Catholic Priest Confesses to His Crimes


"I want to promise myself that this is going to be the most honest confession of my life."

Those are the words of Oliver O'Grady, a former priest and a convicted child molester. In a new documentary out this week, he makes startlingly candid and graphic confessions about his crimes.

"I brought him back into my bedroom again, unbuttoned his pants," O'Grady says in a documentary film called "Deliver Us From Evil," which opens in theaters on Friday. "Looking at his face kinda told me that he was a little uneasy about this. I thought at one point he was gonna cry, you know."

The documentary provides a graphic glimpse into the mind of a pedophile and lays blame on the church hierarchy, including a bishop who is now the cardinal and a leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the largest archdiocese in the United States.

Candid and Graphic

O'Grady speaks with surprising candor in the film about his attraction to young children.

"And if they said to me, 'Well do you feel aroused when you feel women?' I'd probably say, 'No.' 'Do you feel aroused when you see men?' 'No,'" O'Grady says. "'How about children in underwear?' I'd say, 'Yeah!'"

Filmmaker Amy Berg tracked down O'Grady in Ireland, where he now lives, after serving a seven-year prison term in California for lewd and lascivious acts with two preteen boys.

At his trial, O'Grady exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and said nothing. That may be one reason, Berg explains, why he's speaking now.

"I think he felt somewhat betrayed by the fact that he lost the church. He never got to tell his story, and he's kind of living this secret life," Berg says. "And also, he's got all the characteristics of a psychopath."

O'Grady has been accused of abusing scores of children over 20 years, including a 9-month-old infant.

His victims and their parents say he used the power of his position to get to children.

"He was the closest thing to God that we knew," says Maria Jyono, who, with her husband, Bob, often had O'Grady sleep over at their house. They thought he needed a break from the rigors of priestly life -- but those breaks gave him easy access to their daughter, Ann.

"I used to go to work and he'd be here saying his morning prayers. Had the Bible in his hands, and he's saying morning prayers. I'd say, 'Good morning, Ollie,'" Bob Jyono recalls. "And during the nighttime he's molesting my daughter. Raping her. Not molesting, raping her. At 5 years old. God sakes. How can that happen? But that's what he did."

In the documentary, O'Grady says church officials repeatedly failed to act in the face of evidence that he was abusing children. They responded to complaints by moving him from one parish to the next.

O'Grady points the finger squarely at Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the largest in the country, who in the 1980s was bishop of the diocese where O'Grady served.

"I should have been removed and attended to," O'Grady says. "And he should have also then followed up by attending to the people that I harmed. I'd like if he had done that."

One reason Mahony may have kept quiet, Berg argues, is is that Mahony was due for a promotion, to his current position of archbishop of Los Angeles. Another is the church's institutional culture.

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