By the Grace of God (2018) - full transcript

The three men, friends of childhood, will cross, compare their personal experiences and question their life of couple, family and professional.

This film is a work of fiction
based on known facts

Lord Jesus Christ,

In this admirable sacrament,

you left us a memorial
of your passion.

Let us love and worship
as we should

the mysteries
of your body and blood,

that we may reap for eternity

the fruits of your redemption.

You reign forever and ever.



Time to leave.

Let me finish.


My name is Alexandre Guérin.
I'm 40 and married with 5 kids.

They attend Lazaristes in Lyon,
where my wife teaches.

- Come, Gaspard.
- Victor, Gauthier!

Despite doubt and conflict
with the Church,

I've stayed close to God,
and raise my children

in the faith of his love.

I recently ran into
another father at school.

We were both scouts at Saint Luc.

We talked about school and camps.

He asked me a troubling question.

"Did Father Preynat fondle you too?"

His question
prompted me to write you.

I'll get to the point.

For 2 years, in scouts,
from age 9 to 12,

I was molested
by Father Bernard Preynat.

In Portugal he tried
to make me masturbate him,

so I quit scouts
when I returned to France.

Lord, I am unworthy to receive you,

but say the word and I shall be healed.


The body of Christ.

But the story does not end there.

Last month I learned

Father Preynat returned to the region
several years ago

and is doing
bible study for preteens.

I forgave what I could,

and will live
in the shadow of what he did.

But many questions haunt me.

Did you know?

Was he punished?

Was he convicted?

Why does he still work with children?

We must face our fears.

Our fears for our children.

Respectfully, Alexandre Guérin


Pierre Durieux gave me your message.

A terrifying account.

No wonder it took you so long
to put it in writing.

Thank you for trusting us
and opening up.

My thoughts go out
to your entire family.

May none of them suffer
as a consequence of these acts.

P. Durieux put you in touch
with Régine Maire,

who speaks to those who have suffered
at the hands of a priest.

May the Lord guide us through this,

and cure all that afflicts his Church.

Philippe Barbarin

Saturdays he took me
to the parish photo lab.

At the top of the stairs to the right.

It was dark and quiet.

He closed the door
and held me in his arms.

He reached into my navy blue shorts.

I stayed still.

He held me tight.

Very tight.

He kissed me on the neck,

rubbed against my leg

and said, "I love you."

He told me it was our secret.
Always in a kind voice.

Then I joined the others outside.

I felt a strange sense of pride
at being his chosen one.

My parents and their friends
said he was exceptional.

Exemplary among clergymen.

How long did it go on?

Until Portugal, in 1986.

At the summer camp

he organised annually
for St. Luc scouts.

I tried to avoid him all week.

I made up excuses
to avoid being alone with him.

I was afraid he'd take me aside.

He kept asking me to join him,
but I'd find an excuse.

Then came the football tournament.

The camp is deserted,

including the tents where we sleep.

I forget why now,
but at halftime I go get my pills.

I developed a chronic illness
after he abused me.

Father Bernard
follows me into my tent.

Lays me down.

Lies down next to me.

I feel his weight.

His fat stomach on me.

And it begins again.

He kisses me with his tongue...

He unzips my pants,

slips in his hand,

rubs against me,

breathes hard...

and guides my hand to his penis.

No one else is there.
He seems more insistent,

more excited.

I hear someone outside
and make a move.

It's like a revelation.

I leave and return to the football.

Excuse me.

Thank you for opening up, Alexandre.

Such things have happened,

and alas, continue to happen.

Back then,

it was customary
to relocate the priest.

Do you know Father Preynat?

By name, yes.

Not personally.

Keep going.

- So?
- I told her everything.

- What'd she say?
- Not much.

She listened, we prayed.

You need to explain it to the kids.

You think?

They're asking questions.

They see you're upset.
Especially the older ones.

I always felt my parents
abandoned me.

Sent me to scouts
to get rid of me.

That's not true.
They didn't abandon you.

But I'm angry they didn't protect me.

Is this why
we don't go to Scouts?


Did you tell Grandma and Grandpa?

Not until I was 17,
but they didn't seem interested.

- They couldn't handle the guilt.
- Maybe.

Now that I've seen the psychologist,

Barbarin wants me to meet
the abusive priest.

- But I'm not sure.
- He might ask forgiveness.

Yes, he might.

Will you forgive him?

I don't know if I can.

Why are you doing this, Dad?

So it stops happening.

And for you.

So you'll never be afraid to speak out.

Hello Father,
I met Alexandre this summer.

He is not bitter, he is at peace.

The Cardinal says
you're willing to meet him.

Thank you.
It will aid the healing process.

Do you wish to contact him directly?

Do you ever come to Lyon?

Alexandre is often in Paris
on business.

Thank you in advance,
and God bless your ministry.

Sincerely, Régine Maire

Cleanse me of my evil, Lord,
wash away my sin.

Hello Régine,

Thank you for your mediation.

I'd be pleased to meet Alexandre,
if he wishes.

Perhaps you could ask him
when he might be available,

and I'll arrange to come to Lyon.

We must select a meeting place.

Perhaps he'd rather
I contact him directly.

I'll leave the details to you.

Thank you for your prayers,



Bernard Preynat has replied positively.

He's willing to come to Lyon
to meet at your convenience.

You could meet at the Diocesan House
where we met.

Sincerely yours, Régine Maire

This is good news,
though it makes me nervous.

I'm working in Paris again.
I'll let you know when I'll be back.

The Diocesan House is perfect.

I'd like you to come too, to listen.

You want to cancel?

I'm not sure.

She mentioned a bad encounter
between a priest and a female victim.

- What went wrong?
- She didn't say.

You're afraid.

- That's normal.
- No.

I'm not just afraid.

- I'm angry.
- At what?

He might deny it.

Say I'm lying, it didn't happen.

Making this pointless.

It's a risk.

If you don't go, you'll regret it.

I want him to confess.

And I want the diocese,
Barbarin and the others to hear it.

Then you must go.

- Hello, Father.
- Hello, Régine.

Thank you for coming.

- Hello, Alexandre.
- Hello, Father.

How are you?

In good health?

I'm fine.

Régine tells me you work in Paris.

Yes, for a bank.

Are you married?


- Do you have children?
- Yes, five.


I'm glad you have a family.

A big family.

Do you remember what you did to me?

Saturdays in the photo lab
from 1983 to 1986?


Do you remember Portugal?

Yes, Alexandre.

In the tent?

You kissed me with your tongue,

held me tight,

undressed me,

fondled my penis

and made me touch yours.

It's a blot on my life.

I've had to live with it ever since.

I've always
been attracted to children.

It's caused me so much pain.

Caused you pain?

What about me?

I know I've hurt children.

But it's a disease.

I've tried many treatments.

Were there other children like me?


There were many.

Especially in scouts.

Times were different.

Will you publicly admit today
you molested me?

It's important to me.

I understand, Alexandre.
But publicly...

I'd rather avoid the outbursts

or physical attacks it might provoke.

- Meaning?
- A few years ago,

I was harassed and attacked

in the garden of my country house

by violent, hysterical parents.

You abused their children.

No reason to be violent!

Do you realise what you're saying?

You need to understand
you're a paedophile.

Their rage is nothing compared
to the pain you caused their children.

Father Preynat,

have you anything to add?


Have you anything to say
to Alexandre?



No, I'm done.

Very well.
I'll ask you to please rise.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,
and deliver us from evil.


Hail Mary,

full of grace.
The lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women,

and blessed
is the fruit of thy womb.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.


Goodbye, Régine.

Thank you, Father.

He's clever.

He knows
the statute of limitations.

He won't be tried.

He confessed to a church official.

Barbarin will expel him
once and for all.

Let's hope.
But I'm sceptical.

Barbarin is a brave man.

He has power and condemns
paedophilia in the Church.

I'm sure the diocese knew
and kept silent.

They did nothing all those years.

It'd be good if you testified too,

so they see I'm not the only victim.

- I don't know.
- You must.

I'll give you their address.

Isabelle's afraid people will gossip.

- It'd be hard on our marriage.
- It's just within the church.

You know Isabelle's family.

Thank you for your efforts.

Despite your compassion,
this must be difficult for you.

Think of all the children
and our dark past.

