Every once in a while, real religious history is written. Those of us trained in religion know this firsthand—we have read thousands of pages of hagiography that simply skim over the truth, avoid scandal and paint a rosy, unquestioned picture of religious history.
Then there was John Cavanagh.
John Cavanagh was a former Trappist monk who blew the whistle on his Abbot and the Abbot’s boy toys in the monastery. The Abbot was removed. But he wasn’t the only one punished: the whistleblowers were also pushed out of the monastery. With the troublemakers gone, the Order could create a perfect cover story.
The reason to read this story is to see how John Cavanagh found a deeper spirituality after he lost his religion. His evocative and personal story was published the day before he died.
“A Modern Monk’s Tale,” by John Cavanagh.