Now When Values Collide: The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse and the Challenges of Leadership by Joseph Chinnici offers an extraordinary view of the crisis, its roots and repercussions in the first book by one who had to face the crisis as one of the leaders of his order.
Of the book, Father Donald Cozzens, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood says, "There is no better analysis of church leadership and the sexual abuse scandals."
James O'Toole, Boston College, writes, "Chinnici offers his own knowledge and experience to help the Church restore the shattered bonds of trust."
Scott Appleby of Notre Dame adds, "If Catholics are to learn from this mess and set forth on the path of healing and renewal, they would do well to pay close attention to Father Chinnici's astute analysis."
And the bishop of St Cloud, Minnesota, the Most Reverend John F. Kinney, adds, "His reflections based on his Franciscan heritage are a most valuable insight into the challenges of leadership in these times."
Father Chinnici's knowledge is hard-earned: dealing with cases of sexual abuse in California. An investigation eventually encompassed what the New York Times would called "one of the largest (cases) involving sexual abuse by clergy ever disclosed."
The crisis seemed to be ebbing when in January 2002, The Boston Globe broke the news of widespread clergy sexual abuse there.
As Chinnici recalls, all parties faced difficult choices and imperfect solutions—conflicting values in collision course.
He concludes, "The sexual abuse of minors was not only a question of clerical misconduct and sin, but the convergence of events show the connection between this particular crisis, the patterns of power in society, and the inherited tensions between the hierarchical and communal dimensions of the Church."
When Values Collide: The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse, and the Challenges of Leadership by Joseph P. Chinnici ISBN 978-1-57075-873-7 paper $25
The book will be released by Orbis Press in June 2010SIC: PRNewswire