This Tubi Documentary Exposes Catholicism’s Most Sickening Secrets

Deliver Us from Evil Doc

I am not a religious man. And if I were, I certainly wouldn’t be a Catholic. Perhaps because I am so detached from that world, I lack a certain context. I have always been aware that the Catholic Church has been linked to abuse. I previously assumed that most high-ranking officials within Catholicism would do the right thing when they learned of problematic priests perpetuating the cycle of abuse. But 15 minutes into Amy J. Berg’s 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil, I realized just how deep the issue goes. 

Deliver Us from Evil follows the career and numerous misdeeds of Father Oliver O’Grady. O’Grady served as a priest beginning in the 1970s. Throughout his tenure, he sexually abused numerous children. The film provides a firsthand look at the evils committed by the so-called man of God while also showcasing how high-ranking officials within the Church allowed that abuse to continue. Berg provides a firsthand look at how deep the deception goes and how leaders of the Catholic faith have created a culture that provides more protection to pedophiles than it does to impressionable youngsters.  

What makes Deliver Us From Evli especially chilling (aside from the jarring subject matter) is that the pedophile priest at the crux of the story is featured prominently within the documentary. And I’m not talking about archival footage. He is shown walking the streets, enjoying his freedom, and providing commentary on his crimes. He served a bit of time behind bars for the abuse he perpetrated. But the idea that he was a free man during the timeline when the documentary was filmed feels unjust. Especially considering people have spent far more time behind bars for far less egregious offenses. 

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Spending time with the convicted pedophile (even on the other side of a television screen) is trying. He speaks of his fixation with children nonchalantly. It’s tough to watch someone who has caused such harm seem so flippant about the damage he has done.  

We do see something resembling a level of remorse when O’Grady says he wishes the bishops to whom he reported had removed him from his post. But it’s hard to know how sincere he truly is. Someone capable of ruining so many lives may not be able to feel true remorse. It seems like someone remorseful for their actions would have stopped abusing kids or self-surrendered to law enforcement. He did neither.  

Equally distressing is how the Church was aware of the abuse and did less than nothing to put a stop to it. The viewer learns that Church officials were more concerned with maintaining their image than they were with protecting their most vulnerable parishioners. Rather than take decisive action, high-ranking officials within the Church did everything in their power to suppress the details of O’Grady’s misdeeds and avoid a scandal. That makes them every bit as culpable as the offenders they protect.  

Deliver Us From Evil makes it painstakingly clear how a culture of clandestine abuse was allowed to thrive. In fact, in video footage from a deposition, a Church official admits that knowing that a priest is attracted to pre-teens is not a reason to have them removed from their post. That kind of willful disregard wouldn’t shock me as much in a corporate setting. But to learn that a religious organization as powerful as the Catholic Church would turn a blind eye to credible allegations of that sort is unfathomable.

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The greatest irony of all may be that pedophile priests have been allowed to molest children and keep their position within the organization. But queer people cannot partake in communion. That speaks to a greater systemic issue where arbitrary and ineffective policies allow monsters to thrive while well-meaning people are ostracized and treated as less than. 

In spite of how triggering the subject matter is, Berg does a commendable job of respectfully sharing the stories of victims without being one-sided or editorializing. We see the damage that was done and we hear from all parties involved. She paints a complete picture that is devastating to endure. But the agony the empathetic viewer experiences pales in comparison to the trauma O’Grady’s victims continue to wrestle with to this day. 

I had a really hard time with this film. With that said, I think it’s one of the most important documentaries of the 21st century and I absolutely recommend seeking it out if you have not yet done so. But do keep in mind that the doc will likely prove too much for some to endure.

If you’re game to try to sit through it, you can find Deliver Us from Evil streaming on Tubi as of the publication of this post.  



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