Our Fathers

Our Fathers
The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in the Age of Scandal
by David France
Broadway Books, $26.95, 637 pp.

Vows of Silence
The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II
by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner
Free Press, $26, 368 pp.

Reading Our Fathers, a sprawling narrative history of the sexual-abuse crisis by David France, is like watching a bad movie all over again. You know how this is one is going to end. Looking back over forty years, Our Fathers attempts to touch on every aspect of the scandal, from its roots in Vatican policy to the mind-numbing revelations of 2002. (That year alone accounts for nearly half the book.) At six hundred pages, it is an exhaustive and...

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About the Author

Maurice Timothy Reidy is a former associate editor of Commonweal.