“DELIVER US FROM EVIL”–shocking raw emotions

“Deliver Us From Evil”

Shocking Raw Emotions

Amos Lassen

Amy Berg has created a documentary film that should not go unnoticed, especially my members of the Catholic religion. “Deliver Us From Evil” is not only the story about the abuse of children and families by a priest,  Father Oliver O’Grady but it is also about the evils and the politics within the Church which have allowed horrible things to happen. Here is a shocking look at the political illnesses that comes into our school systems and churches.

Father O’Grady moved from parish to parish in Northern California in the 1970’s. His “charisma” quickly allowed him to win each congregation’s trust and respect but his parishioners did not know that he was an active pedophile and that the hierarchy of the Church knew all about and allowed him to practice for 30 plus years. The film exposes the deep and total corruption of the Church and probes the deeply troubled mind of the man they harbored. The movie hits you with an unbelievable reality and shows the extent and the duration of the problems of corrupt priests which still exists. What is really the most amazing thing that we see is that the course of action of the Church hierarchy was no action. When high Church officials were made aware of the problem by both victims and sexual offenders, they looked the other way.

It is not news that what happens in confessionals today is not always the will of G-d. Beginning from an unassuming position, the film quickly gains strength from segment to segment.  This is not a film to be seen by emotional people as it s hard to keep your eyes dry when you see and hear the rage of the families and the fear of the victims. The fact that the Catholic Church, one of the most powerful institutions in the world, ignored or refuted cases it was well aware of s sickening and heart-breaking. So many of us wondered where G-d was during the Holocaust or September 11. Here are men of G-d committing the most heinous of crimes and the Church knew but chose to ignore or deny. The prelates of the Church themselves covered up cases of clergy sexual abuse and the intransigence of the Church hierarchy is appalling and horrifying. The Church as an educational as well as religious institution has an obligation to protect—especially its children. Not doing so is abominable. Reform does not seem to be in the offing.

The movie will make you uncomfortable but it is impossible to understand how the leadership of the Church forgets the teachings of its own Lord regarding children. What the move does do is awaken you to see that the nicest, most well-mannered person can be evil and dangerous and even more so be a representative of G-d on earth. I have to ask what was going on in the minds of the higher ups in the Church?

The movie is understated to say the least—as strong as it was, it could have been so much stronger. The interviews with the abuser and the abuser will tear you apart. The stories of the families shock especially when the abuse is recalled. What we get ultimately is a very moving and well-paced story of how regular people, church-goers who put their faith in their church and their god were betrayed by a man they trusted and seemingly with permission from the Supreme Being.

At least Father O’Grady agreed to appear in the film and he seemed to be a man not fully aware of the amount of harm he had caused—in fact, I saw him as a very shallow person not exhibiting any remorse whatsoever. We do learn that he had been abused himself, both by his brother and by a priest. We also learned that there was awareness by certain Church officials of his activities and they simply relocated him whenever something came to light. What we do not learn s what was O’Grady’s state of mind when he was committing such horrible and inexcusable crimes.

The film shows the truth of what has happened in the Catholic Church and probably is still happening as I write this. Amy Berg is a true hero for bringing this film to us and she should be lauded as such. It is your choice to see it or not—but, if you do you may never be the same again.

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