Yesterday we told you about the big new out of Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Archdiocese announced the payout of $60 million in reparations
to 45 victims of clergy sexual abuse. Cardinal Roger Mahony, who headsthe Archdiocese, was prominently featured in the Oscar short-listeddocumentary Deliver Us from Evil
, for his alleged role inmoving pedophile priest Father Oliver O'Grady from parish to parish,where he preyed on hundreds of young victims.
The Los AngelesArchdiocese currently has over 500 pending cases from alleged victimsof clergy abuse, many of them naming Mahony in his supervisorycapacity. Cinematical managed to track down Deliver Us from Evil
director Amy Berg, who very graciously agreed to share with our readersher thoughts on Mahony, the payout by the Archdiocese, and the role herfilm may have played in helping to bring about the settlement.
Cinematical: We'vereported on Cinematical about how your film stirred prosecutors'interest in Mahony and the LA Archdiocese. Do you think your film hadan impact on the Archdiocese announcing today a payout of $60 millionto 45 abuse victims?Amy Berg:
I think the attention garnered by the film and the negative andneglectful tone of Cardinal Mahony in my film helped to expedite thesettlement. Cardinal Mahony has been fighting to delay settlement forfour years now, so I think we can assume the settlement shows hownegative public attention is very damaging to him.
It is myunderstanding that the settlement was not 100% confirmed and that thechurch released this to the media before it is completely done and thishas upset the survivors and their advocacy group. They basically wokeup to this and read about their own settlement in the newspaper. Whosenews was this to break? This statement sees like it should have beenthe victims statement to make if forgiveness and reparation are whatthe church is after. The mere fact the church release the statementseems like a media play in itself.Cinematical: You tried repeatedly during the filing of
Deliver Us From Evil toget cooperation (or at least comment) from Mahony and the Archdiocese,and you included footage of Mahony being depositioned in your film.Based on all the research you've done, do you feel that Mahony knowsmore than he's admitted to? Do you think the personal files that Mahonyhas fought so hard to keep out of court will ultimately lead to hisdownfall, as happened with Bernard Law?Amy Berg:
The files you refer to have still not been released. The DA has beenfighting for four years years to see them. Miraculously, the Bostondocuments were recovered by the Boston Globe so the expeditioushandling of Law had to happen. I saw some of the documents in question... and saw many omissions in ther documents.Cinematical: Youworked a lot with the victims you profiled for the film (none of whom,so far as I know, are a part of the settlement, since it only affectscases prior to 1954 and after 1986). Do you know whether the victimsfeatured in your film are among those Mahony has reportedly met withand personally apologized to?Amy Berg:
They were not. It is my understanding these cases were hand-picked bythe church and they were cases where there was no insurance coverage,so the church will not be able to pay them out.Cinematical: What'syour take overall on the Archdiocese making reparation in these cases?Do you think it indicates a willingness on Mahoney's part to finallyacknowledge his own complicity in the clergy abuse that happened underhis watch? Or do you agree with Barbara Dorris, spokesperson for thesurvivor's network, that this is Mahony operating under his usual MO,and trying to protect himself from further scrutiny?Amy Berg:
Willingness to acknowledge complicity would not be a settlement of only10% of the cases. This leaves more than 90% ... I think it would beunfair for me to say if he has or has not made reparation. The onlyperson(s) qualified to answer that are the 45 people who will getsettlements. However, the fact that Mahony said these represent "A veryspecial time for the victims" is a very strange statement. Who isMahony or Tamberg (his
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