The Dark Box

Un libro in lingua di John Cornwell edito da Basic Books, 2014

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In 1905, Pope Pius X issued a groundbreaking decree, requiring children to begin confessing at seven rather than fourteen and urging Catholics to confess weekly or monthly instead of annually. This radical revision to a centuries-old practice ensured that young children would be held to the Church’s strict teachings about morality and sin, and also gave confessors a dominant place in their lives. In the decades that followed, confession increasingly enabled the very immoral behavior it aimed to absolve, as children were exposed to sexually and emotionally immature priests in the unsupervised intimacy of the confessional. The result, as prize-winning historian John Cornwell reveals in The Dark Box, has been untold psychological damage to young Catholics and a crisis of historic proportions within the Church.

A controversial examination of confession’s role in the widespread abuse of Catholic children, The Dark Box draws on empirical evidence and firsthand accounts to offer a much-needed look at the sacrament’s history, present, and future.

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