When a paedophile admits his crimes,

we think of repentance,

but also of innocence betrayed.

It's complex.

All my prayers, Alexandre.

- What is it?
- No response.

It's the weekend.
She'll respond on Monday.

I expected immediate sanctions.

He confessed.
She did her job.

Now Barbarin has to step up.

I hope she tells him everything.

Did she record it? Take notes?


But I'm not worried.

Alexandre, thanks for your message.
I've been meaning to write.

The meeting was a start.

I expected more.
I thought he'd ask forgiveness.

But are priests capable of that?

I feel small in all this.

I hope the meeting
brought peace to a painful past.

The wound will always be there.

God will help it heal,
if we don't scratch it too much.

But it is real.

She doesn't mention Barbarin.

For her it's resolved, repentance or no.

- I must keep writing.
- Yes, it's too slight.

This thing about not scratching
the wound... Some psychologist!

I am serene.
I feel no hostility or hatred.

But we owe it to the Church
to state the facts

without fear or shame.

Father Preynat is a paedophile.

It doesn't matter when it happened.

I pray Cardinal Barbarin
will find the courage to end it.

To fight the curse damaging
the Church and its children.

I hope he'll agree to meet with me.

Please ask him.

Where's my shirt?

I'm sharing this email with my sons,

Victor and Gauthier.
Their confirmation is Saturday.

They support me
in my quest for truth.

Your turn.


As you wished,
Régine Maire gave me your email.

That meeting was arranged
so he could ask forgiveness.

I cannot fathom why he did not.

I will see you, of course.

After your sons' confirmation
is not ideal,

as you'll surely want family time.

At least we can say hello

and agree to another time.

Let us pray for the young people
being confirmed this Saturday.

Philippe Barbarin

In baptism,

you delivered them from sin.

Gave them new life
by water and the Holy Spirit.

As promised,
pour out on them your Holy Spirit.

Bestow upon them

the spirit of your son Jesus,

spirit of wisdom and intelligence,

spirit of counsel and strength,

spirit of understanding
and filial love.

Fill them with the spirit of worship.

By Jesus Christ our living saviour,

now and forever.



Be sealed with the Holy Spirit,

the gift of God.


Be sealed with the Holy Spirit,
the gift of God.

The boys were adorable.

Barbarin's sermon was beautiful.

He agreed to meet me
to discuss Preynat.


It's important to me.

It's been 30 years, Alexandre.

I need to talk to him.

Why bother him with it?

He wasn't in Lyon, it's not his fault.

Preynat is still with children now.

He's a harmless old man,
no doubt ill.

No reason for the Church
to let him off the hook.

What can they do now?
It's pointless.

Barbarin could defrock him.

It would send a powerful message,

proving the Church supports victims
and condemns paedophilia.

Did you and Dad discuss it?

- Vaguely.
- What'd he say?

That you're great at stirring up shit.

When Preynat was transferred in 1991,
you knew but did nothing.

You were 17 by then.

- You OK?
- No, let's go.

- So soon?
- I can't bear them anymore.

You mentioned it?

Mum doesn't see why
I'm "bothering" Barbarin.

You should've seen him first.

Let's go.

Mum, we're leaving.

To Pierre Durieux

I'm happy my sons
were confirmed by Cardinal Barbarin.

The ceremony was wonderful.

We're supposed to arrange a meeting.

I replied to him promptly.

I worry my messages are lost.

It happens a lot with my emails.

I don't mean to pressure him,

but he replied so quickly
after Régine Maire's email,

I wanted to check.

Come with me, please.

Do you like grape juice?


So, how've you been
since the confirmation?

We're fine.
But it's hard for our dad.

Your father is brave to open up,

speaking the truth
so justice may be served.

- Yes. But it's hard.
- We want to help him.

How lovely to see sons
care for their father.

I knew nothing of Father Preynat's
criminal activities.

His superior at the time,
Cardinal Decourtray, has died.

We can't resurrect the past.

But now I'm here,
and you can count on me.

You must pray for your father,

and the sinners in our Church.

Such acts are always revolting,

whether committed in families,

schools or the world of sports.

But they are even worse
when committed by priests,

whose mission
is to represent Christ

and preach the gospel.

There is always mercy for the sinner.

But priest and paedophile
are incompatible words.

So when will you see our dad?


I've been very busy.

Régine, please.

I signed one for your father.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those
who trespass against us.


- Throw it out.
- He's on our side.

- Did they tell you they were going?
- No.

- I'd have stopped them.
- Why?

- He could've manipulated them.
- But he didn't.

Quite the contrary.

I think he wants to anesthetise us.

First with Régine Maire,
then Preynat,

and now by seeing the children.

The Church only cares that Preynat
didn't ask forgiveness.


They believe in redemption.

The power of forgiveness.

You know,

if Preynat begged forgiveness
on bended knee,

I don't know what I'd do.

If you forgave him
you'd be his prisoner.

His victim forever.

Hello Régine.
I finally spoke to Cardinal Barbarin.

We're meeting in 2 weeks.
Thank you.

I reread the July issue of La Vie,

the magazine
that helped inspire my quest.

Here's the link.
Very interesting.

Our Pope says great things, notably,

"I pledge zero tolerance
of abuse towards minors,

"perpetrated by clerics or others,
that no wolf enter the sheepfold."


Thank you for the Pope's words,
in which forgiveness is key.

The Cardinal told me
he called you and set a date.

I also wanted to let you know

rumours are spreading about B. Preynat.

In Neulise, in any case.

Very regrettable.

I know it was not your intention.

I just wanted to tell you,

since you're meeting with the Cardinal.

Enjoy the weekend.
May the Lord's peace be with you.

Best regards, Régine Maire.

Such a poignant photo.

Ever seen it?

In a history book, I believe.

Cardinal Decourtray
hung it here in this office.

His successors kept it, myself included.

- Please.
- Thank you.

How many victims
do you think there were?

- Two or three?
- No, many more.

Maybe a hundred.

He was responsible
for 200 scouts a year.

So you can imagine.

I'm horrified to hear this.

I regret that Father Preynat
was unable to ask forgiveness.

I told him as much.

He claims he forgot. He said,

"I should've asked forgiveness."

I don't want repentance,

I want church sanctions.

Father Preynat
is a danger to children.

He admits to being a paedophile.

Please, don't use that expression.

- What expression?
- That word.

But that's what he is.
He admits it.

Yes, but in the etymological sense,

paedophile means to love children.

And our Lord tells us
we must love children.

Not too much, obviously.

What word should we use?


That seems more accurate.

Following your efforts,
I sent the diocese a memo

requiring that no priest be alone
with a child anymore

during confession.

And another adult
must be present at catechism.

That implies all priests are suspect.

I doubt they're all paedo... sexuals.
I hope not.

A preventative measure.
For safety's sake.

I'd rather the Church
condemn paedophilia

and defrock rapist priests.

All in good time, Alexandre.

Pope Francis urges cardinals
to bravely face this evil.

And believe me, I will be brave.

See you soon, Alexandre.

Thank you, Monsignor.


'They brought before Jesus

'little children for him to touch.

'The disciples scolded them.

'Seeing this,
Jesus was indignant and said,

'Let the children come to me.
Do not stop them,

'for God's Kingdom
belongs to their kind.

'In truth,
he who does not welcome

'God's Kingdom as a child
will not enter.'

'Then he embraced them
and blessed them with his hands.'

When we're baptised
we become God's children.

And Jesus loves us
as he loved those children.

Dear Cardinal,

I've been quiet over Christmas,
the season of silence and prayer.

Seeing Father Preynat
teaching catechism

and celebrating Christmas mass
revolts me.

Fortunately, our Pope's recent words
resonated with me.

I'm following the story
of the paedophile priests in Granada.

You spoke of the bravery of cardinals.
Our Pope is also very brave.

I leave it to you.

I'm praying for our Church,
so beautiful, so human.


Thank you, Alexandre.

Happy New Year to your family,
especially our confirmed boys.

I don't know the Granada story.
I'll look into it.

May the Lord protect his children
in the new year.

See you Sunday maybe,
for New Year's Mass.

For the first time,

a Catholic Church leader
accused of paedophilia will be tried.

Still haven't showered?

What are you doing?

Be right there.

Be right there.

Hurry up.

