101 Min | Documentry – Crime | June 2006
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Amy Berg
Starring: Oliver O’Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam
Deliver Us from Evil Review: “Deliver Us From Evil” is an Academy Award nominated feature film about the Catholic Church’s routine practice of covering up and refusing to cooperate when accusations of sexual abuse are made against their clergy. We are told of the Church’s official attitude that even a molesting priest is more valuable than any lay person. “Deliver Us From Evil” is a hard hitting story which leaves you shaking with anger at a religious organisation which is fatally dominated by self-obsessed fanatics as well as riddled with cronies desperate to do anything in order to get to the top. No surprise therefor that the Catholic Church refused to be interviewed for the film – however the main subject, Oliver O’Grady, a serial paedophile with hundreds of Church-accessed victims, is quite happy to talk things over. He discusses his child abuse activities as if they were just bad decisions that he happened to make at the time.
In “Deliver Us From Evil”, O’Grady is a sick man, but his supervisors were very well aware of his activities and rather than just do nothing, they actually enabled his access to new victims by quickly shifting him to another parish whenever the heat was on. O’Grady’s superior Cardinal Mahoney had his eyes firmly set on being a papal candidate. The filmmakers make the clear point that the Catholic Church was sending up a smokescreen in announcing its witch-hunt for gay priests in seminaries – when the vast majority of paedophile priests are known to be heterosexual. It is claimed that 10% of USA Catholic clergy have abused children – with perhaps hundreds of thousands of victims yet to be identified. The official film website includes useful information on the “press” page – such as the 1962 Vatican instruction to all Bishops on the procedure for covering up sexual abuse scandals – with the prime objective of protecting the Church from financial loss.
Pope Benedict is shown as being up to his neck in direct responsibility for the official actions of the Church in systematically protecting paedophiles at the expense of the victims. However we’re advised that President George W. Bush Jnr kindly granted him immunity from prosecution. Maybe George is hoping for a reciprocal pardon for the many thousands of deaths he’s responsible for in Iraq. “Deliver Us From Evil” is a necessary force for doing good in the world – opening the viewer’s eyes to this further proof that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Catholic Church will win no new converts because of “Deliver Us From Evil” – but you’d hope that those who do remain with the organisation will aggressively demand action to reach out with honesty and compassion to the victims, to ensure that in future lay people come first, and to ensure that no further systemic abuse is possible.