Fall From Grace
The film focuses specifically on the case of Father Oliver O’Grady, the notorious pedophile priest who raped and sodomized hundreds of boys and girls aged nine months through adolescence, and one adolescent victim’s mother, over the course of 20 years.
During this time, church superiors avoided exposure to scandal by reassigning O'Grady from one California parish to another, never punishing him, failing to prevent his ongoing predatory behavior and never protecting parishioners from his ongoing abhorrent abuse.
Berg's recent interviews with O'Grady show the priest's flippant attitude. Oozing indifference, he is utterly without remorse about his heinous behavior and the devastation he caused his victims and their families.
In contrast, as they recall O’Grady’s actions, the victims and their families erupt with anguish and anger-—and enormous frustration that there’s been no prosecution of Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahoney who, according to the film, knew of O’Grady’s crimes but did nothing to stop them.
After seeing and listening to the victims' testimony about what happened, it is very easy to understand and empathize with their rage: Mahoney still rules the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
Yet, the film shows us that when O’Grady’s victims and their families traveled to Rome to petition the Pope for mercy and justice, they were turned away from the Vatican without an audience.
The Church declined to be interviewed for the documentary.
Calling for Public Awareness
Especially alarming are experts' statements that the Church’s only solution for ending child abuse by its clergy has been to scapegoat homosexual priests--although, as the film reports, there have been no known cases of pedophilia by gay clergy.
Further, as victim Leslie Sloan points out, Church superiors indicate they consider molestation of boys "obscene," while they deem abuse of girls to be "normal curiosity."
Deliver Us From Evil stands out from the pack of moralistic documentaries because of its compelling stories of individual victims and their families who were devastated by O’Grady’s abuse.
Bob Jyono’s expression of pain and guilt about not suspecting that his daughter was being raped by his trusted family priest and friend is heartbreaking, as is his daughter’s confession that she’s not been able to forget, forgive, nor marry because of what O'Grady did to her.
The film manages to deliver viewers to the point of moral outrage regarding clergy abuse—Catholic or not.