Cardinal, Régine,

Here's an interesting article
about Polish Archbishop Wesolowski,

accused of paedophilia
and living at the Vatican since 2013.

The Holy See just had him arrested.

The initiative comes from the Pope,

who demands this be handled with rigor.

I hope to find more witnesses
for the Preynat case.

I'll direct my energies towards Rome.

Any news on your end?

May God help us
and protect our children.

Thank you, Alexandre.
I read the article.

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston
spoke strongly at the consistory.

The Pope appointed him
to investigate paedophilia.

The position is clear.
I'll apply all recommended measures.

I'll keep you posted.

Good Lent to you,
and our confirmed boys.

Such nice little gentlemen.

Dear Alexandre,
I read the article on the internet.

It shows the Church's determination.

Has the Cardinal replied?

I can't advise you
with regard to the Pope.

I believe the main thing
is for you to find peace.

I remain at your disposal,
and pray for you.

Sincerely, Régine Maire.

Marie thinks I'm too nice,
they're playing me.

They'll never do anything.

They're protecting the institution.

I'll assemble emails and articles,

find witnesses
and send it all to the Pope.

And legal action?

The Church must resolve
its own problem.

Is my statute of limitations
an obstacle?

Why do you ask?

I've thought it over.

I'm ready to testify.

What about Isabelle?

This isn't about her,
it's about me.

Dear Cardinal,

Here is a letter
from my friend Olivier Itaque,

who was also abused by Preynat.

He tells me Preynat
visited many scouts in the tents.

He sexually abused me once.

He often kissed me
and asked if I loved him.

I'm afraid there may have been
hundreds of victims.

Mr Itaque knows quite a few.

Thank you, Alexandre.
Please thank Mr Itaque for me.

Tell him we will meet him
if he wishes.

As promised, I called Father Preynat.

He came to see me, and I told him

I was removing him from his parish
and would not assign him another.

I wish you and your family
a good Sunday.

- He saw you.
- I know.

No! Not with him.

Sit down.

The body of Christ.

Let's go.

I don't get it.

Barbarin's fucking with me.

To Father Maxime Frillon

You are B. Preynat's supervisor.

I'd like to know why
he still says mass with choirboys.

Our Lord...

I sent a letter about him to the Pope.

Alexandre Guérin


I met Suzanne Cremer,
a former secretary at the diocese.

She has a lot of information
about Preynat.

In the early 80s, my brother told me
the Cardinal in place

removed Preynat from his parish
over paedophilia.

They sent him to
Little Sisters of the Poor,

and forbid him contact
with choirboys and other kids.

I remember thinking
he always had his little pets.

A friend told me Preynat wrote her
admitting he was sick

and had been abused himself
at age 7.

Though it's no excuse,

he never denies it, only downplays it.

We heard about Preynat for years
but no complaint was filed.

He's so charismatic!

Why doesn't Barbarin do something?

He could intervene,
even without the Pope.

You know,

Barbarin and Preynat go way back.

When Barbarin came to Lyon
and saw Preynat's good work,

all the money
and followers he brought in...

Know any victims still within
the statute of limitations?

My nephews fortunately weren't abused.

But I'm sure there are some.

In the country churches.

Choirboys, catechism pupils...

I doubt he stopped overnight.

Alexandre, I feel bad.

Deep down, I knew.

We all knew.

But we were silent.

There you are.

We're taking a walk.

- Will you join us?
- I'm writing a letter.

- Now who?
- The Pope.

Right. Let's go.

- Where?
- The park.

Victor, Gauthier, Benoit, let's go.

Most Holy Father,

I recently began a quest
for light and truth.

I met Cardinal Barbarin
and Régine Maire.

I saw Father Preynat.

He admits he's a paedophile
who abused children

up until at least 1993.

Our silence
has not absolved his crimes,

a source of deep,
often endless pain.

The Church must face
its silence and complacency.

We must shine a light
on its terrible obscurity.

Cardinal Barbarin
will not assign him another church,

but he will remain a priest.

"We mustn't make any waves."

This minimising of his crimes
is unbearable.

There is so little compassion
and indignation.

My quest for truth
is not entirely welcome.

Your commitment inspired me to act.

But I'm ashamed
to belong to our Church,

which continues to let people like
Father Preynat be priests.

What will it take
to condemn this criminal,

who has soiled children
in their flesh?

To overcome my fears
and trust that I'd be heard,

it took me 30 years.

Thanks to you,

we're now talking about
homosexuality and paedophilia.

They're not the same thing.

Sexual orientation
is not a criminal perversion.

You're right.

But we never used
to discuss such subjects,

so it's a positive step.

The Church is progressing.

So what are you doing about Preynat?

When will he be defrocked?

I'll be clear, perhaps a bit brutal.

I believe Father Preynat

will always remain a priest.

So you don't consider us victims?

Of course we do.

We're on your side.
We know what he did was a crime.

In our archives,
we found papers indicating

Cardinal Decourtray himself
was shocked to learn about Preynat.

Yet he won't be defrocked?

It's not on the agenda.

Know what'll happen
if Preynat isn't defrocked?

It'll blow over.
He'll still be a priest.

He'll go to Lebanon, for example,
and molest with impunity.

Little Lebanese boys are next.

Please, Mr Guérin.

- I have one more option.
- What?

Take it to court.

There's no point.

Statute of limitations.

I know of no cases
recent enough to be tried.

Are there any?

According to Preynat, no.

According to Preynat?

How can you believe him?

Why dig up these old stories?

I'll pray for you.

Dear Alexandre,

For your research, I spoke
to my brother and nephews.

My nephew Didier
admitted Preynat molested him.

He'd always denied it.
I'm in shock.

The burden of silence
is heavy to lift.

He mentioned his brother Mathieu,
now deceased.

Preynat abused him too,
quite violently.

My brother thinks the rapes
led to Mathieu's suicide.

I'm profoundly upset.

I feel so guilty for not speaking up.

I haven't seen Didier in 5 years.
He avoids the family.

Struggles with his father
and authority.

A life in the margins, after years
of addiction and petty crime.

Contact him.
If what he says is true,

there's still time to prosecute.

He's 33 years old.

You did catechism with him?


- Were you a choirboy?
- Sometimes.

Not every Sunday.

Where'd it happen?


The sacristy.

Sometimes the vicarage.

What did he do to you?

Don't wanna talk about it.

I understand.

He held me tight.

Kissed me.

Told me he loved me.

Fondled me.

If you agree to press charges,
he'll be put on trial.

Do it for all the time-banned victims.

We are many.

Your aunt mentioned
your brother Mathieu.

His suicide linked to Preynat.

Mathieu killed himself
because he was a fag.

Even if he was homosexual,
Preynat's acts were criminal.

He was a child.

We must break the chain of silence.

Do it for Mathieu.

It's easy for you to talk.

You have a family,
money, a job, everything.

What do I have?

Not a fucking thing.

I have no future.

It's been hard for me, too.

If I do it, I'll be branded.

A paedophile victim for life.

No, others will talk too.

You won't be alone.

We'll be there.

I don't know.

I have to think it over.

You have one new message.

- Time to go, kids.
- Why?

- I've got something to do.
- It's nice here.

- Here.
- Thanks.

Hi, Didier.

- Why're you here?
- To talk.

- Get my message?
- Yes, but...

- There's nothing more to say.
- I just...

What? I won't testify.
I'm done with this.

- Didier...
- Fuck off!

I hereby file a complaint
against Mr Bernard Preynat.

Office of the District Attorney of Lyon

- Hello, Mr Debord?
- Yes.

Chief Courteau,
Child Protection Unit.

It was 25 years ago.
We thought the case was closed.

I know.

But no complaint was filed
until this summer.

Who filed a complaint?

A victim from before 1991.
I can't reveal his identity.

Anyway, the statute of limitations
has expired for him.

- A scout?
- A St. Luc scout, like your son.

I knew it would come out one day.

At the diocese,

we found your 1991 letter
to Cardinal Decourtray

about Preynat
and your son François.

There were many.


I wrote to Decourtray
and even Preynat.

- Father Preynat?
- Yes, I kept a file.

- May I see it?
- Of course, I'll get it.

Here, Decourtray asked me
to stop sending registered letters.

These are letters from Father Plaquet,

Father Faivre

and Preynat.

"There's a deep wound

"in my priest's heart."

He admits it, incredible.

He never denied it.
His one good quality.

I'll take them.

I have no copies.

I need the originals.
I'll mail copies.

- OK.
- Is your son in Lyon?

He works in Lyon
but lives in Beaujolais.

- What's his number?
- I don't think...

We must see him.
His number, please.

Shall I call François?

No, I'll handle it.

I'll get ready.

- Mum...
- How are you, honey?

I'm fine.

I was shopping,
thought I'd drop in.

- Sweet. Coffee?
- Sure.

You've got something to tell me.

- Louis?
- It's not about your brother.

- What's up?
- You won't like it.


A police chief came to see us
this morning.

He asked us about Father Preynat.

For a sexual abuse investigation.


My 1991 letter to Decourtray
led them to me.


Someone filed a complaint
against Preynat.

They want to talk to you.

No way.
It's old news.

Who's the idiot
who woke up so late?

He didn't tell us.

Must want easy money.

The chief will call you.

I have nothing to say.
Case closed.

He took my file.

What file?

You know.

The letters from the cardinal,

I kept them for you.

Honey, I'm sorry to bring
the bad memories back.

Don't worry, Mum.

I'll handle it.

Can we meet at the police station?

I have nothing to declare.
I'm not interested.

But I want my mother's file back.

You should testify.

Your statute of limitations
may still apply.

Mr Debord?

I'm here.

- It's me, babe.
- Yes?

Shall I get bread?

- No, I got it.
- OK.

Are the girls in bed?

Yes, just now.


- Be right there. Love you.
- Bye.

Call ended.

François, could you come here please?


what Father Preynat did was wrong.

It's forbidden by law.

Priests don't kiss children
on the mouth

or touch their behinds.

He could go to prison.

I don't want him to.

I know,
but we must do something.

He had no right to do that.

You and your brother won't be going
to summer camp in Ireland.

- I want to go to camp.
- Louis!

Preynat won't get me.
He likes little kids.


You OK, sweetie?


My parents fought them.
Scouts ended after that.


I felt bad when scouts ended.
It was my fault.

That's why I didn't want him
to go to prison.

It wasn't up to you, an 11-year-old,
to decide his fate.

You know my parents.
They did what they could.

At least they did something.

What if it happened
to one of our girls?

No fucking way.

- What?
- He's still with kids.

These people are sick.

I thought he was dead.

Not OK?

Decourtray told us
he was no longer with children.

What a bunch of bastards!

Speak to the police chief?

I'm seeing him.


We did all we could
to protect children.

Your Decourtray and Preynat letters...

We need to use them.

François, be careful.

They're powerful.

Love you, Mum.

I have proof,
a handwritten confession from Preynat.

I know him and Barbarin.
Your story isn't credible.

A complaint has been filed
for child sexual abuse.

I have your number.
I'll call you back.

Our local press is so courageous!

Goodbye, sir.


This is serious.

- How did Barbarin react?
- I'm waiting to hear from him.

- Can I be anonymous?
- You won't take responsibility?

I want to protect my family.

- You understand.
- No, do it. Don't be afraid.

I have a right to be anonymous.

Can I take your letters?

Can I read your article?

Sorry, I don't work that way.


This won't stop me writing an article.

Pay the bill.
I'm meeting the police.

He was charismatic,
a good speaker, well-liked.

A bit of a guru at the parish.

And what happened?

It happened between
5 and 10 times, I think.

In isolated places.

At camp, at St. Luc
or during weekend outings.

He cuddled me like my dad.
It seemed normal.

Did you tell your parents?

Not at first.

Only the last time.


It was at cub scouts.

He asked me to stay after.

We were alone, the lights were off.

He took off my beret and my glasses

and held me close.

To cuddle me.

It lasted...

about 15 minutes.

I still remember

his moans, his hot breath...

the colour of his shirt.

He held me tight...

then suddenly lifted my thigh,

reached in
and touched my behind.

Did his hand go
inside your underpants?

I don't remember him
touching my penis.

But he kissed me on one cheek,

then on the mouth
on his way to the other.

He said it was our secret,
I mustn't tell.

Was the kiss surface or interior?

It was...

a surface kiss, no tongue.

And then?

And then...

I went home and told my brother,

"Preynat likes me,
he kissed me on the mouth."

I was proud.

My brother told our parents,

and they fought
to get him away from children.

That was the end of it for me.

Your mother admits she made
an assumption in her statement

when she said
he undressed you. Did he?

No, never.

My mother
got confused with other stories.

It was very hard on her.

You're within the time limit.

Do you wish to press charges
against Bernard Preynat?

I'll press charges.

But this isn't just about Preynat.

When did the diocese know?
Did Barbarin know?

If so, why did
he leave Preynat in place?

If you want Barbarin's head,
good luck.

Then I'll file a complaint
against the Diocese of Lyon.

They knew, but did nothing
they promised my parents.


- Anything else to add?
- No.

I intend to go to the media.


It has to come out.

I can't have journalists revealing
info ahead of the investigation.

Be reasonable.
Let's avoid sensationalism.

Fucking hell.

You're taking on a man,
I'm taking on an institution.

A system that allowed a paedophile
to commit crimes for years

with impunity.

We're fighting the same fight.

- I hope so.
- Of course we are.

- Yes?
- Hello.

Cardinal Barbarin here.
François Debord?

Yes. Thanks for calling back.

I just saw Chief Courteau.


I was shocked
to discover my parents' letters.

I understand.

We should meet in person
to discuss it.


Are you available mid-November?

That's a bit late.

I'm very busy.
I'm going to Lebanon soon.

I have an idea.

I'm listening.

We should make
a joint statement to the press.

A cardinal and an atheist.
It'd be huge.

I don't understand.

A statement condemning paedophilia.

And the Church's silence.
This is about morality, not faith.

Listen, I don't think

it's a good idea at this time.

But I'm taking it very seriously.

Either way, I'm going public.

- I'm not cancelling Lebanon.
- No.

But you must act quickly.

François, did you hear about Benoit?

- He went to the police too.
- Really?

His mother said
he didn't press charges.

I'm not surprised.

Can I ask you a question

about what happened to François?

Babe, please.

We have nothing to hide.

I'll shut up.

We're listening.

Why didn't you go to the police?

It's hard to explain.

It's true,
we did consider it.

Perhaps we should have.

We had to protect François

from the pressures of the police
and the press.

It's difficult for a child to testify.

He didn't seem very traumatised,
so we left it at that.

We trusted the Church.

I wasn't satisfied.

I called Decourtray.

He said,
"I removed him from St. Luc.

"What more do you want?"

I told him that man
needed psychiatric treatment.

He said he was handling it.
As if!

Can we change the subject?

Of course, honey.

Good morning.

We are dismayed to learn
that one of our priests

is under investigation.

He faces multiple allegations
of child sexual abuse prior to 1991.

As I have in the past,

I firmly condemn all acts
that violate the innocence of youth.

The priest has been stripped
of pastoral duties

and no longer
has contact with children.

As Pope Francis says,

"Families need to know the Church
will always protect children.

"They can put their trust
in the Church,

"for it is a safe house."


I saw your press conference
and applaud your efforts.

There's no point wasting your time

on our November meeting now.

We can cancel it.

Dear sir,
Thank you for writing.

I'll let you decide about the meeting,

but I'd like to hear your story.

Happy All Saints Day
to you and yours.

To be very honest,
I feel no need to be heard or pitied.

My parents were there for me.

Thanks to them, I've moved on.

I feel no animosity towards Preynat,
who is a sick man.

Nor towards the Church.

I'm glad the Church
is searching its soul.

But I'm outraged by the way
Cardinal Decourtray handled it.

His negligence was criminal.

I'll fight for what I believe is right
in my heart and mind.

I respect your followers' faith,
despite my atheism.

Sincerely, François Debord

- Look at this.
- What?

"'At least 20 kids were abused,'

"claims a victim
who was 11 at the time."

That's me!

"After 20 years of silence,
his past caught up with him.

"Father Preynat, now 70,
did not wish to comment.

"The diocese discreetly...

"...placed him in a church home.

"The statute of limitations may spare
him from facing legal actions."

Hi, Chief.

Did you see the article?

Yes, it's incredible.

Did you talk?

No, I've never sought the media.

But I'm glad it's out.

I'm not so sure.

- Any news on your end?
- We found new victims.

I knew you'd be angry.

Please keep quiet.
You'll hurt the investigation.

Sorry, but I disagree.

Your job is to enforce the law.

My job is to inform the public

so these things stop happening.

- François thought he'd moved on.
- I was in my scout uniform.

The shorts are very short.

He took off my beret and glasses.
I put my hands behind my back.

He held me,
and then it happened.

François was sexually abused.

His parents alerted the diocese,

who admitted other children
had reported abuse.

The priest was suspended

and confessed to his superiors.

But 3 weeks ago,
François learned the removal

was only temporary.

The priest was soon
working with children again.

The diocese issued a statement,

but their actions are not explained.

The police are looking for
more recent cases.


You're finally out in the open.

No more hiding.

- We can expect phone calls.
- Of support.

I doubt it.

Our fervent Catholic friends
will be upset.

You did the right thing.

I was a St. Luc scout in 1980.
Way before you.

This goes back at least 35 years.

How old were you?

I was 9 when it started.

When I was 10, I told my mum

I wanted to quit scouts over Preynat.

She understood
and talked to Father Plaquet.

He said Preynat
wouldn't work with children again.

Clearly, that was a lie.

I made the rounds of local media.

Nothing much is happening.

I want to hold
a national press conference.

First we need to find more victims.

- Strength in numbers.
- Know any?

I'm sure some of my friends
were abused.

St. Luc must keep lists of scouts.

No doubt.

Shall we go for it?

I'm in.

Thank you.

What year at St. Luc?


Ah, OK.

Thank you, sir.

"Preynat's a great guy."

Got another?

- Try this one.
- Thanks.

François Debord here.
I was a St. Luc scout.

Father Preynat is under investigation
for paedophilia.


Can you hear me?

Did he hang up?

I understand.

Call me back on this number.

Whenever you like.

Thank you, goodbye.


He was crying.

We're organising
a meeting for victims.

Could you send us your story?

That'd be great.

Thank you.
We'll be in touch.


- That makes 4.
- Not bad.

- Can I help?
- Could you do this list?


It's Tristan, you called me.

- Yes?
- Am I disturbing you?

No, I wasn't sleeping.
I'm listening.

Put it on speaker.

Sorry, it was hard for me to talk.
Since your call,

my mind's been racing.
I vomited tonight.

It feels like he's here.
He's back.

I understand.

Preynat's an old scumbag.
He destroyed me.

You're not alone.

I never told anyone.
My wife, my mother, my son...

No one knows what he did to me.

Do you want to testify?

A police investigation is underway.

I don't know.

The numbers are rising.

One guy said,
"I make love with 3 people.

"Me, my wife and Preynat."

It's hard to rejoice about it.

Any info on the first complainant?

Courteau didn't tell you?

No, he's wary of me.
But happy to use our work.

Listen up, everyone.
We're about to start.

- Go ahead, François.
- Thanks.

Gilles got the idea to create
a website for the association.

It will include articles,

facts, letters and testimonies.

It'll be accessible to everyone.

A source of information
and support for victims.

Speaking of victims,

we need to find more,
time-banned or not.

We're counting on you
for the January press conference.

That soon?

The investigation ends in January.
It'll be examined in February.

We need to put pressure
on the District Attorney

and make some noise.

Do we have to testify?

You can be anonymous.

But we'll leave a trace,
like Auschwitz survivors.

Is that a good example?

It's about avoiding the gory details.

"He sucked me, I fondled him..."
No one wants to read that.

I have a question.
What'll happen to Preynat?

Courteau says he could go to prison.

He'll face misdemeanour charges,
unless he's accused of rape.

Any form of penetration.
Sorry to be blunt.

Sodomy, fellatio...
Those are felonies.

And victims under 15
make it more serious.

But his lawyers will evoke
the statute of limitations.

So it's important to see Courteau.

Dominique, can you explain?

I'm Gilles' wife
and a crime victim therapist.

Some of you have probably

built up defences
and repressed your feelings.

You may hesitate to testify.

I'll just say one thing.

Putting personal memories into words

and having a supportive
legal representative listen to you

and validate your experience
as real, painful and unacceptable,

will truly help you find peace.

It feels good to let it out.

- More quiche, anyone?
- No, thanks.

Mum, we're not done.

I'm sorry, honey.

Thank you.

Gilles and I are drafting
an open letter

about the silence around Preynat.

It'll be published in Le Progrès
and we'll have a full page in...

La Tribune.

What'll it say?

It's a letter to the Church

and those who looked away
and remained silent.

Good Catholics complicit
in the code of silence.

They'll never be judged,
but they are guilty

with regard to their children.
All of them.

We have a strong title: Shame on You.

A publicity stunt could be risky.

We should avoid accusations.

Sending kids to scouts isn't wrong.

Not listening to kids is wrong.

But I'm sure most did.

I agree with Fabrice and Fred.

We should be guided by justice,
not revenge.

Thanks for the reminder.
That's why we're here.

What I meant was,

those who were silent
should be held accountable.

I know I couldn't live with it.

- Hello?
- François?

- We found him.
- Who?

The first complainant.

Through a fellow victim.

Our association is
Lift the Burden of Silence.

Our lawyer is registering us.

I'm President, Gilles is Secretary.
You could be Treasurer.

I don't know.

I've gone as far as I can
with the Church.

You don't need me.

But we do.

Courteau found me thanks to you.

You started this.

We need your voice,
you lend credibility.

After all your hard work,
why stop now?

I'm concerned about my job.

And I consult
for a TV station in Paris.

We'll keep you off the front lines.

My wife teaches at Lazaristes.
People are talking.

My kids are enrolled there.

I'm a surgeon.

Half my patients are ultra-Catholic.

Barbarin supporters,
anti-gay marriage...

They won't leave me over this.

I'm a Catholic like you.

I'm doing this for the Church,
not against it.


- Where's your third wheel?
- Coming.

- I hope so.
- I'll call him.

Come in.

Sorry, traffic.

- Thanks.
- So glad you came.



It's snowballing on social media.

We've gathered about 60 testimonies.

Families are opening up.
Churches too.

You're attacking a powerful institution,
centuries old.

- It'll be difficult.
- We know.

We want to push the Church to evolve.

We can't expect convictions,
other than Preynat.

But we may be able to change
the statute of limitations.

The public needs to know
20 years is too short.

Victims need time
to wake up and speak out.

I reviewed your statement.

Needs work.


We'll go over it together.

No time.
The site must be up by Christmas.

We need members and funds.

We must act fast.

We're preparing a press kit
for the reporters.

So no. Sorry.



But let me read everything.

We must avoid libel.

No problem.

Christmas is fast approaching.

It takes 5 days to go online.
We need typesetting, photography...

- Coming for lunch?
- No, I'm busy.


- See you soon.
- Real soon.

- He's a bit freaky.
- No more than you.

Think I freak him out?

Your priest bashing
is not his cup of tea.

I've mellowed on that.

Still, you need to rewrite your text.

Yes, Father.
I'll do my homework.

Or it's straight to the photo lab!

"I expected more media coverage.

"So we founded
Lift the Burden of Silence

"to support victims
of Father Preynat's abuse.

"Our press conference
on January 12, 2016

"will finally get the news out.

"On our website,
anyone can join for 10 euros.

"This is a call to arms.

"Join us, and share our message."


It's good, it's clear.

- When'd you post it?
- Yesterday on Facebook.

- Any responses?
- A few, mostly workmates.

- Your parents?
- Yeah, right away.


Not yet.

Madeleine, Aurélien, come finish.

Leave them be, it's Christmas.

Christmas is tomorrow.
No presents yet.

I know you're excited,
but please wait.

What time is midnight mass?

Take a guess.

For kids it's 10 or 11, right?

The poster said midnight.

Mum, are we going?

- If you like.
- Dad?

I won't be going, sweetie.

Make an effort for Christmas.


More turkey, anyone?

No thanks.

I'll get the cheese.

Thanks, Mum.
Thanks, my love.

It was delicious.

Want me to go to church?

Yes, for your children.

On this beautiful Christmas Eve
with my family,

full of love and joy,

I want to toast my brother.

François, please...

Here we go.

- Louis.
- Yes?

Thank you.

For your legendary
generosity and goodwill.

Are you drunk or what?

For months now, I've taken every risk

for a cause I believe in.
One I'd die for.

