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Review: Why the ABC'S deep dive into Catholic Church abuse is ground breaking

Updated: May 12, 2022

Graeme Tuckett, STUFF (New Zealand) 25 April, 2021

OPINION: Revelation (now streaming on DocPlay) is a three-part, Australian-produced documentary series, shot across a couple of years in multiple locations.

It’s nothing short of a revelation itself – and a must-watch for anyone who has been following the allegations of abuse against the Catholic Church both across the ditch – and here.

ABC journalist and director Sarah Ferguson was given unprecedented access – by, yes, the church – to a few of the perpetrators, court sessions and archival material. The film-makers also travelled to New Zealand in pursuit of stories here.

Revelation takes an especially deep dive into the actions and inactions of Cardinal George Pell, who seems to enjoy an unusually sympathetic ride from some sections of the Australian press on the grounds that he is also a climate change denier, as well as a major figure in the Australian Catholic Church at the time the “epidemic” was at its worst.

This is a quite brilliant watch, a deservedly award-winning show in its own right and a sign of a maturity and freedom from commercial pressures that the Australian media are sometimes allowed. Seeing a show like Revelation on – say – TVNZ, rather than a subscription service such as DocPlay would be an, err, revelation.

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