"The Catholic Boys" is a new book by author Mike Ledingham detailing the profound impact of sexual abuse of Mike and two younger brothers by the same Catholic priest.
The three Ledingham boys tell their stories of going from being happy, feisty kids to troubled teenagers who became angry, abusing (and self-abusing) men, with consequences for their families. Their plight was only recognised by the Catholic Church after a tortuous series of negotiations.
The stories of Michael, Gerry and Chris are introduced by their older sister Mary, who provides readers with background on each with love and admiration for their survival. Their stories detail in heart breaking clarity the wide-reaching impacts of their childhood sexual abuse.
Although the boys did finally receive a settlement from the Church some years ago, they feel the Church has never acknowledged its failings or the wrongdoing by the priest. The Ledingham family was a staunchly religious family in which the authority of the Church was never questioned, making it harder for the three brothers to reconcile their beliefs with what happened to them at the hands of their parish priest.
What brought the brothers together on it was finding out many years later that they had each suffered, with the two older boys shocked to learn they had been unable to protect their younger brother.
Mike describes the book as follows: "It's humorous, cynical but also sad. You'll get a laugh, but you might get a cry too."
Published by BMS Books Ltd, "The Catholic Boys" is the fourth book by Mike Ledingham. His earlier books draw on his time in the tough world of the SAS and infantry army, with plenty of carefully crafted stories about the antics involving he and his soldier mates.