This is a book that does not begin to touch on the truth of the abuseof children in religious organizations and our society. The authorobviously has a pro-Catholic agenda, which has narrowed his investigationin a way that makes any of his assertions or conclusions suspect.
The Catholic Churchhas not been singled out for reporting on child sex abuse. All the author need do is pick up the New York Times or the Jewish Times or any ofa number of other publications in recent years to see the sad,but fact-based reporting on abuse in the Orthodox and ultra-OrthodoxJewish communities. Or the Salt Lake City Tribune and other westernpublications for abuse in the Mormon Church, not to mention theworldwide coverage of the abuse that characterizes relationshipsin the Fundamentalist Mormon Church.
Here is what the authorneeds to understand: every one of these organizations (alongwith plenty of others, religious or secular) have put their interestin public image and wealth ahead of children's safety from abuse by insiders.
It is a pervasive and repetitive pattern thatcontinues to put our children at risk. Authors like Pierrecan concoct a history of discrimination and rant at the unfairness of it all to one institution, but that is a circus side show compared to the genuine suffering caused by adults who have supported other adults in abusing children bycovering up their identities and keeping their secrets. Those are the factsthat matter to any decent human being.
Marci A. Hamilton Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva University