Deliver Us From Evil (Berg, 2006)

A superb documentary which reveals the startling involvement of the Catholic Church in covering up the countless acts of pedophilia committed by their priests over the past thirty years. Deliver Us From Evil makes these universal critiques by telling the story of one such abuser in particular, Father Oliver O’Grady, who molested children at multiple parishes in Norther California over the course of decades. Instead of alerting the authorities, O’Grady’s superiors simply moved him to other churches, where he repeated his offenses to devastating effect. Director Amy Berg interviews three specific families, all one time close confidants of “Father Ollie”. Amazingly, Berg also gains access to O’Grady as well, who now resides in Ireland after being banished upon his release from a seven year prison sentence in the 1990’s. O’Grady, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, is often framed by children walking down the street or at play in residential parks. As we learn more about his methods of abuse, his sly manipulation, and seemingly remorseless attitude toward the situation, these images become increasingly disturbing. Deliver Us From Evil uses countless other interviews with lawyers, law enforcement officials, and victim advocates to contextualize O’Grady’s disastrous impact on hundreds of children and their families. But, as expected, the moments which sting the most are those in which the victims themselves speak candidly about the trust for O’Grady in particular and the Catholic Church in general. Berg’s goal is not only to reveal a monster still at large, but to show why and how the Catholic institution in Rome and America have evaded responsibility for ignoring the atrocities taking place. The film asks the question, who’s worse – the man committing the crime, or the men who knowingly deny the crime is of any grand importance? By the end of the film, when two of Berg’s subjects travel to Rome in hopes of confronting the Archdiocese about their trauma’s, it’s clear humanity along with justice gets pushed under the rug. Deliver Us From Evil gives the victims a voice, the most crucial counter attack to the Catholic Church’s attempt to marginalize and avoid the deeply rooted problem at hand. A must see.

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