**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

At age five, 1954, "The Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
In 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at http://cityofangels5.blogspot.com/ .

Read more stories by Kay Ebeling, LA city buzz Examiner at http://www.examiner.com/x-1960-LA-City-Buzz-Examiner

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do you Doubt the release of Doubt was timed to create Doubt in American minds about pedophiles in the Catholic Church?

By Kay Ebeling

(Reaction, Not a review)

Releasing Doubt in 2008 is as if in the 1970s, after humans had gotten to the moon and back and found out it is indeed uninhabited, someone put out a serious sci fi thriller about a race of creatures on the moon.

As a person who watches the Catholic Church bend and stretch the truth about pedophiles in the priesthood, I wonder, why was the movie Doubt released now, after the country has witnessed a stream of lawsuits judged against the church since 2002. For one, now media such as the Catholic News Service can run a review saying the film Doubt is “a reminder of a dark chapter in the church's recent history.”

Doubt presents itself as though the last 20 years of civil and criminal action, concerning close to five thousand priests, just never happened. I think people will see Doubt and come out thinking maybe there were just a few isolated cases of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, and there is still doubt.

In 2008 we know the crime was so widespread, it was equal to an epidemic of pedophilia among Catholic priests with thousands of American crime victims who have not truly seen justice. Most of the crimes involve serial sodomy and other ways of penetration with pre-pubescent children. When you look at the evidence, tehre is NO DOUBT these crimes took place.

So why would Miramax put this film out now? The title gives it away. I'm paranoid enough to think that PR consultants representing American bishops met with Miramax executives to clinch the deal,

To once again create doubt in American viewers' minds.

I would not be surprised if the Bishops through their PR firms arranged the release of Doubt at this time to create Doubt in American audiences. To make it appear that these felonies were one or two isolated cases with no other precedent, and no one ever really knowing for sure if the abuse even took place.

Exactly what the bishops want Americans to think.

The release of Doubt makes this viewer feel like the past twenty years of civil discovery and priests being convicted of serial sodomy on prepubescent children never happened - or at least the powers that be at Miramax would like everyone to think they never happened. . .

"Less than 1 percent present questionable narratives"

Udo Strutynski had this to say about Doubt:

As a survivor of childhood clerical sex abuse, I have advocated justice from the Catholic Church for my fellow survivors these past six-plus years. I should add I am also a lawyer, and trained in assessing the credibility of plaintiffs.

During this time I have personally come to know nearly 300 persons molested by priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, and the like. Of that number, less than one per cent presented questionable narratives. And when diocesan documents were finally pried loose by persistent judges, even those doubts were quashed by the stark, unambiguous evidence of admissions and clinical conclusions in episcopal files.

In light of my experience, I can say that doubt of the accused predator's guilt rarely emerges as a defense issue even at the beginning of the process, and almost never survives by the end of the investigation.

So, I am bemused that a play based on the premise of the fundamental, or necessary, uncertainty of just such an accusation should achieve the Pulitzer Prize.

Shanley's thesis flies in the face of a horrific reality supported by overwhelming odds. Moreover, it insults the lifelong pain involuntarily borne by abuse survivors everywhere, and thereby revictimizes them.

It may be that Shanley is merely plying an art that is anecdotal and removed from familiar reality, but in such case, it would be largely irrelevant, and not at all praiseworthy, much less prizeworthy. Methinks this playwright is still very much tied to the apron strings of Mother Church.

Udo S

Lucky for us, Doubt is apparently such a bad movie that not many people will see it or if they see it they will not like it, so the church did not get what it wanted from this suspected PR move, releasing the film now to re-create doubt where activists have erased it.

Most the victims I talk to are angry about the release of Doubt, none of us will go see it until it is free, and a boycott of Doubt would be a way to show support for the victims of rape by pedophile Catholic priests.

Also from the CNS review: “Though sexual misconduct is at the heart of the story, it is the balance between doubt which, forms the principal thematic subtext....” While you view that thematic subtext, you are getting exactly the message American Catholic Bishops want you to get ... that these rapes are isolated cases and there is doubt whether they even took place ... whether that was producers' and author's intent or not.

“The film contains a discreetly handled sexual abuse theme. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults.”

