SHU’s Michael Higgins Examines the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal in New Book

News Story: November 1, 2010
Dr. Michael Higgins

For many years, Canadians have witnessed the Catholic Church deal with numerous high-profile sexual abuse scandals, from the Mount Cashel Orphanage inquiry, to the findings of the Residential Schools commission to the charges against Bishop Raymond Lahey, as well as similar scandals plaguing the Catholic Church in other parts of the world. In Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Abuse Scandal (Novalis, Nov. 1, 2010) award-winning author and scholar Michael W. Higgins and acclaimed journalist Peter Kavanagh, both well-respected Catholics, delve deeper into the problem to shed light on the issue, dispel misinformation, applaud what the Catholic Church has done right, and outline where it has failed.

Suffer the Children Unto Me is, as the authors describe, “an exploration of the modern sexual abuse scandal from a number of perspectives”:

• the authors examine the role of the media – both in Canada and internationally – in sensationalizing the incidents
• they take a hard look at what exactly is at the heart of the problem – the power wielded by the clergy in some communities, for example
• they suggest structural renewal, including introducing healthy psycho-sexual teachings and laity involvement at the seminary level, and transparency at all levels of Church governance
• and they discuss the limitations of apologies and reconciliations

Michael W. Higgins has written over a dozen books and is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, The Literary Review of Canada, and appears regularly on CBC and CTV television as a commentator on the Catholic Church. He lives in Connecticut, where he is the VP for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University. Peter Kavanagh is a Senior Producer for CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition program. He is a regular writer for The Tablet and The Catholic Register. He lives in Toronto.

Suffer the Children Unto Me also includes an Afterword by Sr. Nuala Kenny (OC, MD, FRCPC), a Ethics & Health Policy Advisor for the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada.

Suffer the Children Unto Me by Michael W. Higgins and Peter Kavanagh
Published by Novalis
November 1, 2010
Paperback, 5.25” x 8.25”, 256 pp.
$21.95 CDN
978-2-89646-233-9