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Broken Faith

Why Hope Matters


Edited By Patrick Claffey, Joe Egan and Marie Keenan

This book is a theological reflection on the broken state of faith within the Catholic Church in Ireland following more than two decades of revelations about institutional and child sexual abuse and the Church’s now acknowledged failure to respond to the abuse in an appropriate way. The result has been broken lives, broken faith and a broken church.
While the book has a theological purpose, it employs a see–judge–act methodology in attempting to come to terms with a very complex problem. Following a broad introduction, the first section sets out to listen to the voices of the victims. The second section consists of an interdisciplinary academic analysis, with significant input from psychology and also from history and social studies. The final section of the book engages in theology, seeking to place us in a Kairos moment that might allow us to look beyond our broken faith. This, however, requires an analysis of the theological misunderstandings that led to the aberration of clericalism, the resulting abuse of power and the wider malaise within the Church. St Paul is suggested as a «mentor», as we seek to restore trust and rebuild the Church in a radically new way. The book ultimately seeks a renewal of our broken faith, searching for trajectories towards healing and wholeness, truth and reconciliation.


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Notes on Contributors


John L. Allen Jr is Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He is the author of six best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic af fairs, and writes fre- quently on the Church for major national and international publications. He is also a popular speaker on Catholic af fairs, both in the United States and abroad. Allen’s work is admired across ideological divides. His weekly internet column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church. Patrick Claffey is a parish administrator in Dublin and lectures in the Study of Religions at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and All Hallows College Dublin. He is a regular contributor to Doctrine and Life and his books include Christian Churches in Dahomey-Benin: A Study of Their Socio-Political Role (2007) and, with Joe Egan, Movement or Moment? Assessing Liberation Theology Forty Years after Medellín (2009). Michael Cronin is a widely respected commentator on both Irish and European social and political af fairs, and was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in March 2006. He was conferred with the rank of Of ficier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in 2008 and has held visiting Professorships in the Université de Moncton (New Brunswick, Canada) and the Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima, Peru). He is currently co-editor of The Irish Review. His most recent book is The Expanding World: Towards a Politics of Microspection (2011)...

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