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Abuses in the Religious Life and the Path to Healing

Sexual abuse is not the only mistreatment that can happen in the Church. There is also spiritual abuse. Fr. Dysmas de Lassus, superior general of the Carthusian Order, comes out of his silence to denounce the unacceptable behavior of some religious superiors and founders of communities. Rooted in the monastic tradition and the robust theology of religious life, Fr. Dysmas presents elements that will assist everyone in evaluating the dangers of certain spiritual practices and methods of government associated with community life. 

Fr. Dysmas’s wisdom and experience will help you attain the broad equilibrium that nourishes personal and community growth, through the respect of individuals, Catholic tradition, and a healthy spiritual life. Speaking out for the first time, he condemns an era of mental abuse in the Church and in the world. This free and liberating guide exposes some of the abuses within religious orders and includes testimonies of victims. 

You will learn:

  • How to determine whether a community is following tradition or falling prey to cultlike practices
  • The two primary challenges to those in positions of authority
  • Behaviors in a community that cause harm and psychological murder
  • Four stages and characteristics of “sectlike” behavior in dysfunctional religious communities
  • Five layers of knowledge of those entering a community experience — from the outside and the inside 
  • The dangers of manipulative personalities and abuses of power 

You will also gain a proper understanding of obedience and discover the three conditions, according to St. Francis de Sales, that highlight what blind obedience really means. Moreover, you will see the difference between the silence that is life-giving and the silence that kills. You will also find two criteria for healthy communication with the outside world and the way to achieve balance in living a life of sacrifice to foster genuine humility. Above all, you will see the necessary path to healing and how the truth sets us free. 


Dom Dysmas de Lassus proposes some diagnostic tools that allow us to assess the potential dangers that can arise from certain spiritual practices or ways of governing communities. He also gives a very positive account of the sort of balanced approach that leads to growth. We can only be grateful that such an exceptional book as this has been published.

Msgr. José Carballo






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SKU 5341
SKU d35358


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Abuses in the Religious Life and the Path to Healing