A Friend of the Devil is No Friend of Mine

I just watched one of the most disturbing movies I've seen in my life. "Deliver Us from Evil" is the story of Oliver O'Grady, a priest responsible for molesting 100+ children in California in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

It's a movie that forces me not only question the entire Catholic faith, but the suffocating depths of the evil of man. Some current estimates say that 1 in 100 Catholics have been abused by priests. Think about that for a second. If you want to take the plunge and watch it, hang on to your jaw. Here's the first part, and links to the other parts.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

If you were raised as a Roman Catholic, as I was, you know hundreds of other Catholics. In my experience there are two common reactions. One, the inability to walk within 100 yards of a church without feeling queasy. The second response is a flat denial that the problems are prevalent or that this is a problem. Some people accept it as a problem and still fill the church's coffers, assisting with the $1,000,000,000 in settlements that the church has doled out. Keep in mind, this number is just the current figure.

Not to trivialize what happens to survivors, but even for spectators such as myself, who confront this issue, this is more than unsettling. We were raised to believe that the world was wicked, that the only way to find eternal happiness (think about what that means for a second) was to turn to the church, the beacon of what is right and just in the world. The refuge for the good. And to think that so much pain was given a PR spin and it was all about the almighty dollar and the image of the body, I just don't know if I'll be able to shake it for a long time.

And a personal note to anyone who claims that problems are overstated, or that victims are just money grubbers... this isn't the case. Although I have never been involved in anything inappropriate with a priest, I do know people who have told disturbing stories. And they didn't do it for money or attention, they did it red-faced and flustered.

EDIT: Here's another report that is unsettling as well, although not as shocking. Then there's this, which highlights that this is truly not healthy behavior... and raises even more questions about the habits and behaviors of the clergy.

If you find this all too disturbing, I suggest you find comfort in something lighter. The South Park episode which deals with this subject in a much lighter way. (Note: You should probably open your volume controls and have them ready for when this starts.)

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