Abuse of Trust: Healing from Sexual Abuse

Updated: Oct 6

by Allen Hebert and Denae Hebert

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism



This collection of essays marks a new beginning in the public discussion of clergy sexual abuse. The contributors continue to be devoted members of the Catholic Church, in spite of the evil and injustice they experienced at the hands of some of her clergy. Unlike the assortment of lapsed and dissenting Catholics who so often dominated earlier discussions of clerical sexual abuse, these authors do not want the Church to change her teaching or be destroyed. Instead, they want the Church to become more of whom she ought to be, what she should have been from the beginning.

In today’s climate, that message is more likely to get a hearing than it might have in 2002. Back then, Pope John Paul II reigned. Catholics who embrace Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body loved and revered him and wanted to shield his reputation along with his teaching. Most of us just wanted the whole clergy sex abuse issue to go away. I was relieved when the bishops enacted the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This was the beginning of a more specific remedy for the sexual abuse of minors and our Pope’s seriousness about healing by creating a committee for the sexual abuse of minors in Rome. This book exemplifies the need to understand and assist in the healing process in the Church. All those who have been abused receive the grace of God to begin their healing process with the other members of the Body of Christ.

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