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Cathedrals of BoneThe Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature$
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John C. Waldmeir

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230600

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230600.001.0001

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5. The Body in Doubt: Catholic Literature, Theology, and Sexual Abuse

5. The Body in Doubt: Catholic Literature, Theology, and Sexual Abuse

(p.120) 5. The Body in Doubt: Catholic Literature, Theology, and Sexual Abuse
Cathedrals of Bone

John C. Waldmeir

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the presentation of clergy sexual abuse and its consequences in literature. In Robert Cooperman's collection of poems titled The Trials of Mary McCormick, he tries to dramatize how the actions of individual abusers and victims occur in institutional frameworks. In Doubt: A Parable, playwright John Patrick Shanley raises the issue of doubt in Sister Aloysius's suspicion that Father Flynn is sexually abusing Mrs. Muller's teenage son. In Mary Karr' 1995 novel The Liar's Club, she relates her experience in being sexually abused as a child by figures she understood to be in positions of authority.

Keywords:   clergy sexual abuse, The Trials of Mary McCormick, Robert Cooperman, Doubt: A Parable, John Patrick Shanley, The Liar's Club, Mary Karr

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