I don't ask much.
10 symbolic euros.

I must be naive or stupid
to think my family,

my brother in particular,
support me.

No response.
And you want me to go to church!

I just got the email.
It's the holidays.

Exactly, we're together every day!
Not a fucking word!

Don't get hysterical.
Want 10 euros? You got it.

You're so generous.
I'm impressed.

Now, of all times?

Keep it.
Stick it straight up your arse!

François, enough!

Please, François.

Louis, your silence

is a real betrayal.

What now?
You're insane.

Easy, Louis.

You don't care if others suffer.

Oh please!

You're not the only one
suffering here.

We're sick of your association.

The truth finally comes out!

The truth is
we're sick of your priest shit!

That's the truth!

It's all Mum and Dad talk about.

Do you even realise? No.

It's always been this way.

Everything revolves
around your fucking problems.

You take up all the space!

You fucked up our whole childhood.

And it continues, Mum.

Right. Know what?
You succeeded.

Even Mum is under your influence.

What do you mean?

You want cremation now,
no religious funeral.

Where'd that come from?

I didn't even know.

- Louis...
- Dad, seriously.

Never mind.

All is well, Dad.

All is well. I'm leaving.

I'm going to bed.

You know he didn't mean it.

Sure he did.

He's jealous.

When I should be.

He's got diplomas, a business...

He's got 2 big houses!

But to him you'll always be
the favourite son.

- Thanks, Mum.
- Text when you arrive.


Drive safe.


Lord Jesus

Teach us to be generous

To serve you as we should

To give and not count the cost

To fight and not heed the wounds

To toil and not seek for rest

To labour and not ask for reward...

- I'm kind of flipping out.
- Why?

You know Tristan, who calls at night?

He sent me his testimony.

It all came flooding back to him.

He was raped for 3 years.

- Raped?
- By fellatio, yes.

- Is he time-banned?
- Yes, he's over 50.

Preynat was a real pig with him.

He had hearing problems
and was diagnosed autistic.

Preynat took advantage,
knowing he wouldn't talk.

He dined with the family
and took their cheques.


Will Tristan let us post it?

I think he will.

Your press conference text looks good.

But it's too long.

You need to be more neutral, factual.

Take out the poetry and the anger.

Testimonies and facts
work in our favour.

We provide info,
the journalists add indignation.

Our lawyer will agree.

What's the plan?

You read your text.

I answer the questions.

Fabrice presents the website.

And Alexandre...

I'm not sure I can make it.

- You're kidding?
- Sorry.

I have to be in Paris.

Our approach is secular, apolitical,
democratic, civic.

Our mission is positive change.

We have 40 members.
10 are victims.

Among them are
business leaders, IT experts,

financial analysts, doctors.

We are a powerful network,

highly motivated,
dedicated to our cause.

I won't reiterate the facts:
sexual abuse against minors.

A preliminary investigation has begun,
the case will be examined.

As we've come together,

we've realised
the horrifying scope of this case.

Children have been broken,
families torn apart,

religious faith shaken.

The overwhelming evidence,

coupled with the diocese's
shocking irresponsibility,

lead us to ask 3 questions:

Monsignor Barbarin,

Why didn't the ecclesiastical court
try Preynat,

given the number of complaints?

Monsignor Barbarin,

How long have you known
Bernard Preynat is a paedophile?

Monsignor Barbarin,

How long has the Vatican known
Bernard Preynat is a paedophile?

On behalf of the victims,
their parents,

their children, your followers,

innocent priests now tarnished,

French citizens,

laypersons, clergy

and society at large,

we urge you to answer
these 3 questions publicly.

The world is watching.

And waiting for answers.

Thank you.

Are you whistle-blowers?


- Glad you came.
- Glad I could.

- This is Alexander, the catalyst.
- Hello.

May we ask a few questions?

Go ahead.

I'll hold this.


You were the first
to contact Monsignor Barbarin?

- It's a little scary.
- Naturally.


- My wife.
- Nice to meet you.

Thank you very much.

See you soon.


- Know her?
- A little.

She's a journalist
I met with François.

- Did I talk too fast?
- You were perfect.

Your father
has something to tell you.

How are you, Dad?

- You were great, François.
- Thanks.

You spoke very calmly.

You know...

I spoke to your brother.


He gave me this for you.

Thank you.

Thank you, Dad.

Mum, it's me.

How are you?

- I stopped at the bakery.
- Thanks. I made coffee.

Got any mail for me?

Yes. I'll get it.

I cut out some articles for you.

- About what?
- Have a look.

- Want a croissant?
- No thanks.

"We're here to speak the truth"

Victims of Paedophile Priest
Break the Silence

Easy, stay calm.

Easy now.

That's it.

You'll be alright.

I have to write to them.

Wait a bit.

Today I stopped by my mother's
and she showed me the articles.

I also was a victim,
from 1988 to 1991,

of that priest, Father Preynat.

I have photos of the Ireland trip.
My mum was a chaperone.

I didn't tell her until I was 17.

My mother rented an apartment
across from that church.

I know it by heart.

This was in Ireland.

I'm too emotional
to explore the website.

I needed to click "contact" first.

At 30, I was diagnosed a zebra.

That's why I was bad in school
and unstable in work and love.

Always in survival mode.

A zebra? What's that?

A term used for prodigies.
My IQ is over 140.

Zebras are too intelligent to adapt.

But intelligence never
made anyone happy.

When was Preynat?

1988 to 1991.

25 years ago.

I've been waiting for this moment.

For someone to talk, so I can too.

- Do you have help?
- What do you mean?

Are you seeing a psychiatrist?
It can help.

I've done tons of things.

Therapy, hypnosis, Sufi dance...

The only thing
that helps me is sport.

- I understand.
- It clears my head.

I'm with you guys all the way.

Preynat has to go to prison.
He has to pay.

I worked for Euronews TV
a few years back.

I could call
and get them to do a story.

Why not? Good idea.

You need to give
Chief Courteau a statement.

He's handling the investigation.

Then write your story
so we can post it.

- No problem.
- Great.

It feels good knowing I'm not alone.

It's important.

You could've waited.

I was hungry.
I'm up early tomorrow.


So, how'd it go?

Nice guy, a fighter.

Is he rich?

Like many scouts.

Except you.

What're you doing tomorrow?

Seeing my mum at the hospital.

Is she doing better?

I don't think so.

Will you come?

No, I have to see the police.

Good luck...

Aren't you tired of being mean?

Just kidding.

Very funny.

My mum and I arrived in Lyon
in February 1988.

We're from Strasbourg.
I was 8.

A lady told my mum about St. Luc
for scouts and catechism.

I met Father Preynat there.

He was nice.

I was a good boy,
I believed in God.

Early 1989,
I forget the exact date,

I entered the church
downstairs on the right.

He asked me to go with him
to his office for supplies.

It lasted 5 or 10 minutes.

But the second time, he...


He pulled my shirt out of my shorts,

rubbed my penis through the fabric,

then slid his hand
inside my underwear...

rubbed my penis in a circular motion

and kissed me softly on the mouth.

- Did you tell anyone?
- No, I didn't.

Sex was taboo.

And it was at church.

I was troubled
by my parents' divorce and the move.

Once I told my mum he kissed me,

but nothing came of it.

Did you tell your friends?

No one talked about it.

But I saw him taking
other kids into his office.

When did it end?

When he was transferred,
supposedly to care for the elderly.

Early 1991.

Anything else to add?


After he molested me, I had...

a way of masturbating as a teenager.

Like his circular motion.

It led to a deformation
of my penis during erection.

Is that a handicap for you?

No, not right now.

I have a normal sex life,
in a relationship.

But it makes me insecure
when it comes to women.

I see.

Pressing charges?

Of course.



- Was it OK?
- Wanna read it?


- I stole a copy of my statement.
- You did?


I didn't know the details.

- I'll send it to the association.
- Good.

What does Jennifer say?

- She's happy for me.
- Good.

Will you two come for dinner?

No, I have to go home.

I'm proud of you.



- Emmanuel Thomassin?
- Speaking.

I'm Chief Courteau
from the Preynat case.

I'm calling about the statement
you made today.

Are you free tomorrow at 9
to confront Father Preynat?


We must act fast,
he's being indicted.

You won't be the only one
confronting him.

