Review of Rev. Thomas Doyle

This Little Light
June 27, 2009

Reverend Thomas Doyle is the whistle-blower priest and former Vatican canon lawyer who, twenty-five years ago, warned Catholic bishops about the looming clergy sex abuse nightmare. They ignored him, but Doyle’s prophetic words proved to be tragically true.

In 2007, Doyle wrote to Baptist officials with a similar warning. They too ignored him.

Here is what Reverend Doyle said about "This Little Light."

This book should rightly make any honest Christian furious. The smooth-talking, Bible-quoting, God-invoking perpetrator is disgusting enough but the real anger surges forward as one reads page after page of the twisted, lie-filled and hypocritical response of the Southern Baptist bureaucracy. “Praise the Lord and be saved” suddenly means nothing as the self-righteous, self-appointed guardians of God’s authentic words reveal the shallowness of their understanding of the scriptures they endlessly quote and of the mission of the Lord they claim to follow.

Christa Brown is a lawyer who has survived the nonsensical brainwashing inflicted by her church. She has survived the sexual molestation and devastating abuse by the duplicitous pastor who used her naive faith to molest her. Most important, she survived every attempt by the mighty Southern Baptist Convention to shut her down. She has become what her church could never be, a true presence of Christian justice and compassion.

Christa’s vivid story is much more than a narrative about sexual exploitation by a minister. It is about yet another main-line denomination that continually used the words and mission of Christ for its own self-serving ends, but has never had the courage or even the spiritual ability to do the challenging word of Christ.

My own written exchange with the highest level of Southern Baptist leadership was an exercise in futility. Placed in the context of Christa's story it is obvious that the Southern Baptists, like the institutional Catholic Church and several other denominations, have, beneath their piety and smooth god-talk, a core of dishonesty and alienation from the Lord they all proclaim as their inspiration. They utterly fail to live those challenging words of Christ, “When you do this to the least of my brothers, you do it to me.”


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