One way I can tell whether a nonfiction book has met its goal is if, after
finishing it, I want to call the author and invite him/her to lunch. I have to
say that nothing would make me happier than spending a quiet spring afternoon
sipping a nice sauvignon blanc and chatting with Bill Lobdell. I feel just that
close to him. More than that, I feel we are kindred spirits; battered souls on a
quest to make sense of a confusing world. Better yet, I think there are more
people who have a lot more in common with Lobdell (if truth be told) than might
be ready to admit it. Because who among us does not have a personal story of
love gained and lost? And what is religion if not organized love targeted toward
a spiritual entity? In view of that, who has sought enlightenment and something
to believe really believe in, only to feel sand-bagged when the recipient of...
Beyond the Book
Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church
The tide of sexual abuse cases against Catholic Church officials took its toll on
William Lobdell, causing him to abandon his faith altogether. Surprisingly,
however, this may not be a widespread effect. According to a
while membership in most religious groups has fallen during the last two
the Catholic Church - whose halo was severely tarnished by the scandals - lost
fewer members than mainline Protestants* and Baptists.
The Church may not have suffered significant losses in the number of faithful
who call themselves Catholic but, almost a decade since news of that first
lawsuit hit the headlines, they are still being hit where it hurts - in the pocketbook. As Newsday
reporter Bart Jones...