Added: January 25, 2014 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Michael D'Antonio

Title: Mortal Sins

Subtitle: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal

Place: New York, NY

Publishers: Thomas Dunne Books (hardcover), St. Martin's Press (paperback)

Year: 2013 (hardcover), 2014 (paperback)

Pages: 416pp.

ISBN-10: 0312594895 (hardcover) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 1250049806 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 1250034396 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9780312594893 (hardcover) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781250049803 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781250034397 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Cases: Offenders / Oliver O'Grady | Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Clergy Sexual Abuse



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  Introduction (p. 1)
  1. Clerical Culture (p. 9)
  2. The Church Knows (p. 22)
  3. Sexual Intellectuals (p. 32)
  4. Spiritual Betrayal (p. 49)
  5. The Catholic States of America (p. 62)
  6. A Weeping Priest (p. 71)
  7. Five Brothers; Three Victims (p. 80)
  8. The Angels Had to Cry (p. 86)
  9. "What Did the Priest Do to You, Greg?" (p. 104)
  10. The Measure of the Elephant (p. 112)
  11. Willful Indifference (p. 129)
  12. An Attitude of Resistance (p. 148)
  13. The Meaning of Memory (p. 157)
  14. The Pendulum Swings (p. 171)
  15. Pushback (p. 183)
  16. "Would a Biship Lie?" (p. 200)
  17. Oliver O'Grady (p. 213)
  18. By Other Means (p. 227)
  19. Paper Chase (p. 244)
  20. Catholic Guilt (p. 265)
  21. The Open Window (p. 275)
  22. A Reckoning (p. 292)
  23. "Don't Trust Me" (p. 310)
  24. A Rolling Catastrophe (p. 321)
  Postscript (p. 344)
  Acknowledgments (p. 347)
  Bibliography (p. 350)
  Selected Chapter Notes (p. 353)
  Index (p. 379)


»An explosive, sweeping account of the scandal that has sent the Catholic Church into a tailspin -- and the brave few who fought for justice
In the mid-1980s a dynamic young monsignor assigned to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington set out to investigate the problem of sexually abusive priests. He found a scandal in the making, confirmed by secret files revealing complaints that had been hidden from police and covered up by the Church hierarchy. He also understood that the United States judicial system was eager to punish offenders and those who aided them. He presented all of this to the American bishops, warning that the Church could be devastated by negative publicity and bankrupted by its legal liability. They ignored him.
Meanwhile, a young lawyer listened to a new client describe an abusive sexual history with a priest that began when he was ten years old. His parents' complaints were downplayed by Church officials who offered them money to go away. The lawyer saw a claim that any defendant would want to settle. Then he began to suspect he was onto something bigger, involving thousands of priests who had abused countless children while the Church had done almost nothing about it. The lawsuit he filed would touch off a legal war of historic and global proportions.« (Source: Macmillan)


Cafardi, Nicholas P. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 209 (May 26, 2013). – Full Text: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Free Access)

Schroth, Raymond A. America: The National Catholic Review 209 (April 26, 2013). – Full Text: America Magazine (Free Access)

Shribman, David M. The Boston Globe (April 20, 2013). – Full Text: (Free Access)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1980–91), History of the United States (1991–present) | Rape in the United States: Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States / Oliver O'Grady | Types of rape: Child sexual abuse