A Modern Monk’s Tale

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.



Filed under Clergy Sex Abuse

2 responses to “A Modern Monk’s Tale

  1. patrickjwall

    This came from a reader:
    Cavanagh’s story is enough to make a non-Catholic — in this case me — weep. I was flattered that the day before his death he should give me permission to put it on the Internet … not least because it is the single most compelling description of Roman Catholic devolution that I have found within the tsunami of malfeasance and obfuscation that seems never to die down.

    To my mind we are and will continue to be in Cavanagh’s debt.

  2. I was friends with him many years ago, participating in many discussions on Beliefnet on Catholicism and addiction…he was a part of my life for several years, very important to me though I only knew him on-line. I only just heard of his passing, I went back to Beliefnet to search for a quote that he used repeatedly, and instead found that he had died. RIP “Cherubino”, you were one of the good guys…

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