Posted by Tim
I just finished reading this book on a recent trip. I couldn't put it down except for the times when it just got too depressing to continue and I needed an emotional break.
I didn't know anything about the book before I started reading it other than it was sent to me with the recommendation that I read it with a view to the many parallels in the story to life in the Neocatechumenal Way, and specifically the Redemptoris Mater Seminaries, where young men, like the main character, are sucked into a cult and ordained to serve the founder's ambitious ends.
At first I thought I was reading a work of fiction and had to stop and research the name "Miles Jesu," the religious community in which the main character, Andrew Lee Sullivan, was emotionally and psychologically tortured for nearly three decades, a community that had the "approval" of the pope and many bishops.
Sadly, as Mr. Sullivan notes, the "spirit" of Vatican II has produced hundreds of these "ecclesial communities" many of which have ruined hundreds if not thousands of lives with abuse of every kind, including sexual, as was the case with Miles Jesu, and all protected by powerful corrupt forces in the Vatican.
Amidst the horror of this story, there are some very beautiful and helpful lessons about the spiritual life, lessons which ultimately strengthened the main character and led to not only his escape, but finally, a VATICAN INTERVENTION.
You will notice many amazing parallels to the Arguello-spawned evil we are currently fighting in our midst.
Here are the notes from Amazon.com:
This is the true story of the bizarre, historic case of Andrew Lee Sullivan.
He exposes the hidden and outrageous world of a budding Catholic institute. A discarded insider and captive in an apartment near Rome, the once broken priest with suicidal tendencies survives. He shares his ordeal and bares his soul with raw sincerity.
In 1979, an idealistic and naïve Sullivan leaves California and joins a wannabe religious order named Miles Jesu. Two tragic but unclear realities threaten his future. The young man has a condition that retards the proper development of his emotional life. The eighteen year old unwittingly joins a cult. These two menaces trigger gradual human destruction. Life deteriorates into a victim’s futile attempts to endure a virtual sociopath.
Then a miracle of overwhelming love bursts in the soul of Father Sullivan. Secrets of the power of love, Jesus’ love transform him. All hell breaks loose. Breakneck emotional development surges. His only path to human salvation is to escape into the Vatican and face his worst fears. He must risk his future and unmask the cult to seize his freedom. Sullivan must face the consequences of feeling divine and human love for the first time.
Vatican Intervention advances fresh outlooks on universal themes: love, prayer, risk taking. This incredible love story of Church tragedy and hope underlines the existential nature of receiving love. It reveals the surprising impact therapeutic meditation can have on human emotions and their growth.
Superbly written, the story reflects Capote’s feel of real and Grisham’s page-turning narrative. While documenting a true testimony, it reads like compelling fiction.
This testimony is an ideal follow up story to Spotlight: the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Yet, Vatican Intervention shows blinding light at the end of the tunnel.
This book is especially suited for Christians and Catholics. It offers insight about church scandals and shares an epiphany of hope for anyone harmed by them. Bishops, priests, ministers, religious, seminarians, students, and church worshipers can discover enlightenment, healing, and the transforming power of love within its pages. Above all else, this is a book for anyone who has hit rock bottom in life.
Vatican Intervention is being adapted into a major motion picture by producer, Mario Domina of ThunderBall Films, Ltd. The original screenplay adaptation will be written by Brian L. Porter, author, screenwriter, and co-producer. Andrew Lee Sullivan will contribute as the co-writer and associate producer for the project.