The power of the movie Spotlight 

I loved the movie Spotlight, about a group of Boston Globe reporters who uncovered and reported on the alleged abuse and rape performed by Catholic priests and its ensuing cover-up. The movie’s ensemble cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy, and Stanley Tucci, has been nominated for six Oscars and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, among others. The movie is so well-written, acted, directed. Really what more can I say?


Well there is more. Spotlight was highlighted in the LA Times today because it was screened at a Vatican commission on clerical sex abuse. Here’s what LA Times correspondent, Tom Kington, wrote:

A Vatican commission on clerical sex abuse gathered Thursday for a private screening of Spotlight, the Oscar-nominated film about abuse by Boston priests, even as Pope Francis came under fire for failing to act on the crisis.

The extraordinary screening was held on the eve of a three-day meeting by the commission, and was shown in the same church residence in central Rome where Francis then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stayed before his election as pope in 2013.

The film is extremely worrying about the cover-up of abuse in the Catholic Church, and I think it would be a good moment for the pope to see it, said Peter Saunders, a British anti-abuse campaigner who is a member of the commission. He was abused by a Catholic priest as a child growing up in London.

Francis set up the abuse commission in 2014, appointing clergy and abuse survivors as members, and handing leadership to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who took over the Boston archdiocese after the Boston Globe exposed rampant abuse by priests events portrayed in Spotlight. The commission was charged with finding ways to better protect children from abuse by priests.

The pope was not reported to have been at the screening, which was closed to reporters. The Vatican has not officially commented on Spotlight, but Vatican Radio praised it last fall as ˜honest’ and ˜compelling.’

Hopefully this powerful film will spur the Vatican to be more aggressive in the way the church handles abuse.


And go see Spotlight the movie. It’s one of last year’s best.

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