“Secrets of the Vatican” marks the 48th time PBS has addressed sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Though this problem is practically non-existent in the Catholic community these days, and is rampant in the public schools, as well as in the Orthodox Jewish community, PBS has devoted a combined total of ZERO episodes on both.
All the contrived melodrama is there: ominous dark images; dramatic music; a deep voice-over; bleak hallways; shadowy figures locking doors as a boy enters the room; the words “Power,” “Money,” and “Sex” flashing about, etc. The predictable villain: Pope Benedict XVI. Ironically, he did more than anyone to check this problem, but facts don’t matter when Jason Berry is involved.
A dissident Catholic, Berry is a co-producer of this show; he was also featured in Alex Gibney’s film, “Mea Maxima Culpa.” Indeed, tonight’s hit job is nothing more than a retread of Gibney’s propaganda: a New Orleans reporter who previewed it says, “this film reminded me of ‘Mea Maxima Culpa.'” These guys can’t go to the sewer too often.
Catholic bashers love to focus on “persecuted” gays, without, of course, holding them responsible for anything. We are told how easy it is to meet a gay priest in Rome, “and then at the altar the following Sunday.” Then we meet a promiscuous gay priest who says the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are “like a knife in your heart.” No doubt some alcoholic priests find the Church’s teachings on alcohol consumption difficult as well, but few would demand that the teachings must change.
None of these people at PBS give a hoot about the sexual abuse of minors, for if they did, they would cover those communities where it is thriving. No, their goal is to discredit the moral voice of Catholicism.
Contact Frontline Press Person, Patrice Taddonio: Patrice_taddonio@wgbh.org