There is a palpable sense of betrayal when religious leaders participate in moral malfeasance: when they engage in illicit sexual affairs, commit or condone child abuse, or deal in fraudulent financial transactions. Betrayals like these prompt doubts that religious leaders can be trusted and pose questions about the organizations they represent. But what can be learned from these episodes? I discuss the dramatic erosion of confidence in religious organizations that has taken place in recentyears, framing it in terms of arguments about moral decline and institutional changes in religion. I show how betrayals of trust become symbolic representations of larger societal problems that are deemed to necessitate remediation. How the betrayals are interpreted becomes the basis for several mechanisms through which attempts are made to restore trust: confessions, investigations, and litigation. Their limitations notwithstanding, they cast light on the major challenges we face as a nation in seeking to restore trust in our basic institutions and our faith in American democracy.