Picks and Pans Review: Catholic Confessions

updated 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

• For her new book, Kerry Kennedy, 49, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, interviewed 37 Catholics about their faith—and thought more deeply about her own.

WHAT PROMPTED THE BOOK?
As a child I was taught that Heaven is a concrete place. We had so many deaths in my family that that gave great comfort. Faith is central to me. Yet I was frustrated—by the failure of the bishops to protect children [from abuse], the control over reproductive systems ...

WERE YOUR SUBJECTS CONFLICTED TOO?
One person after another said, "I'm not a good Catholic," though they felt comfortable with their spirituality.

WHO SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
Gabriel Byrne told me he had been abused by a priest. He forgave the man in an Irish newspaper years ago. I felt honored that he shared that with me.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE BOOK WILL ACCOMPLISH?
I hope people will say, this faith has an extraordinary core lesson: to love God and one another. I don't need to reject everything about being Catholic because of the things I don't agree with.

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