Jason Berry, Investigative Reporter Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal

Even sympathetic observers, inside and outside the Catholic Church sense a moment of existential crisis.  The crisis itself – widespread, unchecked sexual abuse by priests of adults and children – is nothing new.  What’s made it existential is that now, everybody knows about it.

In country after country, in diocese after diocese, all the news media and all the social media are awash in reports of public accusations, secret settlements and now an outbreak of criminal investigations all linking the Church with sexual abuse, mostly of children.  It’s enough to shake the faith of even the most faithful.

What will it take to restore passion for the faith?  Where the issue of sexual abuse is concerned, there is a secular trinity of principles that might help: transparency, accountability and action?

The creation of a global constituency of ethically demanding believers who want a Catholic Church with zero tolerance for sexual abuse of children or for those who enable or protect the predators has been the work of a little less than half a lifetime for our guest today, Jason Berry.

23 years before the movie Spotlight won Academy Awards, 11 years before the real-life Boston Globe journalists who wrote about pedophile priests in Boston won the Pulitzer Prize, Jason Berry wrote a book, Lead Us Not into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children that broke the story.  It is one of the landmarks of American investigative reporting.  It was published in 1992, but Jason started digging on the story eight years before that, in 1984 when he tracked down some nasty rumors about a priest back in the Cajun bayous named Gilbert Gauthe.

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