Holy Water-Gate



The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Holy Water-Gate, to be re-released, televised

Award-winning film details Catholic Church abuse cover-up

November, 15, 2010 - Five years after its initial U.S. broadcast on ShowTime, Holy Water-Gate, Abuse Cover-up in the Catholic Church, is being re-released and will be televised on multiple dates on The Documentary Channel, beginning the Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend. (See schedule below).  

The hour-long documentary was written, directed, and produced by  Mary Healey (Jamiel), assistant professor of communication studies/film media at the University of Rhode Island.  Even though the film is a few years old, the comprehensive investigative documentary remains timely and relevant.

            Motivated by abuse victims whose stories were being rejected and whose motive were being questioned, the independent filmmaker picked up her camera in 1999 and began filming.

  One of the first images in Healey's film is of her grandfather, Jim Healey, receiving a blessing from Father James Silva as one of the first ordained deacons in the Catholic Church in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders were only learn years later that Silva, then pastor of St. Matthews Church in Cranston, was sexually abusing children. The Diocese of Providence transferred the priest to 12 different parishes during the next 16 years where the pattern of abuse continued.

            Healey took her camera far beyond Rhode Island, examining the scandal with interviews with victims, perpetrators, and church officials from Rome to Chicago. 

The film broadcast in Spain, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark and has been translated into Spanish, German, Italian and Danish.


You can watch selections from the film here:


HOLY WATER-GATE, Abuse Cover-up in the Catholic Church

"In her award-winning investigative documentary, Holy Water-Gate, Abuse Cover-up in the Catholic Church, Mary Healey (Jamiel) skillfully details the methods and mechanisms the Church used to conceal abuse of children by priests for decades. Holy Water-Gate continues to offer the most comprehensive investigation on the topic to date. Five years after its initial broadcast in the United States on ShowTime, Holy Water-Gate is being re-released on The Documentary Channel and will have multiple prime time broadcasts. 

Sunday, NOVEMBER 28, 11 PM
Mon, Dec 6, 2010 09:30 PM with repeat Dec 7, 2010 12:30:00 AM
Thu, Dec 16, 2010 06:30:PM
Fri, Dec 31, 2010 02:00 AM
Tue, Jan 11, 2011 06:30 PM
Sun, Jan 30, 2011 09:30: PM with repeat Mon, Jan 31, 2011 12:30 AM"

Involves mary healey jamielNed MillerJeff Hellyer and Louise Rosen.

 What Austria's Die Presse says about ORF's 2010 broadcast of Holy Water-Gate:

 "While many documentaries are bought, this film is a prime example of public-service television, which has only one single problem: the late broadcast."


The Boston Pheonix:

"In just under an hour, Healey offers a crash course in the historical, legal, religious, and cultural aspects of the Church's scandal. But the film never feels superficial. We are, as one survivor says, "learning about what we don't want to learn about," and through that process, gaining a necessary "knowledge of evil." 


The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

"This very personal tale by American filmmaker Mary Healey peels away the protective shell of a damaged church. Along the way, it shows how the rest of society, in particular the media, is almost as culpable for averting its eyes and ears for so long."


 Viewer comments about Holy Water-Gate

            "Astonishing documentary. The most important video on this saga I've seen . I know this video is a few years old .... yet it is STILL a current news story [April 2010]."


"With swift, deft scalpel strokes, Holy Watergate lays bare hypocrisy and institutionalized abuse in the Catholic Church. Mary Healey's cool, skillful exposure of child sexual predation and of the human anguish inflicted by pedophile priests makes you tremble with outrage. The Church's reflex is to speak honeyed words, then use every corporate dirty trick to intimidate, buy off, and silence the victims. Its sympathy lies with the predatory priests, not their victims; its ancient priorities are (like any multinational) to preserve its power and influence at all costs. The film shows this graphically, but also that humble, decent priests still do Christ's work at grassroots level, and that some even risk everything to fight the snakes in their hierarchy."


"'Holy Water-Gate' tells it like it was and like it is. There is no watering down of facts and no cosmetic cover-up of the details of what happened to four out of the thousands of boys now grown men who were sexually abused across this country by priests through grooming and deceptive techniques to entice them into a massacre of their innocence and life-long psychological trauma to say nothing of the rupture of their spiritual connection to God."

Mary Healey Jamiel


Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests