Last night I got the chance to watch the Academy Award documentary Twist of Faith (2004) . This is an important but very sad documentary that tells the story of a man in Toledo, Ohio who begins stirring up troubles in the Catholic church as he becomes open and vocal about his past abuse by a priest as a 14-year old boy in Catholic school.
Watching this movie, it made me think more and more about how prominent and important this issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic church is. Just yesterday the AP story broke about 102 priest in Dublin, Ireland being suspected of sexually abusing more than 350 children.
This is a sad and important issue. Why in the world does this happen?
There are three reasons that I see as largly creating such a widespread problem...
(1) Lack of accountablity in the Catholic churches for priest
(2) A huge effort is often made to cover up what others see being done. (That is certainly seen in this movie)
(3) The required celibacy of priest. (not discussed in the documentary)
This ideas are supported to me in another dramatic film, the highly acclaimed, highly political academy-nominated film El Crimen del Padre Amaro. (Read the plot summary here) . In this movie there is much issue made over the lies that occur in the catholic church, especially as the young priest Father Amaro (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) finds him being allured into a relationship with a 16-year old girl. As he tries to handle his own carnal desires and speaks with the aging Father Benito about his struggles, he realizes Benito has a long standing relationship with the 16-year old girl's mother among other irreverant things.
This film, based on a story from the 1800s delves into the three causes I placed above as well.
It is very sad that so many are hurt by this dysfunction in the Catholic church...I am saddened that more effort is spent fighting lawsuits than trying to figure out why this happens and how to reach out to those who have been hurt by these horrible crimes.
Related Tags: Academy Awards, Twist of Faith, Documentaries, Sexual Abuse, Catholic Church