Tonight, when I got home, I flipped on the tv expecting to find it set to American Idol. I was happily surprised to find that my Tivo had wisely decided to override my AI season pass for my Frontline season pass. (Reason #849 as to why I LOVE my Tivo.)
Tonight's Frontline, titled Hand to God, tells the story of a middle aged man coming to terms with his long repressed nightmare of sexual abuse at the hands of his childhood priest (and yeah the lower case "p" is deliberate). A word of warning: This episode can be, of course, difficult to watch but is ultimately incredibly well done. The man goes all the way back to the abuse then talks about the aftermath and how his life developed after those terrible years. He was one of hundreds of victims (I hate that word but don't know what else to use here) of the infamously disgraced Boston Archdiocese case. (On the other hand the word "disgraced" has never been better suited.)
I recently heard someone say that as distasteful as the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal was, it ultimately lead to the exposure of the Catholic Church's protection of so many pedophiles. At first I thought that was a stretch but, when you think about it, it does make some sense. The thought is that the country became accustomed to hearing sexually descriptive language in the evening news so we were more open to hear what the Archdiocese of Boston covered up for so many years. In other words, we were ready to hear all of the terrible details without covering our ears and repeating "La, la, la, la, la. I'm not listening to you." as we'd done in the past.
I know, I know, not the most entertaining of posts but again I have to recommend Frontline. The film was made by the "victim's" brother. The abused man went to therapy and took on the Catholic Church while trying to recover, the filmmaker reacted by making an excellent documentary.
At one point they are gathering stock footage of significant buildings in the brother's story. A priest comes out and demands that they stop filming. When the filmmaker explains why they need the footage the priests' response is "It's all in your head. You're a sad little man." Seeing this made my stomach turn. I'm, of course, tempted to write that SOB a letter but I'm pretty sure he's busy packing his bags for the Hell Express.
As the Frontline end's, Bob Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall plays into the credits. All I could think was "Well, ain't that the truth."