Agenda fatally wounds “Deliver Us From Evil”

Agenda fatally wounds “Deliver Us From Evil”

The Boston Globe‘s movie critic gives a surprisingly evenhanded review of the new documentary on the Scandal called “Deliver Us From Evil.”

Ty Burr notes that what happened in California dwarfs the Scandal in Boston and says the interviews with admitted molester Oliver O’Grady were extremely disturbing. But the villain of the film is clearly Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles. Yet Burr says movie director Amy Berg overextends her reach somewhat.

``Deliver Us From Evil” strains, however, to make a larger case: that the sexual abuse of children by priests is so deeply ingrained that its roots go back to the fifth century, when celibacy was implemented by the church to get control of priestly assets. Interesting theory, but the evidence here is drive-by.

In other words, while some say conservatives are using the Scandal to attack homosexuality, it is true that many liberals are using it to attack the celibate, all-male priesthood. For these people, voluntary celibacy is deranged in itself and either causes sexual deviancy or attracts an inordinate number of deviants. This comes out of the mindset that believes that the Church’s teachings on sexuality are inherently repressive.

Of course, undermining their thesis is the reality that the incidence of sexual abuse of children in schools and other institutions and by non-celibate men is much higher than it is in the Church and among priests.

Thus, while this documentary may provide some useful visuals and investigation of the cesspit in California, ultimately its the agenda within that makes this movie deeply flawed.

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1 comment
  • I would have to agree that the movie had a slant against priestly celibacy and also against the hierarchical structure of the Church. While it was not perfect, it did succeed in pointing out the horrors inflicted on some innocent Catholic children by a Catholic priest. I don;t see any excuse for the crimes of Father O’Grady, nor do I see any excuse for the way he was simply moved around from one parish to another, instead of being made to face jail time from the very first time that his perversion became known.