Twist of Faith
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Twist of Faith

Ratings: 6.52/10 from 21 users.

Twist of FaithThere's no easy way to address a highly charged subject like the sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priests, but with Twist of Faith, director Kirby Dick has taken a straightforward approach, using neither fanfare nor frills to create an unflinching but highly personal documentary about this disgraceful episode.

The 2004 film's focus is on one place, Toledo, Ohio, and primarily on two men. On the one hand, there's fireman Tony Comes, mid-thirties, married with two kids. Some twenty years earlier, he'd been molested by his then-priest; callow, impressionable, in need of love, Comes found himself in a situation he describes as "too screwed up to question," with the result that he was "so confounded that (he did) nothing."On the other hand, there's Dennis Gray, the priest in question; a thoroughly repellent individual, Gray is seen in a 2003 legal deposition, evading questions on the advice of his lawyer. But Comes is far from silent. Having spent two decades racked with guilt and shame and thinking he was the only victim, Comes is galvanized into action when the abuse scandal becomes national news.

He shows remarkable courage and honesty, keeping nothing from his wife and young kids, joining a support group, even visiting the cottage where Gray committed his unspeakable acts; determined to make not only the pedophile priests but those who ignored, lied about, and covered up the abuse acknowledge and take responsibility for what happened, he also files a lawsuit.All of this is done at considerable personal cost. What happened to Comes and the other victims we see here went even deeper than the nightmares and family problems they experienced; it shook their very souls, calling into question their lifelong faith in the essential benevolence of an institution that has betrayed them. Grim but compelling, Twist of Faith makes for very sobering viewing.

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12 years ago

Religion is indeed poison. Here, yet another example.

Atheism = Peace(and wholesomeness!)

Andrew Mead
12 years ago

Excellent documentary and very well done.

Concerning the subject: The RC Church will have to endure much corporate pain because it must address the wrongs committed in its name. "What Would Jesus Do"? He'd tell the Pope to apologize on behalf of the church to every abused person and to compensate their pain and loss with what ever funds were required and by every possible means. If it meant liquidating most of their property in the USA--so be it. The Church would survive that and flourish as a result. The ones that are in it for all the wrong reasons, will no longer be attracted to it as they presently are--but with increasing reservation.

As I write, 'things' are happening. This a crucial moment in the history of the RC Church and it's by no means the first crucial moment its had in 2000 years of history.
The church will be changed by this. That's for certain. I hope they do the right thing. The lesson of history (believe it or not) suggests they will do the right thing and the sooner, the better.

Btw, I am not and I never have been Roman Catholic.

12 years ago

is it me, or did anyone else feel that tony was a little bit too close to his own kids .... disturbing thought!

13 years ago

I felt really disturbed about this documentary... How can you choose stupid religion against your own family's feelings? The wife and the mother were both stupid and ignorant of the person's feelings.. Anyone in Tony's position would feel depressed and angry...

13 years ago

The key thing to remember is that the RC Church always tries to get allegations of sexual abuse funneled through its authority personnel so that the allegations can then be minimized to the least embarrassing outcome for the Church. This Church has friends and abettors of evil in such high places that it is above the law most of the time. What can we do but thank God that pedophile priests will yet be subject to a higher law than civil—a law they will not be able to avoid on Judgment Day! “The best thing we can do is to let the Lord do the judging,” said the priest officiating at the funeral of one of the lying Bishops. That’s the best part of this whole doc, and spoken by a priest! Too bad the abused men don’t know that the Roman Church has over a thousand years of sexual skeletons in its closet. You want to know the inside scoop on the evils of the Roman Catholic priesthood? Read ‘Fifty Years in the Church of Rome’ by Charles Chiniquy. It’s probably available for free on the net. A ‘problem’ priest may be easier to spot than you think. Recall the creepy comments by the priest who married Tony and his wife? I was suspicious right away about that man. And then it turns out he’s a pedophile!

13 years ago

This whole thing reminded me of the Michael Jackson story.
That church has some weird power over everyone involved and as long as people keep settling for the cash, they get to keep the statistics down and keep most of the dirt out of the press. It's catch 22 isnt it and the church have had it nicely sewn up for a long time.

13 years ago

With the recent stories in the news I'm starting to wonder if the catholic church was set up with the sole intention of abusing kids.
They don't seem to do much else.

