Award-winning investigative journalist Jason Berry returns to Fairfield University for September talk about his latest book


 

"Jason Berry is the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion, and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance."  - USA Today

Image: J BerryIn his third book about the Catholic Church, investigative journalist Jason Berry turns his focus to money.

Titled "Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church," this critically acclaimed work will be the captivating subject of a Fairfield University lecture by Berry on Thursday, September 15 at 8 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the university's Center for Catholic Studies and will take place in the Dolan School of Business.

Berry, a filmmaker and a playwright, said that no major book has examined the Church's financial underpinnings and practices with such journalistic force. He allows that historically the Catholic Church has been one of the great engines of charity in history. But he calls into question the trail of money in the Church, from parish collection baskets to funds from sales of real estate by dioceses on to the Vatican.

Image: Render Unto RomeBerry achieved prominence for his reporting on the Catholic Church crisis in "Lead Us Not Into Temptation" (1992), a book used in many newsrooms. He has been widely interviewed in the national media, with many appearances on Nightline, Oprah, ABC and CNN.

In 2008, the New Orleans-based Berry delivered a lecture at Fairfield on another important work, "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II," written with the late Gerald Renner, a Hartford Courant religion reporter. The Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded the two men the 1998 Theodore Driscoll Investigative Award for their efforts. Berry also made a film of the same name, which was honored at the Mexico City International Festival of Documentary Film. The works led to an investigation by the Vatican.

Berry's other books include "Up From the Cradle of Jazz," "Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi," and "The Spirit of Black Hawk and Louisiana Faces: Images from A Renaissance." He received a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship for research on jazz funerals and a 1992 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship for reporting on Louisiana demagogues. His play, "Earl Long in Purgatory," won a 2002 Big Easy award for Best Original Work in Theatre.

For more information, please visit http://www.fairfield.edu/cs/ or for directions to the Fairfield campus, visit www.fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 2, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 27