Jason Berry, Tim Watson
Canal Place Cinema, 4:30PM
Center for Catholic Studies, Black Box Theatre, Quick Center for the Arts, 7
& 28, 2008
Vows of Silence
Spanish version, titled: LEGIONARIO DE CRISTO
with narration by Carmen Aristegui
Saturday September 27th, 16:45, Cinemex Insurgentes, sala 2
Sunday September 28th, 14:15, Jaima Río de Janeiro
Screening and lecture by Jason Berry
Kingston, Rhode Island, 7 PM
111 St. Mary's
Hall, 3700 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington
DC, 7 PM
New Orleans, Louisiana,
JASON BERRY’S VOWS OF SILENCE FILM
MARCH 13th at LONG ISLAND VOICE OF FAITHFUL MEETING
Jason Berry, author, documentary
filmmaker, will “sneak preview” his film Vows of
Silence on March 13 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation
at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY, starting at 7:30 pm.
Based on a 2004 book by Berry and the late Gerald Renner, Vows
of Silence trains a lens on the Vatican’s internal handling
of abuse accusations against high church officials. The film follows
the saga of Father Marcial Maciel founder of a controversial religious
order the Legionnaires of Christ. Maciel won the favor of Pope
John Paul II despite a 1998 canon law case filed by eight former
Legionnaires who accused Maciel of sexually abusing them in seminary
and asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to excommunicate him. The film
explores an internal struggle at the highest levels of the Vatican
before Maciel was ordered out of public ministry in 2006.
With location shoots in Rome, Mexico City and several American
cities, the documentary probes the role of Cardinal Angelo Sodano,
the Secretary of State under John Paul II, who tried to abort the
case. In early 2004, the pope died and Ratzinger was elected pope,
taking the name Benedict XVI. In May 2006 the Vatican ordered Maciel
to withdraw from public ministry. The film follows the journey
of Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the investigator sent by Ratzinger to
America and Mexico, through profiles of key figures who gave testimony.
The documentary includes a former Vatican official who breaks his
silence after leaving the priesthood, discussing the cult-like
atmosphere in which Legionnaires took secret vows never to criticize
Maciel. It traces the rise from post-war Mexico in the 1940s as
he gained support from the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, to
build an international order of educators with schools and Universities
on several continents. The Legion budge is $650 million, according
to The Wall Street Journal.
Maciel cultivated the support of Carlos Slim of Mexico City, reportedly
the world’s richest man. His American supporters include
Father Richard John Neuhaus, publisher of First Things magazine;
former drug czar and CNN commentator, William Bennett; Catholic
League director William Donohoe, and Harvard Law professor, Mary
Ann Glendon, currently U. S. ambassador to the Holy See.
Also speaking at the LIVOTF meeting will be Juan Vaca, LIVOTF member
and Suffolk County resident. Mr. Vaca is a psychology professor
and former Legion priest who filed complaints with the Vatican
against Maciel in the 1970s and 1980s.
Jason Berry , a New Orleans author and independent producer, is
renowned for his pioneering investigative reports on the clergy
abuse scandal. His 1992 book “Lead Us Not Into Temptation” exposed
a nationwide pattern of bishops concealing perpetrators and is
still used in many newsrooms. Berry is often interviewed in the
national media on the church crisis and recovery issues in New
Orleans post Hurricane Katrina. The book “Vows of Silence” will
be available for signing after the film presentation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Documentary on child abuse and justice in Catholic church
to be shown at Vanderbilt March 12
A documentary about the
justice system of the Vatican in a case of
child abuse will be screened at Vanderbilt
University, followed by a discussion with the
Vows of Silence will
be presented at 4:10 p.m. in Room 101 of Buttrick
Hall on the Vanderbilt campus on Wednesday,
March 12. Director Jason Berry will attend
and lead a discussion after the film.
The event is free and
open to the public. It is sponsored by Vanderbilt’s
Center for the Study of Religion and Culture,
and the Vanderbilt Center for Community Studies.
The film tracks the case
of Father Marcial Maciel, a church official
and founder of the Legionaries of Christ congregation,
which has centers in 20 countries. Maciel retired
in 2006 after being accused of sexual abuses.
It follows a book on the case of the same title
by Berry and Gerald Renner.
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