Yesterday I watched an American documentary about clerical child abuse in California between 1970 and 1990. It was the most distressing 120 minutes I have ever watched. It was on the channel More 4, last Tuesday night. We recorded it and have it saved and I understand that you cannot pull it off the internet but you can certainly buy the CD from Amazon, price £5 with free delivery. It is called Deliver Us From Evil and tells the true story of one priest, Fr Oliver O’Grady, and his 20 year sexual spree in various parishes in the state and the way he was moved around by his various bishops. It interviews victims, parents, bishops and the priest himself, Fr. Olly, as he was affectionately called and it portrays his remarkable open views. It was like stealing sweets to him.
I will not say any more but try and watch it and live through the terrible anguish that decends on perfectly decent people after these paedophiles have finished their work. The victim and the family’s stain lasts for ever. He used to sometimes get at the children by shagging their mothers first in order to ingratiate himself into the family. If that is not perverse I do not know what is and he continued to smile whimsically throughout.
It showed in detail the amount of work the Church goes through to cover up this abuse and the dreadful and cynical way the perpertrators act when grappling with their consciences afterwards. I do not know who is the worst, O’Grady or his bishop, now Cardinal O’Malley.
The man, O’Grady, is now wandering around his native Ireland, Thurles in Tipperary, was his last recorded address and by his demeanour and facial expression he has not a care in the world while his victims try to continue their ruined lives in America and the film says that the Garda have not been warned of his presence.
I now know and the Pope has confirmed the fact that paedophilic behaviour by priests is not an insular or isolated phenomenon, it is world wide and has been going on for a while. In actual fact the Church has tried to keep it under wraps for at least 40 years but with the growth and spread of information technology they were always fighting a losing battle. If they had not tried to cover it up and put their house in order instead, this would have been a seven day wonder, instead it is their Armageddon and unfortunately the Church is on the side of Evil.
Again do try and get a copy of this film, it is the most powerful piece of cinematic evidence against the Church, I have ever seen. It was so disturbing that my blog of yesterday was on this subject but I could not summon up the will to write.
AS a last thought, a friend of mine emailed me this morning saying the pope said in his recent pastoral to the People of Ireland that this was a modern event, brought about by the secularization of society. I am afraid that this is not correct because these grevious sins were being committed 60 years ago to my knowledge and probably have been carried out in one form or the other since the 4th century.
In the school I was educated at, boys as young as 11 were taken away from their families and only during holiday periods, were they integrated back into society and this went on until they were 23 or 24. 12 0r 13 years locked away from their parents during their formative and undoubtably most sexually awakening years in a man’s life. There was bound to be fraught times ahead of them, with unresolved sexual, social and psychological problems. One lad I know did not see his family for five years from the age of 18 through to 23, locked away in a Vatican cloister for the whole of this time during which his father died.
Mike Harding advised me to read an article in the current New Statesman by John Cornwell entitled The Pope, the people and paedophiles. It explains Benedict’s admiration for Cardinal Newman but also his reticence and lack of resolve in not taking up his philosophies. He considers him to be a weak and tarnished pope. It is a strong and wide ranging intellectual essay. So read that and look at the film but not at the same time. You could explode with overload.