Sunday, February 12, 2012

Deliver Us From Evil

Wow, it's been a long time since I cried in a movie, but this 2006 Academy Award-nominated documentary, Deliver Us from Evil, did it for me – especially the scene in which a father describes his grief and rage when he discovered that his family's beloved priest, who spent the night at his house regularly for many years, was raping his daughter at night in her bed repeatedly from ages 5-12.  Very powerful – and very important for anyone involved with schools and children to be aware of this issue.  I'm no expert on child molestation, but my guess is that the three areas in which it's most likely to occur are within the family, at church, and at school – all areas where these monsters can get sustained contact with children, develop (and abuse) a relationship of trust, etc.  You don't even have to buy the film – you can watch it online for free at:  Here's the summary from the web site:

Deliver Us From Evil

Filmmaker Amy Berg recounts a harrowing story of child abuse and how a serial child molester went free for the better part of two decades in this documentary. Oliver O'Grady was a Catholic priest who served in a number of parishes in Southern California during the 1970s and '80s. O'Grady was also a habitual child molester who abused dozens of youngsters who were entrusted to his care, and while his superiors in the church were aware of O'Grady's crimes as early as 1973, they opted to simply move him from one congregation to another rather than turn him in to authorities or strip him of his ordination.

In Deliver Us From Evil, a number of O'Grady's victims and their families discuss his crimes and the repercussions they feel to this day. O'Grady himself also appears in the film, speaking candidly about his career as a sexual predator and recounting his misdeeds in detail. (After finally being convicted of child sexual abuse, O'Grady served time in prison and now lives in Ireland, where he is still looked after by Catholic clergy.)

Berg also offers a look into the history of the Catholic Church and how its leadership has often protected those within the hierarchy at the expense of their worshipers. Deliver Us From Evil was named Best Documentary Feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival.

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