Thursday, November 7, 2019

"GRACE" The Survivor's Story of Priest Sex Abuse

In ‘Grace,’ we see aftermath of priest sex abuse from survivors’ point of view 

This much is factual: In early March, a French court gave 68-year-old Philippe Cardinal Barbarin a six-month suspended sentence after finding him guilty of covering up sexual abuse by a priest. Although Barbarin’s lawyers had announced almost immediately that their client would appeal his conviction, the cardinal went to Rome in March and personally asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation, which he did not.

The French film “By the Grace of God” fills in the gaps of what led to the trial and conviction, using actors and giving a fictionalized account of the events that nonetheless rings true emotionally.

The film starts off with Alexandre Guerin, played perfectly by Melvil Poupaud.
Guerin has a good job, a beautiful wife and four boys and a girl. They live comfortably and are good Catholics. Their two older boys are confirmed by the Archbishop of Lyon -- Barbarin.

But, Guerin is carrying a deep, dark secret from all but his wife and family that doesn’t seem to have affected his life. When he was a Boy Scout, he was molested repeatedly by a Catholic priest.

See also:
SPOTLIGHT: Boston Globe's Ground Breaking Reporting of Predator Priests

One day, they go to church and find that offending priest, Father Bernard Preynat (Bernard Verley), saying Mass, and they bolt from church.

Guerin begins a writing campaign to the archdiocese questioning how this priest can still be in active ministry. This leads to a strange meeting with Guerin, Preynat and the psychologist for the archdiocese, Régine Maire (Martine Erhel) that takes place in the archdiocesan chancery. Prevnat admits that he did, indeed, molest Guerin and that he has had long-standing problems; but he never apologizes.

Read the rest here.

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