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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deliverance Is Not Yet Complete. . .

I just finished watching "Deliver Us From Evil," a gripping documentary about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and what is being done to keep justice from being served. I agree that it "should be seen by people of all faiths and by anyone concerned about the well-being of children" and put it right up there along with Hotel Rwanda, Not Without My Daughter, and God Grew Tired of Us, each well-done presentations that deal with the awful realities of life.

Two things really struck home to me. One was that the perpetrator, who appears on the documentary and constantly narrates his part in person, appeared to have no conscience. I've seen people like that before, no remorse is in their eyes, and no emotions are apparent. They are somehow capable of creating their own fantasy that reality cannot touch and are all too quick to place the blame elsewhere, not accepting their role in the crime.

The second part, and I don't normally get emotional when I watch documentaries but this really struck home, was to see the father of one of the female victims react so strongly as he was recounting the events. The father was choked up and at times he expressed strong anger that something like this could have happened to his own daughter. You could tell that he truly cared about his daughter and felt deep regret that he was unable to protect her when she needed it the most. The father's conclusion was that there is no God, and I cannot fault him for coming to that conclusion when it was the church that cloaked in secrecy the sins of their own.

Father Thomas Doyle, ironically also a Catholic priest, was a strong advocate for the abuse victims who told their story in this documentary, and it was encouraging to see how much he too, cared, and wanted justice to be served. So few men today have the courage to stand up and protect the children.

This is not the end, and the Catholic Church does not hold a monopoly on religious pedophiles. I think the words of Jesus say it best, "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." ~Matthew 18:6 NIV

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