TONITE: Shout At The Devil

VARIETY: Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented retirement and subsequent enthusiasm surrounding Pope Francis has certainly stoked interest in the Catholic Church, an organization (with apologies to Dan Brown’s readers) that remains shrouded in mystery. Yet PBS’ “Frontline” provides the documentary version of a page-turner with “Secrets of the Vatican,” a look at scandals that may have led to Benedict’s departure and could provide formidable challenges to Francis’ reform attempts. For all the coverage pertaining to pedophile priests, writer-producer-director Antony Thomas unearths fresh material, painting a portrait of an institution that still mightily endeavors to keep its secrets buried. Because so much has been done about the clergy abuse story – including HBO’s stomach-turning “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” from filmmaker Alex Gibney — one might think there’s relatively little new to say. Yet Thomas’ multi-pronged report covers not just sexual abuse and the manner in which the Vatican protected such predators, but also corruption and hypocrisy that goes well beyond that, including a “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture consisting of illicit liaisons and wild parties. MORE