Catholics, demanding a new policy of candor and a forthright proclamation of Church teaching.
This crisis, brought about by the failures of corrupt and cowardly bishops and clerics, has been allowed to fester long enough. It is well past time for serious action to be taken at every level before more lives are ruined, more souls are lost, and more fractures divide the Church.
In these pages, Lawler details the problems besetting the Church…and lays out a clear plan to overcome them in order that the Church and Her members may once again thrive and bring souls to Christ.
Philip Lawler, the founder of the Catholic World News service, is the author of The Faithful Departed, which the late Father Richard Neuhaus described in 2008 as “the best book-length treatment of the sex abuse crisis, its origins and larger implications, published to date.” More recently he wrote Lost Shepherd, a critical analysis of Pope Francis’ leadership. With The Smoke of Satan he completes his analysis of the crisis of confidence in the Church and explains how an engaged and determined laity can help trigger worldwide Catholic revival. $32.95