The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It

Narrated by: Kevin Gallagher
Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The sex-abuse scandal, which erupted anew in 2018, poses the greatest challenge that the Catholic Church has faced since the Reformation. In The Smoke of Satan, veteran Catholic journalist Philip Lawler explains why the crisis is even more severe than when it first commanded headlines in 2002, and how the failure of Church leaders goes all the way to the Vatican. 

In this unflinching look at the crisis threatening the Church and her members, Lawler: 

  • Shows how the sex-abuse scandal is not a question of pedophilia, but of homosexual activity within the clergy. 
  • Explains how Catholic bishops have developed a habit of covering up serious problems, to avoid the serious divisions that have developed within the faith since Vatican II. 
  • Demonstrates a catastrophic rupture in Church unity, causing a breakdown in morale and discipline among priests, bishops, and laity, paving the way for the current crisis. 
  • Reveals the growth of a faction within the Vatican that is ready to make peace with secularism.
  • Details the charges in the explosive “Vigano testimony,” - and the efforts by Vatican officials including Pope Francis himself to ward off a thorough investigation.
  • Concludes with a program for reform, led by faithful lay Catholics, demanding a new policy of candor and a forthright proclamation of Church teaching.

This crisis, brought about by the failures of corrupt and cowardly bishops and clerics, has been allowed to fester long enough. It is well past time for serious action to be taken at every level before more lives are ruined, more souls are lost, and more fractures divide the Church.

In this book, Lawler details the problems besetting the Church…and lays out a clear plan to overcome them in order that the Church and Her members may once again thrive and bring souls to Christ.

©2018 Philip F. Lawler (P)2018 TAN Books

What listeners say about The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It

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excellent!

Lawler lays out not only the problems and their sources, but an outline of solutions and ways for lay faithful to remedy the crisis.

3 people found this helpful

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really informative!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. it really lays out the problems and the solutions!

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loved it.

Informative. I feel ten times more informed than before. God Bless the author and narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

Lawler hit the nail right on the head! Beautiful solutions to the problem are presented!

2 people found this helpful

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Meh

A lot of good things but way too many false generalizations about priests who are pastors. You’d think we all have cooks, cleaning people, fancy rectories. The author should see how most of us really live! While the author has no problem belittling faithful clergy, he goes out of his way to defend Francis and engage in popesplaining. I don’t think he has any clue as to the reality faithful clergy face. He obviously has his own agenda. While he is right about many of the problems, he is intentionally blind to others, their causes, or any practical solutions. There’s a term for speaking of problems without real solutions...whining. Don’t waste your time with this book

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Naive or willful blindness?

As if Bishops just need to try harder and lay people need to offer helpful suggestions. Ignores decades of evidence of organized subterfuge and deliberate infiltration.

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Meh.

This book was written not out of a spirit of joyful renewal or celebration of life or very legitimate dissent within the Catholic Church. No, it was written in a complaining, condemning, nagging, repressive spirit that exults suffering as if it were a cardinal virtue. No thanks.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Luke Reid
  • 02-24-20

A constructive critique of the Church

This book's title might suggest that it takes a negative approach but I didn't find this to be the case. I thought that Lawler provided a loving and well constructed assessment of the Church's current state. Solutions are put forward to address the shortfalls of our leaders without condemning them completely. I found it a good read and I pray that I have the strength to follow at least a few of Lawler's recommendations.