Wait until people see some of these case files.

Onward. . .

No I am not going to run the trailer as a video here. . .


Anonymous said...

Hope you try to get this review published as widely as possible!

city of angels lady said...

To forward these blog posts, just copy and paste the headline into an email, the recipient can click the headline and be here at City of Angels Network.

Yes, please help me distribute this article about Doubt by forwarding it to places that might print it.

Everything here is free to the public to be copied and reproduced at will.


Christine Hickey said...

I'm wondering if you've actually seen Doubt, Kay? As I understand, it just opened today. In my opinion, it's unproductive to comment on a film before seeing it.

I am also a clergy abuse survivor. I saw the play DOUBT. I disagree with your review, for many reasons.

I doubt that John Patrick Shanley is in collusion with the bishops.
I don't believe that Mirimax is trying to brainwash anyone or to downplay clergy abuse in any way.

The story is one which explores the complex issues and emotions related to an accusation of clergy abuse. I found the play to be powerful, relevant today,and thought-provoking. I encourage people to see the film and form their own opinions.

Thank you.

city of angels lady said...

The above is not a review, it is an article about how I feel and others who I have spoken with feel. I can't review Doubt because as I said in the above article, I know the story from the play's release and extended coverage in 2002. From that I know I don't want to see it. Plus I am crippled and can't go to movie theaters. I am not a movie reviewer by any stretch.

This is a blog, not the new york times, and of course I can't prove Miramax met with the bishops, it is just what I think happened, or a way of expressing the reaction I and others I know are having.

So go ahead and see it and i bet you are bored to tears. . .

thanks for your comment, though, Christine. I don't think I am always right, this is all just gut level poetic justice blogging. . .

Christine Hickey said...

Dear Udo Strutynski,
As I said in a previous post, I am also a clergy abuse rape survivor. I have also advocated justice from the church for many years. I just say this by way of introduction. With due respect,I disagree with many of your comments.

The story is not based on the premise which you stated. It's not about a false accusation. It's not about questioning a victim's credibility. It is about a nun who has suspicions that a priest is abusing a boy, and the way in which she deals with that suspicion.

Though we share many experiences, all survivors are not the same. Please don't make sweeping statements regarding how survivors will react to this film. We are not all insulted or revictimized by this story. I appreciate that it explores the complex emotional issues involved with clergy abuse accusations or suspicions, as I said to Kay earlier. I feel that Shanley explores issues which many would prefer not to consider, as it sometimes easier to see the world in black in white.

The majority of survivors and advocates with whom I have spoken, who saw the play, found it to be a powerful, well-done and important piece of work. I disagree with the idea that the thematic subtext sends a message encouraged by the bishops. I came away from the play thinking that the themes explored were morality, trust, authority, intuition and relationships, as well as the related emotions.

Some survivors may boycott the movie, as is certainly their right. I for one, would not feel supported by such a boycott.
Each survivors will decide for him/herself and should be respected for doing so.

And finally, why do you say that this is apparently a "bad" movie? From what I've seen, it is getting great reviews as well as many Golden Globe nominations. No matter what conclusion one comes to after seeing the film, there is no indication that is it a "bad" or poorly-made film.

Thank you for listening.

city of angels lady said...

You seem awfully determined to defend this movie, when you haven't even seen it yourself, Christine. Why not pop back in after you have seen the movie and add something new to the dialogue. I am the one who said it looks bad. Have you seen the trailers? YAWN

city of angels lady said...

Nobody here is revictimized. I am pissed. This movie is a blatant misrepresentation of the current state of the clergy crisis. THAT is the criticism here. Christine, you need reading lessons.

Molly said...

I saw the play and found it did not misrepresent anything I was concerned about. It rather presented the complex realities that collide when there is evidence of the sexual abuse of children combined with the reluctance of adults to call this what it is. I want to see the movie.

city of angels lady said...

There is NO DOUBT that 5000 priests committed these crimes. That is the story the public needs to hear. Not something that obfuscates the truth or excuse me, creates Doubt. Sorry you can't see that. They don't want you to see it. . .

Anonymous said...


i just linked to you in a new thread on doubt at imdb.

city of angels lady said...


Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic