Holy Water-Gate: Abuse Cover-Up in the Catholic Church (2004)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Law & Crime, Religions & Belief Systems, Social History  |   Run Time - 56 min.  |   Countries - Australia, Canada, Italy, USA  |  
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Director/writer/producer Mary Healey and co-producer Louise Rosen use the abuse that took place in Rhode Island during the 1980s and '90s as a springboard to investigating the Catholic Church's penchant for covering up accusations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. A pastor in Cranston, Father James Silva abused children for years before his crimes were brought to the attention of the Diocese of Providence. Transferred to 12 different parishes over the course of the next 16 years, Father Silva's patterns of abuse continued unabated, the parents at each new parish never realizing that their churchgoing children were in the care of a genuine sexual predator. In another shocking case, a priest reported to police by his two victims was assigned a scant six months of therapy and assigned to a new parish after the official report mysteriously vanished and no official charges were made. In many cases, when victims' advocates, other priests, or reporters attempted to reveal similar cases to the public, they were repeatedly blocked and/or harassed by church officials and -- in some cases -- the perpetrators themselves. Why is the Catholic Church willing to work so hard to keep these cases from the public, especially when they seem well aware that by doing so they're putting more children directly in harm's way?



Catholicism, cover-up, lawsuit, priest, sexual-abuse, victim