Michael Moloney was raised a Roman Catholic by a devout Irish mother. He served as altar boy and chorister while attending faith schools in Ireland and England, where he encountered psychological and physical abuse. Later in life he was influenced by his atheist father, who had been alienated by the church when Michael was six years old.
A beneficiary of post war Tripartite Education, he gained a place in one of the few technical colleges properly equipped at the time and went on to gain an engineering apprenticeship, graduating from Borough Polytechnic (Now London South Bank University) in 1964. For several years he worked as a technical author, compiling instruction guides and manuals. In 1979 he launched a new technology business, registering several important patents in the process. When his wife died in 2002, he sold out to retire, remarried and moved to Petworth, West Sussex.
Michael has two charming daughters, dispersed with families of their own. He enjoys sailing, dancing, singing and playing the fiddle (alas, not very well). He performs in his local church choir, preserving a long acquaintance with religious music, rites and rituals.
During his career he had many articles published and in 2021 he completed his first book. With the Vatican decrying critics of the church as “Friends of the Devil”, he thought back to his schooldays. In his book he recalls the grovelling prayers of self-censure and remorse prescribed by St Augustine, a penitential ritual still practised in some British schools. Tracing his own religious background, he sketches subtle pressures that colour the thinking of both followers and apostates. He explores the notion that Augustine’s teaching on sinfulness and infantile lust might play a role in child abuse and adult mental well-being.
Co-author Lorna Graham, a schoolteacher for 26 years, brings the classroom to life in the final chapters, depicting her struggle to deliver a critically conscious, dialogic education to her pupils.