Abused by his priest. Betrayed by his church. This is the story of the boy who sued the Pope.
I was living in a world where a priest who spoke the words of God used me for sex, and there was no-one to tell. The world where this horror happened didn t exist for anyone else.
As a boy in Ireland where everyone from among his own neighbours to the powers of church and state chose to deny that a priest could sexually assault a child, Colm O Gorman felt only shame, guilt and fear at the regular rape and abuse he suffered.
But Colm would go on to make history, successfully suing the Roman Catholic Church, asking questions of the Pope himself and creating a watershed in history as hundreds more victims found the courage to report their abuse.
Beyond Belief is a powerful story of a young man s shame turning to outrage, and demonstrates that whatever our past hurts there is hope for the future if we are prepared to stand for truth.
I doubt you will read a more moving memoir this year than Beyond Belief...Parts of his beautifully written book will reduce the reader to tears, especially his description of his relationship with his father. It is this story - so typical of the dysfunctional communications some Irish fathers had with their sons a generation ago - that forms the other pillar upon which this valuable tome rests. His final paragraphs on forgiveness are pure poetry and deeply moving. - Irish Times on Sunday
'[This] is a crucial document in the charting of a dark period in our history. It is also a story of bravery and survival, of strength and resilience, and will serve as an inspiration to many readers. - Colm Toibin
This is the most important and moving story to come out of Ireland in many years. It shows how the gentle will inherit the earth. - Anne Enright
One of the most inspiring and dignified voices heard in Ireland in recent times. He has triumphed over sexual abuse. - Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of the Republic of Ireland.
...inspirational and moving. - Sunday Independent
Few men have made such an extraordinary personal journey... I have interviewed several sufferers of systematic sexual abuse, but Colm, almost uniquely, doesn't come across as a victim. Nor is he self-conscious or bitter. - Daily Telegraph
[This] compelling memoir is wonderfully well-written, brilliantly paced and will surely be made into a film...This is a book you simply have to read. It could change your life...It is the memoir of a man whose courage and timing ultimately made the difference. With this book, he continues that mission by rescuing the story of child sexual abuse from media fatigue to make it compelling, relevant and current once again. - Sunday Tribune
...a riveting account of his own abuse and his battle with the Church -- and he's a very good writer, which helps. It seems certain to be a bestseller. - Irish Independent
Colm O'Gorman founded the charity One in Four to support women and men who have experienced sexual violence. Prior to that he worked as a therapist in private practice in London. He is a former Senator on the Irish Parliament and is now Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. In 1998 he sued the Roman Catholic Church over its systematic cover-ups of child abuse scandals involving its priests, and won. He lives in County Wexford with his family.