Others are within the time limit.

- Can I bring my mum?
- No.

Only a lawyer, if you wish.

- I see.
- OK?


Thanks. See you then.

See you then.


Gotta call my lawyer.

Don't call that bitch.


She was useless against your ex.

Shut your face and get lost.

I'll be straight with you.

The case goes back 25 years.
He'll probably deny it.

I'll kill him if he does.

Don't say that.
You're not a killer.

Time to go.

- Did you take your pills?
- No.

Be brave.

See you later.

- Come in, have a seat.
- Thanks.

It's little Emmanuel!
How are you?

This isn't scouts.
Mr Thomassin is an adult.

Speak to him as such.

Please be seated, Mr Preynat.

Hello, Madam.

I'll let you read
Mr Thomassin's statement.

Mr Preynat, do you admit
to Mr Thomassin's allegations?


I admit to the allegations.

You abused him repeatedly
in your office?


Everything he says is true.

You understand
you had power over children?

At the time no, but now...

I understand

I may have caused them

some harm.

Do you think this young man
has suffered?


I think he has suffered.

But you know...

I spoke to my hierarchy many times.

No one did anything.

Your hierarchy?

- They knew?
- Yes.

They all knew,
starting with Monsignor Decourtray.

- Up to Cardinal Barbarin?
- Yes!

And they did nothing?

What exactly
did you tell your hierarchy?

That I had a problem with kids.

That's all?
Nothing more precise?


Mr Courteau,

I'd like to say something else.

We're listening.

Emmanuel, my boy...

Treat him like an adult.

Mr Preynat, please.

I'd like to say today
to Emmanuel...

I'm sorry for what I did to you, son.

No familiarity, please.

For what I did to you.

Mr Thomassin?

You betrayed my trust.

And the trust of thousands
who attended that church.

I was a child.

Your little game destroyed me.

You destroyed my idea of a father.

So I will never forgive you.

Do you have anything to add?

Take him away.

Goodbye, Mr Preynat.

It's over.

That son of a bitch.

- How'd it go?
- I don't know.

Nadia, my lawyer.

He admitted it
and said his hierarchy knew.

- He's just a sick man, but...
- He must be condemned!

Yes, and the Church's silence too.

François, we have to go.

Call me.

Good luck.

Attack the Preynator!

- What's this?
- Congratulations.

- For what?
- You won.

What'd I win?

"Father Preynat, 71,

"is under investigation

"for child sexual abuse and rape
by a person of authority."


I think I'll call my father.

What for?

To see if he knows
about the association.

He'd be proud to see
what we're doing,

and to know I'm involved.

- Does he know about Preynat?
- No.

Then what's the point?

It effected my sexuality.

I was confused.

Not about which gender I preferred,

but I wasn't comfortable with love.

I was a precocious child,
what's known as a zebra.

I was a quick learner.

But I didn't benefit from it.

I didn't do well in school.

What do you want now?

I want Preynat convicted.
So others feel they can testify too.

I want new laws,
in the Church and in general.

No more statute of limitations.

I have 2 children.
I hope you'll change things.

That's why we're fighting.

Thanks again.

See you around.

- Know when it'll be on?
- Not yet.

- I'll text you the date.
- Thanks.

Thank you. Goodbye.

- Goodbye.
- Good luck.

Enjoy that?

- What?
- Talking to that reporter slut.

Stop, please.

You get off
playing the victim for her.

You want her to call you
and suck your cock!

- At least she'd suck it.
- Arsehole!

What's wrong?
What's your problem?

Wish you were on TV?
You only got a trial.

You're jealous.

You're pathetic.


Why do you react this way?

I don't understand.

You should support me.
You've been there.

Come on.

That's all.
You can get dressed.

You do in fact have
a curved penis.

It could be Peyronie's disease.

My lawyer wants to establish
a clear link to the abuse I suffered.

As evidence for the trial.

I understand, but...

The curve may have begun
during puberty,

after a blunt impact
or unusual movements.

He rubbed in a circle.

But it was 20 years ago.

That's when
I could've made a diagnosis.

And for some men,
a curved penis is natural, genetic.

You might be one of them.

All I can do is...

- Hello.
- Hello, Emmanuel.

- How are you?
- Good, you?


A doctor's certificate would've helped,

but we can still use it
as evidence.

Wanna see photos?


Of my penis,
what he did to me.

It's not necessary.

Shall we get started?

Does everyone know
about Preynat's indictment?

It sent shockwaves
through the diocese.

Barbarin keeps contradicting himself.

First he said he learned
through Alexandre in 2014.

Now he says he learned in 2007.

It's no coincidence.

His lawyers told him about
the statute of limitations.

He could be exonerated,

which is immoral
because he knew and said nothing.

We'll keep working with our lawyer

to get him and his acolytes accused

and convicted
for cover-up and endangerment.

- And the canonical trial?
- We wrote to Barbarin and the Pope.

No news yet.

The media exposure
should prompt them to act.

Excuse me.

Speaking of exposure,

I want to follow up
on my idea from last week.

I found a pilot.
He'll do it for 3,000 euros.

A pilot?

Explain for those who missed it.

In addition to our legal action
against Barbarin,

we need a big shot of exposure.

I thought we could do skywriting.


An airplane will draw in the sky,
over the basilica,

a big dick with our logo.


Aren't we dropping brochures?

No, a giant dick!

We're asking the Church,
"What shocks you more?

"A dick, or paedophile priests?"

That's a bit much.

We can do one over the Vatican too.

That's 8,000 but he'll do it for 4,000

because it's funny and
we're an association.

Imagine the global coverage.

A dick in the sky is ridiculous.

We need something powerful
that highlights the association.

Something like
"Paedophilia: No More Church Silence".

That's way too long.

Hold the meeting alone,
if you prefer.

That's not what I meant.

Sorry, I meant feasibility.

Otherwise you're right.

Our website address would be great,
but it's too long.

I love the idea.

- Obviously, he's your man.
- Seriously.

Shocking images create a buzz.

If I see a logo in the sky,
I assume it's an ad and look away.

A dick speaks to people.

True enough.

It's far less shocking
than their actions.

You two amaze me.

It's grassroots, guys!

The idea has merit.

But with a dick in the sky,

we need precise terms
to convey our message.

This isn't about dicks or even sex.

It's about priests' sexuality,
a taboo subject.

Paedophilia in particular.

If we keep it cerebral, spiritual,
I'm on board.

I agree with you, Fabrice.
But we need clickbait.

A big buzz.
So what if we piss people off?

It'll be funny
and put pressure on the diocese,

politicians and prosecutors.

The Basilica's image
is copyright protected.

We'd need a release
for any media use,

and they wouldn't be happy.

We don't care if they're happy.

It's like the giant condom
on the obelisk in Paris.

It created a buzz, sure.
But it's so controversial.

That's the world we live in.
We have no choice.

Easter would be a good date.

You bet.
As long as the skies are clear.

I'm against it.
It's too shocking for the average Joe.

Shock value is cheap.

We can't look crazy.

Excuse me.

It's our lawyer, Nadia.

Good time to hit the buffet.

- Are you Alexandre?
- Yes, hi.

- I'm Emmanuel.
- Nice to meet you.

I read your story on our website.

It's crazy they made you pray
hand in hand with Preynat.

My wife, Marie.


Nice to meet you.

- I was moved by your story.
- Thank you.


The dick over the basilica is off.


Nadia says
we'd be slapped with a libel suit.

- I should've been a lawyer.
- Yeah, you should've.

- Something to drink?
- White wine.

By the way,
can someone take over the hotline?

I can't keep it up.

We get calls from victims
and the media 24/7.

I'm wiped out. Anyone?


I'm Emmanuel's mum.

I can take the calls, I'm retired.

I've got time.

Great, thanks.

- Are you sure?
- You bet.

- Good evening.
- Alexandre. My wife Marie.

- Something to drink?
- Yes, thanks.


I used to imagine
torturing Preynat in a basement,

ripping out his eyes
and fingers one by one

so he'd really suffer!

- Like in Reservoir Dogs?
- I didn't see it.

He cuts the guy's ear off.

Then he talks to it. So cool!

Bedtime, boys.

You're up early.


Goodnight, guys.
No nightmares, no severed ears.


Great kids.

Marie raised them right.

We get along well.
We talk about everything.

