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New novel inspired by alleged clergy sex ring

By Matt Abbott
Catholic Online

“The Principal’s Office”

“Sister Rosemary was around 35 years old. She paid much attention to her appearance, wearing her hair up, a touch of lipstick and large, gold hoop earrings. And, no, she did not wear any religious habit.

“She sat at her principal’s desk across from a priest who sat back comfortably in a stuffed chair. Father Ted Nowacki was in his early 40’s. His brown hair had begun graying ever so slightly at the temples. He preferred to wear his cassock around the parish, which he considered a symbol of his priesthood and a sign of his authority as Pastor.

“Word traveled back to Father Ted that Sister Frances’ opinions regarding sex education conflicted directly with Catholic teaching. As the priest learned more about the subject, the more concerned he became. A confrontation with the principal became inevitable. When they met, he put Sister Rosemary on the defensive.”

The above is an excerpt from "The Boys’ Club," a new novel by George Kocan, a friend of mine. "The Boys’ Club" was inspired by the ongoing true-life investigation into an alleged Chicago clergy pedophile ring with the same name. (See:

(The late Malachi Martin’s novel "Windswept House" also was loosely based on the alleged ring, which may have been connected to the unsolved 1984 murder of professor and choir director Francis Pellegrini, an acquaintance of Father Andrew Greeley. Another interesting aspect of this case: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin reportedly had visited the Pellegrini crime scene.)

Kocan’s novel tells “the story of Ted, who after spending 15 years as a specialist in psychological warfare in Korea, returns to the United States to enter the Catholic priesthood. Upon being assigned as the pastor to his childhood parish, he makes a horrible discovery that brings him face-to-face with an evil conspiracy,” according to a press release from the book’s publisher,


Matt Abbott  IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author, 



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