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'Deliver Us From Evil' -- And the Film

Contact: Kiera M. McCaffrey, Director of Communications, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191,


NEW YORK, Feb. 23 /Catholic Newswire/ -- Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on the nomination of "Deliver Us From Evil" for best documentary at this year's Oscars:


"Had writer-director Amy Berg confined herself to recording the evil machinations of former priest and pedophile Oliver O'Grady, she would have distanced herself from all criticism. Alas, she hasn't been able to do so. That's because her real target was never O'Grady—it's been the Catholic Church all along.


"On October 4, when news of Congressman Mark Foley's sexual follies were made public last fall, Berg took the occasion to mock the Catholic Church: writing on the 'Huffington Post,' she ridiculed the idea that priestly sexual abuse was 'old news,' never once explaining why all the data show that the scandal was overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the 60s, 70s and early 80s. On October 27, she concurred with Rosie O'Donnell on 'The View' that Pope Benedict XVI was responsible for overseeing the investigation of sexual abuse charges in the Catholic Church over 'the last 20 years'; he allegedly did this while serving under Pope John Paul II. As a matter of fact, Cardinal Ratzinger (now the pope) was not appointed to deal with this problem until 2002—after the scandal hit the newspapers.


"Religion writer Charlotte Allen wrote of 'Deliver Us From Evil' that Berg 'would have had a riveting film' had she stuck to O'Grady and those who were party to his actions. 'Instead,' Allen said, she turned it into 'a generalized anti-Catholic screed' by allowing 'mostly disaffected Catholic priests and victims' lawyers' to make free-wheeling charges against Catholicism.  


"The reason Berg couldn't stick to her immediate subject is because she was imbued with an agenda from the get-go."


The Catholic League is the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.