I wrote about this documentary on the Diocese of Orange last year but never got around to watching it until a couple of weeks ago. Produced by Maria Hall-Brown and with a credit to Diocese of Orange spokeshole Ryan Lilygren (though Hall-Brown swears the Orange diocese had no editorial control and says she gave Lilygren a producer title due to him providing so much archival footage and access for interviews), it's pretty enough. I didn't expect it to dwell much on the sex-abuse scandal, although I was astounded Matters of Faith actually included an interview with an abuse victim, even if it was for a couple of seconds, and even if Hall-Brown gave more air time to some rambling Mater Dei High School worker.
The second time I watched it, I realized what is my main problem with Matters of Faith, the same problem I have now with almost every Orange County Catholic I meet. Talk to them about our pedo-priest problems, and out comes a company line seemingly written by Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown: so sad, we're human, in the past, move forward, blah, blah effin' blah. What they never want to touch on is the cover-up.
Yes: humans err, sometimes horribly so. We cannot stop this, and we should forgive. However, a conspiracy to cover up crimes isn't human; it's the work of Satan. And that is what the Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandal's ultimate horror is about. What angers me and all good Catholics isn't so much the molestations that occurred as it is the crime of cover-up that was and is endemic in the Orange diocese. And what drives us insane is that the bastards who orchestrated said cover-ups--Brown, former Bishop Jaime Soto, new bishop Cirilo Flores, Monsignor John Urell, and so many others--not only remain in their positions of power, but that their flock is barely bothered by this fact.
Matters of Faith speaks nothing about the cover-up, just the sex-abuse, just like the company line. And although we like Hall-Brown, especially her Real Orange "Forgotten OC" segments with local historian Chris Epting, her Catholic documentary is as blind to reality as most of my fellow Catholics. And that's a damn shame.
Final note: want to know where OC's pedo-priest-apologists love to dine in their secular finest? Play our guessing game over at our food blog, Stick a Fork in It!