January 06, 2005

Warren woman exposes Church cover-up on film

Barrington Times

WARREN- After refinancing her house to free up funds, and spending five years conducting research and interviews, Warren resident Mary Healey-Conlon has at long last completed her documentary, "Holy Water-Gate: Abuse Cover-Up in the Catholic Church." The hour-long film will debut for the general public at the Coolidge Corner Movie Theater in Brookline, Mass., on Monday, Jan. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Because she is a Roman Catholic, her work is not finished, said Ms. Healey-Conlon. She is only just beginning the painful process of reconciling her discoveries with past assumptions about faith and the Church.

Years before investigative journalists at The Boston Globe propelled the problem of sexual abuse by priests into the national spotlight, Ms. Healey-Conlon was working with a team of Rhode Island attorneys who believed the Diocese of Providence had knowingly moved priests who had committed acts of sexual abuse against minors from parish to parish. As a legal assistant, she met abuse victims who had been pursuing cases against the Catholic church for years. She even learned she knew one of the accused priests whom her grandfather had served alongside as a deacon years before. Fearing lawyers for the church might stall forever, she resolved to document victims' stories. In 1999, she picked up a video camera and began filming.

"It's not like I started out with a specific vision of what the film would be," said Ms. Healey-Conlon, who has a master's degree in television production from Emerson College. "I started out wanting to document the stories of some Rhode Island survivors."

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 06:37 PM