Author(s): Frederic Martel
In the Closet of the Vatican exposes the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today. This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power.
The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, the cover up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy.
In the Closet of the Vatican is a book that reveals these secrets and penetrates this enigma. It derives from a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself. It is based on the double lives of priests and on extreme homophobia. The resulting schizophrenia in the Church is hard to fathom. But the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.
'Behind rigidity there is always something hidden, in many cases a double life'. These are the words of Pope Francis himself and with them the Pope has unlocked the Closet.
No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary and disturbing.
An unsurprising - if a somewhat unusual book. The moral fraudulence of the Catholic church is hardly news to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock. More unusual perhaps, is the degree of denial emanating from the Vatican regarding the self evidently obvious.
In 2010 Geoffrey Robertson, a distinguished human rights lawyer, published a book (The Case of the Pope), indicting Benedict XVI for shielding pedophile priests from criminal trial. No one took much notice because it was just too uncomfortable. Ironically, the only figure to emerge unscathed in this book is the current Pope. The book is difficult to ignore because the author – himself gay – reveals an exhaustive expose of the church and shows up the convenient moral duplicity inherent in Catholicism. That last needs qualification of course - and there is no index. Also, everything here must be taken at face value but the reader does not doubt the author, and as one reviewer succinctly put it; ‘The prevailing odour of this book is sulphur, the metaphorical stink that alerts the reader to the presence of the devil.' Great metaphor. So, a book to be read with discretion..As a reprobate, I agree with the assessment. Mike