13 years ago

@ Agomie: Watch "Deliver Us From Evil" and you will clearly be able to see how the hierarchy of the church cared/cares more about maintaining the image of the Church over protection of children. The moment a bishop or archbishop chooses simply to move a priest to another parish, with full knowledge of the sexual abuse, thus choosing to defend the image of the Catholic church over the safety and well being of a child, and LIES ABOUT IT IN COURT, it's NOT just the abuser. The moment the future pope in his does the same thing in his German diocese, or, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition," LOL) decides to disregard repeated pleas for abusive priests to be removed from the priesthood, knowing that damning evidence of sexual abuse exists, thus choosing to maintain the image of the Church over preventing heinous criminal acts upon children, children as young as NINE MONTHS OLD, it's not just the abuser. I'm sickened by the heartlessness of the Church, I am deeply saddened to witness the pain and anguish that these courageous families are sharing, and I can not fathom how their lives have been shattered. Disgusting.

Mr. Balls
13 years ago

I'm not Catholic or even religious, but I related to Tony Comes. He reminds of so many guys I grew up with in Chicago. His manner is so like the "South Side Irish" catholic guys that I've grown up around. It makes me wonder if I actually know some abuse victims who have kept silent over the years.

An earlier post makes reference to a couple jokes Tony tells with 2 other abuse victims as evidence that it must not have been that bad. I totally disagree. These jokes are just an effort to deal with something that is almost too painful to relate in a serious manner. They are just a "macho" way of playing off having been sexually victimized.

Seems to me his mother has not yet allowed herself to deal with her real emotions on this. She seems emotionally detached, as if she'd like to pretend it never happened. No parent wants to see harm befall their child. How must one feel being told they failed to protect their child 20 years in the past? She appears as if she may never come to grips with that fact.

13 years ago

@ hardy,
i think you should take a look at the doco "deliver us from evil". the covering up that the catholic church has done goes way beyond the last ten years. infact this documentry shows one particular priest who was sexually abusing children for well over 30 years. the church knew about it and continued to move him from parish to parish.they said they were going to remove him from being around children but did not.

13 years ago

"We're looking at a thousand years of good, OK, that the catholic church has done. And what we're dealing with now is ten years of a cover-up." -39:15

I seriously LOLed.

13 years ago

I found this documentary very disturbing, and I dont know how anyone could belong to a practice that allows it clergy to behave like this and then cover it all up by moving the priests around the place. Any other organization would be held accountable for thier members but not this one, seems very sinister to me a very sad story

13 years ago

What does one even say about this..

I just... am lost for words.

On one hand you think the most extreme - ban the church altogether.

On the other hand you realize that churches do offer people some very limited and immaterial benefits, albeit, also for their own gain. It certainly is no selfless act.

I just don't understand why religion is tolerated anymore to be completely honest. I realize the protections in our constitution are there to allow people to be free, so I don't think banning it is right. But I do think education on religion should be something there is more public awareness about.

It just absolutely blows my mind the guy got molested by catholicism and refuses to blame it on that. I'm sorry but your whole canon law book and everything.... WTF!!! Then put your DAUGHTER into the same thing, and in a catholic school no less?!?!

This is MADNESS!

13 years ago

I would like to add that I also cannot understand Tony's mother attitude or his wife's, His mother knowing what had happened to her son and still attending this evil church and his wife allowing thier little daughter Samantha to become part of it also. If you believe in God or Jesus you do not need a middle man to pray he hear's everyone but where, where they for Tony and all the other victims. What a sick institution this church is and the cannon law it make's a mockery of people's faith do as I say not as I do how sick can you get

13 years ago

I was so touched by Tony and Wendy's story that I cried. Also the other victims who so bravely told thier storie's you are no longer vicims but victor's against this corupt organization that hide's behind the cloak of catholisimim. I applaud you you have done the right thing as unfortunatly this abuse is continuing to this day in my country Scotland and also Ireland. I thank you once again for contributing to the making of this documentary

13 years ago

So-called religious institutions are run by pedophiles or parasites who feed and live off simple minded fools. Positions of religious authority are tailor made for child abusers and anyone who hasn't figured that out by now is a hopeless moron.

