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Deliver Us from Hypocrites
Last night we watched a devastating movie: "Deliver Us From Evil" (2006) — a documentary featuring interviews with Father Oliver O'Grady, a convicted serial pedophile, deported now to Ireland where he lives on an annuity from the Diocese of Los Angeles. Also interviewed were three of his victims and their families — three of the hundreds of lives he ruined as he was moved from parish to parish. "Someone should have stopped me," he says now, with complete lack of sadness.
We've heard about the problem for years, of course. The settlements with victims have bankrupted a few diocese. It's another thing to hear the voices, to feel the tears, to see the shrugs of bishops in their taped depositions.
Father O'Grady is a sociopath — a charmer who can talk about his foul deeds with a little smile on his face, as if he were just a naughty boy.
But the truly chilling aspect is the complicity of the Catholic hierarchy. They are like any large institution, claiming to have "a few bad apples" when the whole orchard has rotten roots.
But with the Church, the hypocrisy is immeasurably more cynical. They preach moral absolutes, getting us all distracted over embryos and homosexuals, while they energetically move pedophile priests around, in defiance of the law and in defiance of their own public pronouncements about the value of children. Children are protected now only through the vigilance of their parents. The Church protects nothing but itself.
I know there are "a few good apples" in the Church, men who carry out their ministry and actually adhere to the moral code they signed up for. But overall, the Church hierarchy exists in its fantasy bubble — in love with their ideas and their pronouncements and their glorious rituals, but totally disconnected with what's going on below their necks. Head disconnected from the heart. Heart disconnected from the genitals.
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