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HOLY WATER-GATE: ABUSE COVER-UP IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Rhode Island filmmaker Mary Healey-Conlonís documentary gives the victims of the Catholic Church a collective voice. Itís chilling to hear grown men and women describe their sexual abuse at the hands of trusted priests while seeing footage of those very priests flash across the screen. Itís shocking to hear, from the mouth of a perpetrator priest, about the "homoerotic" church-run treatment centers, or about how boys over the age of 14 were considered "fair game as long as you didnít get caught." And itís distressing to hear, through Healey-Conlonís personal narrative, how Church leadership opted for administrative solutions (the "geographical cure"). In just under an hour, Healey-Conlon offers a crash course in the historical, legal, religious, and cultural aspects of the Churchís scandal. But the film never feels superficial. We are, as one survivor says, "learning about what we donít want to learn about," and through that process, gaining a necessary "knowledge of evil." (56 minutes)

BY DEIRDRE FULTON

Issue Date: January 7 - 13, 2005
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