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Book summary that appears on Authorhouse:
About the Book
“Survivors’ Lullaby” is a dramatic and heart wrenching compilation of personal accounts and writings by survivors of catholic clergy abuse.
I would like to thank all the contributing authors for their generosity in allowing us to print their powerful accounts of sexual, ritual and spiritual abuse by Catholic clergy.
By Ruth Moore, Supporter
Would you believe your child, if she told you that she was held over an open hole at the local cemetery and threatened to be interred there if she revealed her secret? Or would you believe her if she said she had been placed on the altar in the lower church and was badly hurt by a hooded man? Tragically, both of these situations are details from two separate survivor accounts included within the pages of this book.
Even today it is difficult to describe what it was like to be in
Spontaneously, strangers, both survivors and their supporters, gathered at the Cathedral in a desperate search for answers, truth and justice. We soon became friends and our friendships developed into several caring and loving communities. People from around the
Several of our Internet friends made the trip to
Steve Lynch once stated that “The sidewalk in front of the Cathedral is sacred ground.” Each Sunday this sidewalk becomes a special place to gather. During these times some of us acknowledge feeling a special energy among us.
From early on in the clergy sex abuse crisis we were concerned that a record of the turmoil and conversations that occurred on the sidewalk in front of the Holy Cross Cathedral in
Some of us talked of writing a book, and at first, this project seemed to be a matter of collecting life accounts and other written recollections and then find a publisher. I didn’t realize how difficult this project would be until I sat down to write my own story. Immediately my mind flooded with 18 months worth of heart wrenching conversations with courageous survivors. Visual snap shots of contentious encounters with clergy and laity, and hundreds of posters decrying our anguish flashed across my mind. This picture was too big to capture with words. No one could put their arms around it and describe accurately what had happened. I did not comprehend how difficult it was for survivors to even begin to record their traumatic accounts.
Aided by the advice of my neighbor, Dr. Kathleen Jordan, who writes for a living and is also a survivor of clergy abuse, we slowly collected accounts, formatted e-mail entries and listed tentative chapters. I’m indebted to my husband Charles for his computer expertise as he simplified the formatting process and organized computer files for submissions.
Kathy Dwyer, ritual and sexual abuse survivor and loving friend of many of us, actively encouraged supporters to record their recollections, insisting we were also part of the history unfolding before us. Without her constant encouragement and wise advice, this book would not exist.
Several of the survivor accounts included within the book are shocking and difficult to read. Some details of the sexual, ritual and childhood abuse are graphic and not intended for younger readers or for those who are sensitive and emotionally fragile. Many of us will be unable to comprehend the phrase “ritual abuse”, understand the scope of this evil or the devastation it causes, especially when performed within the church.
The request for accounts went out mid August 2003. Mary McNulty sent out weekly reminders counting down to the first deadline for submission. Survivors also submitted original poems, lectures and other selected essays. Some had already written their accounts and submitted them early.
All accounts have been voluntarily submitted for the purpose of publication within this book. Some accounts have taken months and even years to record. Several names have been changed in deference to other family members.
We are deeply indebted to those who have shared their record of abuse with us and applaud their courage and determination for doing so. With love we bear witness to all the survivor submissions set forth in this book and sincerely hope that those who have been so severely violated, will never feel alone, unloved or powerless again.
Each of the Survivors’ submissions are listed as separate Chapters, (with the exception of Bob Hatch’s submission, “A Tribute to Steve Lynch”, which is included within Chapter 2). Several Supporter submissions are interspersed within these first Ten Chapters. The final Chapter contains the remaining Supporter submissions.