Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Deliver Us From Evil

A devastating investigation into the pedophilia scandals tearing apart the Catholic Church, Deliver Us From Evil begins by looking into one priest, Father Oliver O'Grady, who agreed to be interviewed by journalist/filmmaker Amy Berg. O'Grady's genial calm is at first ingratiating, until he begins to describe his crimes with an unsettling sociopathic detachment.

But O'Grady's blithe interview is only half of the story, as the documentary also unveils how church superiors covered up O'Grady's crimes and shuffled him from diocese to diocese in northern California, finally placing him in an unsupervised position of authority in a small town, where he sexually assaulted dozens of children; the video deposition of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney is a grotesque portrait in brittle denial.

What makes Deliver Us From Evil crucial viewing, however, are the remarkable interviews with a few of the victims (now adults) and their parents, whose stories are wrenching and riveting. With the support of a priest seeking to reform the church, two of the victims actually go to the Pope, seeking some form of help in addressing O'Grady's crimes. This stunningly potent documentary combines raw feeling with lucid and persuasive discussions of the reasons for--and disturbing breadth of this crisis within the Church.


Charles Lawson, Cardiff, UK said...

One of the most provocative and disturbing documentaries I have seen. I do not wish to offend anybody and would never be so ignorant as to imply that all Catholics are bad, but the organisation which many so loyally serve and protect is rotten to the core and apparently, despite the widespread and perhaps institutionalised abuse, remains above the law.
I myself do not have any faith but cannot help but feel that the Catholic Church and in my view the Church in general is the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity - the betrayal is not only of the flock but of the very God they claim to represent and serve.
O'Grady clearly remains a very dangerous man. His lack of insight or remorse for these most destructive and selfish of crimes are what disturbs the most. His failure to show any regret for his abuse would in any other circumstance deny him parole and yet he continues to live freely, now amongst the Catholics in Ireland. That his seniors do not have the integrity, as self-professed Holy men, to condemn the actions of those whom they know to have committed these abhorrent crimes, is utterly contemptible.
The actions of Fr. Doyle in continuing to challenge the Church at the highest level is to be commended and it is only he, of all the clergy portrayed, that demonstrates the integrity and humanity that should be the essence of the clergy.
It strikes me however, that much greater pressure should at the same time be applied from without. The Church has complete and almost tyrannical control over its inner workings but should never be allowed to flout the law as it has. Much greater secular, political power must be applied so that the perpetrators can be punished for their crimes and so that the victims might at last feel that their tortured lives have not been suffered in vain. The powerlessness of the victims and their families in this film is palpable.
The only way it seems that the Church has left to regain the trust of many of its followers and critics is to allow forensic scrutiny of all that has been allowed to occur, accept the repercussions, and begin to rebuild according to a new structure. Much is made in this film, and not before time, of the perversion that is obligate celibacy, and although this could never excuse such aberrations, it might at least be an appropriate place to start.

mu said...

Shouldn't the Catholic church be dismantled as a long running international criminal conspiracy? Confiscate all of the church's assets and send every church official to prison.

If you're still a Catholic then you are complicit in these crimes. No excuses: the church has been raping and looting throughout history.

This may sound a bit harsh but I think the Pope should be on trial for crimes against humanity simply for his outrageously barbaric stance on birth control.

cinndave said...

Before we can change the vatican law to say it's not ok to molest children, we must consult the highest authority:

The Queen Spider!!


Anonymous said...

"What sick fucks". That is all I can think, What SICK FUCKS.

Anonymous said...

No Catholic can watch this and not come away deeply disturbed. It is also disturbing to see the effect that these actions have on people's perception of the Church, which has fed the hungry, tended the sick, and been an instrument of mercy and love for two thousand years. The Institution's failure and even complicity in these crimes is abhorrent, but this failure represents a deviation from Catholic teaching and practice.
I hope the victims find peace. I pray that the Church will fully disclose and confess the sins committed by the clergy so that healing may begin for both victim and Church.

Anonymous said...

If there were a God, especially one that man says is merciful, wouldn't He be able to destroy this abdominable atrocity?

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the catholic church has not been an instrument of mercy for 2000 years. Crusades, Spanish inquisition, Wide Spread antisemitism, Preventing people from owning the bible, Charging people to be redeemed for sins. lots of stuff like that. I am not sure you can make the argument that they do more good then bad.

Yeung Xiao

Anonymous said...

OMG they LIE!!!
"I don't remember receiving this litter." "I do not recall what he was saying" The dodge questions as good as a politician under Bush. WOW

Chris said...

The Catholic Church hierarchy is an example of one of the most corrupt, vicious, evil and self serving institutions in history. Alas their activities through the ages have been airbrushed or erased to maintain their grip on authority and control, no different than the Roman, British or any other EMPIRE which has ever existed. No different from any major CORPORATION which follows the same Macheavelian rulebook...'Do as I say not as I do'.

Please kneel and be pius while we onvert by the point of a sword, carry out the Crusades, the Inquisition, the burning of 'witches', the exterminations in the 'New World' (Which the Bible never thought was important enough to mention the existance of in the old flat world...maybe its cos those crazy muppets in caves 3000 years ago had never heard of China, India, Australia, the America's or even Europe for that matter when they were writing their ancient version of Star Trek)
....and of course millions of cases of sexual abuse.

The ultimate lie of the CHURCH is that it claims to act in our interests, at least the empires and corporations admit to self advancement.

Time to burn down the house and move on with intelligence as our guide, not a bunch of brainwashed, emotionally stunted perverts.

If Jesus did exist and he was who he's supposed to be I get a funny feeling he wouldn't be up for bumming kids and calling it love.

Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic and have gone to a Catholic school during my school years. Now my children go to a Catholic school. However, I do not and cannot accept the fact that priests molest children. They are suppose to be models of Christ. I think this outrageous action would stop if Catholic priests are allowed to get married. Yes, they took a vow of celibacy...but it's not working. They are humans and must have urges too! Why not allow Catholic priests to marry? What's the big deal? Another issue I have that I am not proud of is that the Catholic diocese shun gays. The pope, bishops, priests and nuns claim that it isn't "normal" to be gay. Who says?! I have relatives and friends who are gay. These Catholic role models have no right to say that they are not normal and that what they feel isn't real. I also have other issues that have to do with my church. I have asked the pastor and the diocese for assistance, but they ignored me. So, I don't blame anyone who dislikes the Catholic faith.

Jason in SC said...

Quite a good documentary as far as subject matter and scale go. Emotionally gripping and thought provoking, this film will keep you watching until the end. The editing and camera work was not the best I have seen in a documentary, but it was not at all "poor."

4 out of 5 stars in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

The United Nations and the World Court should take stern actions against these monsterous offenders against young children, even if "President Bush stop US court from filing charges against the Pope at the request of the Vatican".