Michael Moloney tells the story of how, as a vulnerable altar boy, he was psychologically and physically abused by Catholic priests. He traces the origins of clerical abuse all the way back to one of the most influential of Church Fathers, Saint Augustine of Hippo.
The UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has consistently reported the abuse of children in religious institutions. Similar reports continue to surface from inquiries around the world, because the problem is systemic. Children in faith schools are unwittingly groomed, clerics are catechized and western society is bounden to Augustinian theology.
The churches remain mired in safeguarding and clerical abuse scandals. And yet, every year, 20,000 pupils are assigned faith school places against their families’ preferences. This book lifts the lid on a story of abuse and religious indoctrination which continues to this day.
The author suggests Augustine’s teaching might play a more influential role in child abuse and adult mental well-being than has generally been recognised. The lucid descriptions by a schoolteacher of the indoctrination methods used in faith schools today will stir readers who suppose Christianity is a benign influence, to think again.
With a Foreword by Alastair Lichten, Head of Education at the National Secular Society.