Sacred Silence

Fiction - Religious Theme
112 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Sacred Silence by Loreto N Gonzales Jr. tells the story of a priest and the nuanced relationships between this victim of abuse and his superiors. The story begins with a crisis point: the protagonist, Fr. Sal Galvez, is unceremoniously removed from his post in St. Barnabas Parish by Bishop Lucio Soller, the person in charge of the assignments of priests in the Archdiocese of Los Arboles in Southern California. Thus begins a journey of pain, loneliness, and abuse of power. The emotional pain of being made to quit a role he had for ten years in just five days is strong, but what comes after is downright inhuman. The change is shocking and disturbing, more so because no one consults Fr. Sal before the decision. A meeting with Pope Francis changes his life and perspective, setting him on a spiritual odyssey that transforms his life from within.

This is a novel told in a strong and compassionate voice, and it is powerful because it breaks the silence in the Catholic Church when it comes to the abuse of power and the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Told in a first-person narrative voice, it is gripping and asks many questions, making a strong critique of the Church’s authority and the “silence” that has been behind the sufferings of many people within and outside the church. Sacred Silence is a powerful echo of Pope Francis’ message and reforms within the power structure of the Church. It is realistic, featuring themes that are complicated and characters that neatly fit the message of the book. Loreto N Gonzales Jr. has written a novel that will prick the consciences of churchmen and prompt them to re-examine their vocation. Thought-provoking and inspiring.