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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

PBS' Frontline documentary

I watched this yesterday at the PBS site ... here. It's titled "Secrets of the Vatican" ... it's kind of hard to watch and you might think it's sensationalist‎, or that there's nothing in it new and worth watching, as In All Things seems to say, but I don't think the average person would agree. As an editorial in the Seattle Times states ...

[...] Viewers might easily imagine they’ve heard it all. Oh that. Why bother? Take everything you have ever heard about the Catholic Church and the global clergy child sexual abuse scandals, the dodgy Vatican bank, add in drug abuse, and multiply it all by ten. A primary insight is that Pope Benedict really did not step down from the papacy so much as flee the job ...

The film features commentary by The Tablet's Robert Mickens, abuse victim's advocate Fr. Tom Doyle, and Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, among others. The PBS page also has some interview posted with these people and others, and some articles by guys like John Thavis, former Rome bureau chief for the Catholic News Service, and Thomas Fox, editor of NCR, are posted at this page.

Is it worth watching? I think so. Yes, I'd heard about most of what was mentioned, but it is one thing to remember having read that Marcial Maciel was a bad guy, and it's another to watch an interview with his son ... it's one thing to be aware that Fr. Tom Doyle has helped abuse victims, and it's another to see him as a young priest first exposed to the corruption in the church and making a hard decision to fight it even as he watches his career deteriorate because of that choice. Also there's some positive stuff about Francis. And maybe not the top concern for most viewers, but I found the images very interesting - good cinematography. Anyway, for those who are interested (beware: details about sexual stuff included) ....


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