SNAPDFW - Reading List 

The following is a growing list of books and articles, either in print, on the Web, or otherwise available, which members of SNAPDFW find beneficial for clergy sexual abuse survivors and their supporters.

Please send us your own choices for inclusion on this list. To send, go to Contact SNAPDFW. We are hoping to add reviews and commentaries soon, so keep watching this page for updates.

The List of Lists - by Thomas Doyle - Updated 21 May 2010

Topping the SNAPDFW Reading List is the list that tops all lists on clergy sexual abuse. It is:
Clergy Sexual Abuse -- A Bibliography of Selected Sources Related to Clergy Sexual Abuse, Ecclesiastical Politics and Theology and Church History by Thomas P. Doyle

Access this outstanding annotated bibliography by Catholic canon lawyer and survivors' advocate Tom Doyle on the Voice from the Desert website here ...


  • Berry, Jason, and Gerald Renner. Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II. New York City: Free Press, 2007.
  • Author James Carroll (Constantine's Sword; Practicing Catholic) says of this book: "A chronicle of hard truths that shows why the Catholic Church must undergo reform -- or burial."

  • Carroll, James. Practicing Catholic. New York: Mariner Books, 2010.

    Journalist and former Paulist priest James Carroll, author of Constantine's Swordthe widely acclaimed and eye opening expose of Catholic antisemitism through the ages, has scored powerfully with Practicing Catholic. While going to great lengths to justify staying faithful to the church of his childhood, Carroll remains unsparingly critical of the direction the Roman Catholic hierarchy has steered the church since John XXIII and Vatican II -- a dangerous trajectory that Carroll sees as seriously off-course.

    Anthony Padovano has written an insightful review of the book in the latest issue (Vol. XXXI No. 1 2010) of Conscience Magazine, on the stands at the time of this writing, but not yet available on the Conscience Website. The Padovano review articulates well some highligts of Carroll's searing critique of the Roman Catholic hierarchy's extensive and long-standing abuse of power globally.

    "The major critique that Carroll levels against Catholicism is abuse of authority. Abuse of authority may well be the most pernicious of all our infidelities and Catholicism is trapped by this excess at every turn. The infallibility of some papal teachings, the unrelieved rejection of modernism, the control of clergy by mandatory celibacy and of laity by the prohibition of artificial birth prevention, all these are part and parcel of the attempt to create a pope=centered church and to eliminate the authority of God in the conscience of every Catholic." -- Anthony Padovano

    This is an important read for anyone struggling with their own conscience within modern Christianity at large, and Roman Catholicism in particular. The section on the catholic priest sexual abuse crisis is particularly interesting to anyone touched by clergy sexual abuse personally, or anyone suffering from Roman power abuse in general.

  • Doyle, Thomas. The bishop who listened and heard.(Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church)(Book review): An article from: Conscience. Washington, DC: Catholics For A Free Choice, 2008.

  • Doyle, Thomas P., A.W. Richard Sipe, and Patrick Wall. Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. Chicago: Bonus Books, 2006.

    Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years.

  • Fortune, Marie M. Is Nothing Sacred?. Cleveland, OH: United Church Press, 1999.

    The story of a pastor, the women he sexually abused, and the congregation he nearly destroyed.

  • France, David. Our Fathers: The secret life of the Catholic Church in an age of scandal. New York: Broadway Books, 2004.

    France, who covered the Catholic Church sex scandal as an investigative editor at Newsweek, delivers a huge volume that offers reasons for the scandal and humanizes those involved--victims, perpetrators and hierarchy.

  • Schiraldi, Glenn R. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook - A Guide to Healing Recovery, and Growth. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2000.

  • Rausch, Mikele. Healing the Soul after Religious Abuse: The Dark Heaven of Recovery (Religion, Health, and Healing). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2009.
  • About The Book & Mikele

    Discrimination, persecution, shame, hatred, all in the name of God...Religious abuse is the physical, sexual or mental damage suffered by members of a faith community when its leaders exploit them. It devastates one's sense of self, principles or inner compass about your experience of the world, shame about your body, sexual orientation, inner values, relationships, and self care. The harm reaches even to the core of the spirit where often there is no longer a place for a god of love or a love of what was once divine. Yet, there is often a longing to connect with the deepest part of oneself, without the trappings of the institution, or even the name of God.

    Mikele Rauch has treated survivors of religious and clergy abuse across the gamut of religions. She is a member of the Core Facilitator Team for the Weekends of Recovery for men who are survivors of sexual and clergy abuse, and has served on the Clergy Sexual Abuse Victim's Rights Committee of Boston. She has written for CANDID, the Missouri Review, the National Catholic Reporter, Cross Currents Magazine, Healing Ministry, and The New Therapist Magazine.

    Her book, Recovering the Soul after Religious Abuse: The Dark Heaven of Recovery, speaks about he impact of religious abuse not only on the psyche but the soul, and how to recover the deepest parts of the self, rediscover the sacred within or without the institutions of religion, and create meaning again.

  • Robinson, Bishop Geoffrey. Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.

  • Schoenherr, Richard A. Goodbye Father: The Celibate Male Priesthood and the Future of the Catholic Church. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2004.