13 years ago

You can blame the church for covering up theses things, to let a sex predator work with children are u out of you mind?

The leader of the church rather have more children being molsted instead of admitting they made a mistake!
that is insane, its certainly not the values the bible teach and speak of, those bastards uses peoples truest to get what their want. Money, Power, wake up sheeps smell the grass

13 years ago

If I were this guy I would disown my mother. She supports an organization that raped her sad.

13 years ago

This was a painful video to watch. I have read all comments above mine and feel that I should add my own.
I don't feel sorry for Tony, I respect the man in a big way. He came out and published something that in his profession as a firefighter not only ruined (or badly affected) his personal life but also his professional life (I am sure). It takes a big man to admit what happened to him and an even bigger man to attack the Church, his own Faith, and try for nothing more than an apology and admission of guilt. He didn't go for the cash, he stuck with his moral duties. What amazes me is that even after all of this, his wife a convert, seems to stick with the Catholic Church along with his mother. What a sick world we live in where supposed leaders who teach morality are out sexually abusing young children and hiding behind their religion to get away with it. In my opinion, these "so-called" priests are worse - by far - than any other kind of sexual predator. Castration is too good for these sub-humans.
Good luck Tony and keep on fighting !!

13 years ago

it is sad for tony. hope he copes with it in the future.

i think a man is a man even if he is a priest.

as for the behaviour of the church... i think they should have taken this predator away from the kids, which they never did... but more than that what could they have done once the wrong has been made.

i understand tony wants to vent his anger, but what more he expect those guys to do?? to go out and say we were raping kids for so many years... i would be too damaging for their image !!!+

a PRIVATE SETTLEMNT WAS BETTER if they change but if nothing is happening then they must be denounced there is no other way to protect other children

13 years ago

There would be no greater pleasure in my life than to slit the throat of these bastards and watch them slowly bleed to death.

13 years ago

At the beginning I felt really sick and felt sorry about the guy and full of hate to that priest who did it. But later I find it just as sickening that those victims are making jokes about these abuses? Do you think normal victims of rape makes jokes about rapists? I really made me think twice. I don't doubt that the priest did these bad things but I question how much this has really ruined their lives or if they sort of make it worse than it is because of the money. And in the end they mention how many cases there have been against how many priest but they don't show how many were false accusations. It's funny how the media focuses so much on the catholic church when all statistics shows that there are even more cases in Jewish and protestant communities?
Another case is the Ryan report from Ireland. Personally I'm from Denmark and we are few catholic but when the report was discussed in the media they said it included 150.000 people, I turned over at english BBC news and they just a couple of thousan. later I read there were "just" 1100 victims in the report, only 14% were cases of sex abuse, and only 14% of the sexabuse cases were done by priests the rest were done by teachers etc. And the rest of the cases were about stupid thing like beating the fingers of a student as a discplinary punishment wich everyone did back in those days and children freezing in the homes. Why don't the media show these things? why do they lie?

13 years ago

The Catholic Church did not molest but the persons that represent the Church molested. God did not promote this behavior. I am Catholic and my spouse is atheist but our daughter attends to a Catholic school. We practice the religion and instill the values of the religion. Throughout this documentary, Comes blames the church.His abuser is to blame, not himself nor the Church.

13 years ago

That blind faith that the mother had in the catholic church is sickening.To block out your own sons abuse and give money every week shows the immorality that the church indirectly establish is members from a young age, yet he allows his own daughter to follow down the same path. Yes, she acknowledges what happened was wrong but still will not allow her own son to criticize what is a seriously flawed organization, that canon law allowing priests to lie to avoid scandal sums up, in my view, the sheer hopeless nature of the catholic church and subsequently its abused victims rightfully seeking justice.

13 years ago

Love how his wife and family have chosen the Catholic church over him..I'm astounded by the lack of knowledge they all have regarding the history of the church in general. There will always be sheep in any religion. What a shame.

Lisa O
13 years ago

I don't know how anyone can belong to the Catholic Church or give them money, knowing the cover-ups and all the abuse that goes on. I realize not all priests molest children, but enough of them do that no one should want to be part of an organization that permits it and covers it up. Just as the man, Tony, pointed out to his mother, the money she gives to the church is used for the legal fees to cover-up the crimes done against him...her own son! It's sickening.