'Pentagon Papers' of Catholic Church Reveal Clerical Sexual
Abuse Has Been Shrouded in Secrecy for Centuries
LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2006 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As moviegoers await the
release of the fictional thriller The DaVinci Code, the
authentic existence of secrecy within the Catholic Church is
exposed in Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic
Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse (Volt Press,
Authors Thomas P. Doyle, A.W.R. Sipe and Patrick J. Wall provide
extensive documentation -- much of which has never before been
published -- indicating that sexual abuse of minors and
vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy not only spans the Church's
history, but has in fact, been well-known and protected by its
hierarchy for centuries. It illustrates the depth of the
Church's awareness of this issue; its concerns, failures and
tactics for addressing the problem; and its methods of keeping
The authors begin their survey in 60 CE, concluding with the
contemporary scandal. Since this issue first ignited public
concern in the 1980s, exponential reports of abuse continue to
surface around the world. Church officials have long maintained
they were not previously aware of such misconduct, but Sex,
Priests, and Secret Codes shows even a cursory
examination of Church documents proves they had a constant
knowledge, and used various tactics to protect their image.
Having collectively spent over 70 years of official service
within the Church, and served as experts and consultants in over
1,000 cases of clerical sexual abuse, the authors spent two
years researching the book with the conviction that secrecy and
accountability cannot coexist.
"The absolute core of this scandal is secrecy," says Sipe. "It
has provided an atmosphere where abuse could fester as a
systemic infection. In the process, the lives of children,
priests, bishops-and indeed, the credibility of the Catholic
Church itself-have been shattered."
The book also examines the moral questions related to the
celibate practice of all Catholic clergy, and how it relates to
why sexual abuse has been such an inflammatory issue for the
hierarchy-now forcing the Church to re-examine itself in terms
of its ideology of sexuality, its responsibility to its members,
and its role in today's society.
Available in bookstores and major online retailers.
Father Thomas P. Doyle, once a canon lawyer at the Vatican
Embassy, is well-known for his report to U.S. bishops in 1985
warning of an impending crisis involving pedophile priests.
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests (SNAP), has called him "an absolute
hero." Doyle resides in Vienna, Va.
A.W.R. Sipe, a psychotherapist and former Benedictine monk, has
written several renowned works on religious celibacy and the
priesthood. Sipe is now married with one son and resides in La
Patrick J. Wall, a former Benedictine monk and priest, has
served as a senior legal consultant on hundreds of clerical
sexual abuse cases in the U.S. Married with one daughter, Wall
resides in Costa Mesa, Calif..