A courageous and powerful novel about faith, the church, conscience and celibacy.
A timely, courageous and powerful novel about faith, the church, conscience and celibacy.
Tom Keneally, ex-seminarian, pulls no punches as he interrogates the terrible damage done to innocents as the Catholic Church has prevaricated around language and points of law, covering up for its own.
Ex-communicated to Canada due to his radical preaching on the Vietnam War and other human rights causes, Father Frank Docherty is now a psychologist and monk. He returns to Australia to speak on abuse in the Church, and unwittingly is soon listening to stories from two different people – a young man, via his suicide note, and an ex-nun – who both claim to have been sexually abused by an eminent Sydney cardinal. This senior churchman is himself currently empannelled in a commission investigating sex abuse within the Church.
As a man of character and conscience, Father Docherty finds he must confront each party involved in the abuse and cover-up to try to bring the matter to the attention of the Church itself, and to secular authorities.
This riveting, profoundly thoughtful novel is both an exploration of faith as well as an examination of marriage, of conscience and celibacy, and of what has become one of the most controversial institutions, the Catholic Church.
Format & Editions
October 31, 2016
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Docherty Comes to Australia
1 July 1996
Sarah Fagan was driving a cab. Some might think her cab-driving a pathetic attempt to meet men. In fact, it was a genuine attempt to allow a recovery of her brain, which was depleted, and a revival of her spirit, which had been rendered numb from all that had happened to her.
Driving was an art, but it also allowed intellectual vacuity, plain rituals of conversation. And if Sarah did not want to converse on the issue of why a woman like her was driving a cab, she would say, ‘We’re all filling in for my husband, who has cancer.’ The ‘we’re all’ implied a tough family hanging together in a crisis; that she was not, therefore, in favour of being messed around by passengers. She suspected that a decision about whether she would stay in neutral gear for the rest of her life, or might pull herself out of it, would most probably arise not from conscious thought or frantic self-analysis, but with her brain muted by routine. Listening to and exchanging banalities with her passengers, she hoped she would hear some healing neutral words. She might then learn to live in the same room as the tiger, the flesh-tearing fury.
Also by Tom Keneally