Above the Rest: Power, Sex and Sexuality in the Catholic Church by Merv Michalyshen

Ongoing stories of sexual abuse of children along with cover-ups and corruption within the Catholic Church have dominated media headlines around the globe.

Many of the recent stories are shocking, but church sex scandals are nothing new.

Over the last decade, allegations of sex abuse in the Catholic Church have become all-too common and part of a larger problem that writer/educator/lay missionary Merv Michalyshen calls "an anxious church bureaucracy."

"The recent manifestations of clergy sex abuse and their painful aftermath is a wake-up call that we can no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by a shame-based institutional mindset about sex," he says.

Above the Rest presents a layperson perspective of a church establishment that manifests controlling power, secrecy and a resistance to conform to a fast-paced and changing world.

"Contemporary laypeople-the 99 per cent of the church, who are professionals and highly skilled in their fields-are infuriated that the church hierarchy, all male and celibate, is more concerned about the institution and its image than the people it is mandated to serve," the author says.

Michalyshen is not a priest, journalist or theologian. He is a lifelong Catholic and educator, who believes, "positive results must and will come from the masses, not from those who say Mass."

Above the Rest extends an invitation to all "people of God" to engage in honest, unbridled and healthy dialogue.

Above the Rest is available for $18.99 plus applicable taxes and can be ordered online here.

About the author:

While growing up in a small Ukrainian farm community in Western Manitoba, Merv Michalyshen's parents always dreamed he'd be a Catholic priest. Instead he graduated from the University of Manitoba with Science and Education degrees. He spent 35 years as a high school teacher and school administrator in Winnipeg's public school system before serving three years as a volunteer lay missionary in Malawi, Africa considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

View/download the first chapter in Adobe PDF format.

Listen to Merv Michalyshen discuss Catholic Church controversies on CBC Radio's The Current.

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