A Survivor of Clerical Abuse Remembers
Patrick C. Goujon
Foreword byGerard McGlone
Translated by Joseph Munitiz
A Jesuit priest’s memoir about recovering his memory of clerical abuse as a child
In October 2021, the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church released its report detailing consistent disregard of survivors and the callous and horrifying “lack of outrage” from bishops and other Catholic leaders. What this report does not tell is the story of the priests who themselves are survivors of clerical abuse and their struggles.
At the age of forty-eight, Patrick C. Goujon, SJ, suddenly remembered what a priest had done to him, for four long years, beginning when he was seven years of age. Locked in denial for almost forty years, he finally spoke out. He thought he could then heal. Yet his whole life started falling apart. He questioned why his memory had been suppressed for such a long time. And he asked himself: How could I have chosen to become a priest myself? In Precarious, he tells the story of how he learned to survive the shock of this revelation and to live as a believer. His story is a healing journey and a path to finding support in spirituality to recover from child abuse.
"This is a powerful book, timely in its message, moving in its story, and admirable in its courage. Father Goujon has incisively demonstrated how a human being can convert traumatic experience into life-affirming testimony. His personal account of priestly abuse provides a model for individual self-recovery through speaking words of truth. A provocative example of the storied experiences that must be taken into account in reforming the Roman Catholic Church."—Steven Mailloux, President’s Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric, Loyola Marymount University
"A remarkable testimony that confronts the suffering caused by abuse with confidence and candor. A powerful encouragement not to remain silent and to reclaim one’s voice."—Hans Zoller, SJ, director of the Safeguarding Institute of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome,
"Father Patrick Goujon’s moving account of finding his voice decades after experiencing sexual abuse as a child is by turns visceral, elegant, and profound. Ultimately, he has written a thrilling expression of the human capacity for liberation and transcendence triumphing over the human capacity for corruption and cowardice."—James E. Grummer, SJ, director of Centro di Spiritualità Ignaziana, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
"The French Jesuit priest Patrick Goujon’s book offers a powerful account of rediscovering buried memories of being sexually abused as a child by a priest. With great honesty, Goujon faces questions about his own vocation. His story also underlines that any process of healing from childhood abuse never ends."—Philip Sheldrake, professor and director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas
Patrick C. Goujon, SJ, a professor of theology and spirituality at Centre Sèvres, the Jesuit school of graduate theology in Paris; a fellow at Campion Hall–Oxford (UK); and the chief editor of the journal Recherches de Science Religieuse.
Gerald J. McGlone, SJ, senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Previously, he was the chief psychologist and the director of counseling services at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
104 pp., 5 x 8 x .5
104 pp., 5 x 8 x .5