Jason Berry Wins IRE Book Award

Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, by Jason Berry, has won the prestigious IRE Book Award for 2011. Berry wrote the book with a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The judges of the annual awards contest sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) praised the book with these comments: “Author Jason Berry delves deeply into a topic few have examined – the secretive finances of the Roman Catholic Church. Using voluminous background research that takes the reader back centuries, Berry uncovers abuses of the trust of church members by influential bishops who diverted funds intended for philanthropic purposes into accounts used for plugging Vatican operating deficits or defending priests accused of pedophilia. Berry details how the modern church is systematically closing churches in poorer parishes while at the same time opening churches in affluent suburbs where the weekly ‘take’ is greater. The author makes extensive use of public documents, leaked parish records, trial transcripts, interviews and a wide range of published reporting to paint a complete picture of a heretofore secret network of church financial dealings. For shining a bright light on the shenanigans and inner workings of the Catholic Church, IRE honors Jason Berry and ‘Render Unto Rome.'” Investigative Reporters and Editors is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to training and supporting investigative journalists around the world.