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November 21, 2020


#Non-ficiton The Altar Boys

by NancyElin


  1. My goal of reading the shortlist of the Walkley Award 2020
  2. is almost completed. There was just one more hurdle to jump:
  3. I did not think I could bare yet another book about sexual abuse
  4. in the Catholic Church.
  5. Having read Cardinal (Louise Millligan 2017) and
  6. Fallen (Lucie Morris-Marr 2020)..I had had my fill.
  7. Now, The Altar Boys….seems to approach
  8. the subject from a VERY personal angle.
  9. Ms Smith decided to write her book after
  10. …a dear friend Steven Alward
  11. committed suicide January 2018.
  12. She spent six years investigating the
  13. …Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales.
  14. She developed strong personal connections with
  15. …several abuse survivors.
  16. one was even an ABC television colleague.
  17. In her new book  The Altar Boys
  18. Ms Smith focuses on one heroic whistle-blower priest.


  1. I tried to take notes….but was immediately
  2. drawn into the book that I forgot time and place.
  3. Ms Smith raises new questions about the suicides
  4. of three former victims of Catholic clergy child sexual abuse.
  5. In her book, Smith details what happened
  6. …in Glen Walsh’s life after his abuse,
  7. when he became a priest himself in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
  8. What more is there to say? 
  9. This is just heartbreaking to read.
  10. One justice during  a priest’s trial summed it up:
  11. the inside top  of 3 Marists Schools protected the brothers/priests
  12. who taught young vulnerable children,
  13. It was “an organised criminal activity.”
  14. Now having  read three books about sexual abuse by
  15. clergy in Australia I can conclude this book was the most confronting.
  16. Many children endured violence and abuse in silence
  17. Thanks to journalists, psychologists, law enforcement
  18. ….the veil of secrecy is slowly being lifted.
  19. Many Catholics don’t go to Church now because it
  20. is rapidly losing its credibility, but many still keep their beliefs.
  21. #ExcellentJournalism

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 22 2020

    Good on you Nancy for reading these books. I am so slow reading at the moment, that I really can’t read these books. So, I enjoyed reading your discussion of this one.

    • Nov 22 2020

      I was very impressed by Ms Smith’s writing skills….the prose just leaped over the pages like a panther! While reading (…I hope to be my last book on this horrific subject) I googled fotos of the brothers/priests…I just had to look them in the face. My small way of confronting them….


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #AusReadingMonth2020 Wrap-up | NancyElin
  2. After the Count…should have won Walkley Award 2020 | NancyElin
  3. AusReading Month – Wrap Up Post – Brona (This Reading Life)

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