Not since his runaway bestseller, The Cardinal Sins, has Father Andrew Greeley written such a searing
and topical novel about the state of the Catholic Church.
The Priestly Sins
tells the story of Father Herman Hoffman, a gifted and innocent young man, who
becomes swept up in “the Crisis” after witnessing child abuse in his first
parish appointment. Soon, he is vilified for denouncing a priest who has been
“cleared.” He suffers the harsh fate of a whistle-blower when his Archdiocese
has him committed to a mental health center. After his release, Father Hoffman
is exiled by the Church to Chicago were he begins his graduate studies in
immigrant history. There he encounters the legendary Monsignor Blackie Ryan,
who helps him regain his confidence and demand a parish of his own.
Reluctantly, the Church hierarchy assigns him to a dying parish. With zeal and
charm, he revives the local church. His brief idyll is shattered by a subpoena
to testify in a court hearing. If he speaks he will have to once again take on
the establishment that is determined to destroy him. He faces exile not only
from his parish but from the priesthood itself.
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