May 17, 2005

`Our Fathers' dramatizes the tragedy of sexually abusive Catholic priests

Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - Updated: 03:37 PM EST

NEW YORK - ``Our Fathers'' confronts a subject that seems all too ripe for exploitation: sexually abusive priests in the Catholic Church.

But while dramatizing the tragedy, this Showtime film avoids the pitfalls of melodrama. It focuses not on the squalid crimes, but on their disastrous effect - as well as on the courage of the victims who spoke up. ``Our Fathers'' premieres at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday.

Reflectively, somberly, the story unfolds: In early 2002, the Boston Globe exposed Father John J. Geoghan as well as Cardinal Bernard Law, who not only failed to stop years of sexual abuse by Geoghan and other Boston clergy, but tried to hide it.

Contacted initially by just a handful of victims (abused boys now grown to troubled, shame-filled adulthood), attorney Mitchell Garabedian took on the archdiocese. The church's response, even in the face of damning evidence of abuse that spanned decades, was disavowal and further cover-up.

``John Geoghan's transgressions were not the fault of a caring church,'' Law declares in a sermon in the film, ``but the aberrant act of one depraved man.''

Posted by kshaw at May 17, 2005 04:43 PM