It follows the story of a minor character from my first novel, Ernesto Sandoval. After a near-death experience and a dangerous brush with a child abuser, Ernesto realizes he has a call to help the less fortunate. A vocation to serve. In order to follow his call, he decides to leave his position at a top university in Mexico City to become a Roman Catholic priest. When he finally makes it to the seminary, he believes that the supposed holiness and celibacy of his instructors and fellow seminarians will make it easier to follow his call. However, he is mistaken. Once in the seminary, the challenges to his vocation have only just begun. The more successful he becomes within the Church, the greater the temptation Ernesto feels in abandoning his call. This is because sometimes those with the greatest responsibilities to do what is right must first overcome the their greatest weaknesses. Sometimes, the most difficult thing we could ever hope to accomplish in our lives is to simply do the right thing.
Invertebrates tackles the challenging theme of child abuse within the Church through the eyes of a witness caught up in the politics of the hierarchy. It examines why a priest might not be able to see the signs of a predator in action, even in his own parish, and why he might hesitate to bring the perpetrator to justice once he sees the truth for himself. The novel does not excuse these silent witnesses. Instead, it honestly examines how a culture of silence is cultivated within organizations like the Roman Catholic Church and how that culture affects the reactions of its members toward such abuse. It illustrates that the predator is not the only guilty party within the act of abuse. Ultimately, Invertebrates shows that those who cover up abuse, along with those who have witnessed it and said nothing, are also guilty because of their criminal silence.
- Roman Catholic Priest Becomes First US Church Official Convicted For How He Handled Sex-Abuse Claims (radio.woai.com)
- Monsignor convicted for covering up abuse claims (wtvm.com)
- Roman Catholic Priest Becomes First US Church Official Convicted For How He Handled Sex-Abuse Claims (ktrh.com)
- 2 Philly priests removed after abuse inquiry (goerie.com)
- US priest guilty of hiding abuse (bbc.co.uk)