The exact opposite of my parents.

And mine.

The texts my mum sent me
about all this!

You didn't spare her.

I'll read you one I sent her.

"Mum, we're not anti-church.
Barbarin protected a paedophile.

"Having to suck or jack off a priest
when you're 9 is horrifying.

"You didn't protect us.
We're protecting the children we were.

"We're victims.
We no longer live in shame or fear."

Packs a punch.

- Her response?
- Trivialities.

"We love you, honey.
Take care of yourself.

"Beware the media."

- I'll go.
- Yeah?

Coffee in the living room?

You're such a beautiful family.

I admire you.


I have nothing.

No family, no job...

A toxic relationship
with my girlfriend.

It hasn't always
been easy for us either.

But you're still together.
You support him.

That's true.

I don't know how you do it.

It's hard to live with zebras like us.

Sorry, did I say something wrong?

It's nothing. I'm sorry.

Are you OK?

I'll tell you something
the other members don't know.


I've been able to help Alexandre
through his trauma with the Church

because his fight is also mine.

Right, I get that.

I mean I was abused too.

It was a neighbour.

A family friend.
Everyone loved him.

He's dead now, so it's too late.

And if I said anything,
my family would blow up.

It takes courage
to speak out and expose yourself.

I never could.

That's why I admire you all.

Thank you.

- Who is it?
- Me.

- Who?
- Emmanuel.

- Emmanuel's here.
- Let him in.

You should've called.

I just thought I'd drop in
and say hi.

- Mashed potatoes?
- Sure, thanks.

Dad, did you get what I sent you?


- Did you look at it?
- Listen...

We all have our problems.

Quite a stir,
with your association.

I thought you should know.

To understand our relationship,
why I suffered as a child.

It's all your mother's fault.

She sent you there.

She didn't know.

You know what I think of her.

She got what she deserved.
She turned you against me.

You're not the victim here.

I am.


Cut the crap.

You're a man now.

- Make something of your life.
- This is my life.

Lift the Burden is my life.
You don't get it.

You never get anything.
Sorry I bothered you!

Don't go!

- What a dumb idea.
- We're happy to see you.

I'm sorry, Nicole.

Please stay.

Tell that old fart to fuck off.

You could've made an effort.

- Anything else?
- No thanks.

That'll be...

6 euros, please.


You knew Father Preynat?

Oh yeah.

I'm one of his victims.

I was at St. Luc.

I was a scout.

Want to talk about it?

No, no.

I'm fine, thanks.

See you.

Yes, Madam.


Of course I understand.



I know it's hard,
but it'd be good for you

to get it all down on paper.

Call me whenever you like.
Stay strong.

The phone's ringing off the hook.

At least 3 new victims.

- A nun cake, how sweet.
- You earned it.

I saw Etienne, the baker's son.

- I think he was abused too.
- Did he say so?

Not directly, but I understood.

I'm not surprised.
He still lives at home.

Aside from the bakery,
he has no life.

Think he'll testify?

I doubt it.

It'd be bad
for his parents' business.

5 bakeries in Lyon,
and they're very Catholic.

Are you holding up?

And Jennifer?

We're taking a break.

How sad.

I'm tired.

She can't handle me doing better.

I went to see my dad.

- What for?
- To talk to him.


He says we all have our problems.

You can't change him.

- Was Nicole there?
- Yes.

Mum, do you remember?

One day after catechism
I told you Preynat kissed me.


I remember vaguely.

Why didn't you say anything?

I couldn't imagine such a thing.

Remember, after church
he kissed all the kids.

I couldn't imagine him... you..

I'm angry at myself now.

Lift the Burden, I'm listening.

Good afternoon, sir.

Of course.

I'm listening.

I pledge to do my best

On my honour

To praise you

My dear Lord

I want to love you always

More with each passing day

Protect my promise

Lord Jesus

Faithful to my homeland
I will always be...

Come pray, Emmanuel.

Monsignor Barbarin, why did you
believe Father Preynat in 2007/08?

I take people at their word.

That has caused the biggest flurry.

And rightly so.


My first concern was the children.

I asked him if any children
had been harmed,

assaulted or bothered since 1990.

He said,

"No, never. I promise you.

"I'm too horrified by what I did."

I admit I believed him.

If I'm proven wrong,
if there were further incidents...

it will be truly tragic.

I understand the victims
experienced extreme trauma.

Once again, personally,

I never covered up a single crime.

By the grace of God,
the statutes of limitations expired.

Not all of them, perhaps.
The courts will decide.

Excuse me,
do you realise how shocking that is?

"By the grace of God?"


What I meant was,
the statutes have legally expired.

But "by the grace of God"
means fortunately.

Yes, I understand.
I admit it was a poor choice of words.

And they know.

When I met that victim,
I asked him to send me his letter.

I was truly horrified.

The first thing I did,
even though the statutes had expired,

was send it to Rome.

And Rome said,

"No. This is unacceptable.

"Remove him from ministry."

Thank you for correcting me.

What about the canonical trial?

I asked Pope Francis if he could
waive the statute of limitations.

He agreed to do so.

The trial will last several weeks.

Priests will study the evidence,
hear testimonies

and render a canonical verdict.

Could Father Preynat be defrocked?

It's conceivable.

I'd like to make a toast.

To all of you.

To our work in the association,

that will get Preynat
tried and convicted.

Along with, I hope,
the Church and Barbarin.

And I want to say thank you

for everything you've done.

For your support.

It's changed my life.

It's given it meaning

and worth.

Now I know,

thanks to you,
that everything we went through

was for a reason.

Don't make us cry!

To us,
Lyon Citizens of the Year!

Imagine Barbarin
when he heard the news!

Cheers, everyone.

I'll bring dessert.

I'll help you.

While we're giving speeches,
I'll add that Dominique and I

have finished our work.

How so?

We did a great job.

We covered all the media,
except World of Animals.

We reached our goal.

- Preynat will be judged.
- There's more to it.

You know that.

The Church denies its errors,
refuses to evolve.

What Gilles didn't mention is...

we need time to ourselves again,

as a couple and as a family.

The association is draining,
emotionally and professionally.

Our lives have been shaken up,
as Emmanuel said.

I understand you need to step back.

Everything's in place.

The lawyers and judges
will take it from here.

That kills the mood.


But we mustn't become circus freaks.

Excuse me?

Put victims first again.

We're victims.

I mean the other victims.

Is there a date for the trial?


I'm worried.
Preynat is old.

What happens
if he dies or kills himself?


No trial.

It'd all be for nothing.

He'll never kill himself.
He's too arrogant.

He could have an accident.

Stop the conspiracy theories.

A lot of people
want him to disappear.

Beyond the Church, even.

All the bankers and politicians
in Lyon support Barbarin.

Well, I have some good news.

I've applied for apostasy.

What's that?

It's when you officially
renounce your faith.


That's a shame.
And sad.

My values are human.
No Catholic hypocrisy for me.

Our daughter
won't do her sacraments.

Baptism and faith
override the institution.

I get it, François.

It's a strong political statement.

We have to fight the institution
from the inside.

It's stronger to be inside.

How can you say that?

Your experience proves the opposite.

It'd be awesome if we all got...

- Apostatised.
- Then we alert the press.

Imagine the headlines.

"Lift the Burden
Quits the Catholic Church"

It'd be amazing.


Just a thought.

Dessert, anyone?

- No thanks, I'm going for a smoke.
- Me too.


Want a ride, Emmanuel?

No, I'm good.

- Thanks.
- Goodnight.

Thanks, see you soon.

Bye, everyone. Happy holidays.

Right, Merry Christmas!

- Are you OK?
- Yeah.

- You're home late.
- Mum gave me permission.

Tomorrow's Sunday.

- Out with Elodie?
- Yes.

- Have fun?
- We went to a party.

It was nice.
How was your dinner?

OK. A bit tense.

We celebrated
our Lyon Citizens award.


- Know who won last year?
- No.

- Guess.
- No idea.


No way!




Do you still believe in God?

Father Preynat is presumed innocent.

No date has been set for his trial.

On March 7, 2019, Cardinal Barbarin

received a 6-month
suspended prison sentence

for failing to report
child sexual abuse.

He has appealed
and is still presumed innocent.

In August 2018,
the statute of limitations

was extended to 30 years
from the age of majority.