Posts Tagged spotlight

Editorial: Best Picture win for ‘Spotlight’ is fitting humiliation for church / National Catholic Reporter

The public humiliation for the Catholic church is now as thorough as one might expect in a culture where what is on screen is often the most persuasive element in fashioning public opinion.

“In the case of priests sexually abusing children and bishops and others hiding their crimes, the biblical resonance might now finally be felt: the first have been ushered, publicly, to their place in the last seats. The last have been made first — and given a special place (even on stage with Lady Gaga). No longer need victims hide or fear to explain themselves. The mighty, indeed, have fallen from their thrones; the humble have been exalted …

“The movie powerfully illustrated what the church utterly failed to realize about itself: that the act of abuse, horrible as it is in any circumstance, was magnified in its unspeakable specifics because an all-male, celibate culture was so protective of its own status and privilege, so closed in on itself, that it was deaf to the searing pleas of children, parents, congregations and the few souls within its ranks who dared to speak the truth.”

By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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‘Spotlight’ takes home Best Picture honors at Oscars / National Catholic Reporter

“‘Spotlight,’ the film that follows The Boston Globe’s investigation into the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church, won best picture at the 88th Academy Awards held on Sunday (Feb. 28) night.

“‘This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,’ producer Michael Sugar said in accepting the Oscar.

“‘Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,’ he added.

“‘We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters,’ said Blye Pagon Faust, another ‘Spotlight’ producer. ‘Not only do they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.'”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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With ‘Spotlight’ movie an award contender, Catholic reform movement assesses scandal / National Catholic Reporter (‘Spotlight’ received Best Picture Oscar a few days after the post was made)

The critically acclaimed movie ‘Spotlight’ could receive a Best Picture Oscar this Sunday. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its cover up in the Boston archdiocese has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide.

“But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics — determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal — formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.

“VOTF continues its work nearly a decade and half later because the scandal remains — ‘a mass psychological dysfunction hidden in plain sight, which has stretched back decades or even centuries and will, unchecked, do precisely the same in the future,’ according to Peter Bradshaw’s “Spotlight” review in The Guardian.

“Amid the passionate indignation the scandal created, VOTF grew rapidly to comprise an international membership. Key to members is to remain faithful Catholics and to help redress and prevent scandal by changing the way the Church operates …”

By Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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The movie ‘Spotlight’ and the Church’s need for outsiders / Association of Catholics in Ireland

Warned by media and friends to compare the movie Spotlight with the 1976 classic All the President’s Men I am now intensely grateful for that misdirection. It meant that Spotlight was a complete surprise, and a stunning reminder of the Catholicism that for most of my own lifetime did not want to look closely at clerical sexual abuse of children …

“So far none of the reviews of Spotlight that I have read have noticed that at every level this 2015 movie not only overturns the Hollywood clichés of All the President’s Men, it defies the Hollywood star-as-hero convention also, and obliges us – if we are paying close attention – to re-examine all of our own assumptions about heroes and villains and the triumph of good over evil. Those who find the 1976 movie superior need to think again.

“To start with, few will come out of Spotlight remembering the individual names of the team who finally exposed the scale of concealment of clerical child sex abuse in Boston. The reason is the superior understanding on the part of writers, director and cast of the haphazard nature of ‘heroism’ – and of the even more important fact that no one is always a hero, or always necessarily a villain either.”

By Sean O’Conaill, Association of Catholics in Ireland — Click here to read the rest of this review. Sean O’Conaill also is a member of Voice of the Faithful in Ireland.

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“Spotlight” and its revelations / The New Yorker

The feature film “Spotlight” about The Boston Globe’s investigation of Catholic clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston has been in wide release in the U.S. for nearly three weeks and continues to open eyes and garner critical acclaim. This story in The New Yorker is by its roving cultural correspondent, Sarah Larson.

“Since seeing the movie “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe investigation of sexual abuse and coverups in the Catholic Church, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and the questions it raises—about how far institutions will go to protect themselves, about who we listen to and protect, about who and what we ignore, about the power of disclosure and even conversation …”

And how did Catholics react after the events depicted in the movie?

“In the movie, the revelations of the Spotlight investigation make (Globe Spotlight team member Sasha) Pfeiffer too uneasy to keep going to Mass with her grandmother. I asked how her grandmother reacted in real life. ‘She was shocked and saddened, but she stuck with the Church till the day she died,’ Pfeiffer said. ‘Some people left the Church; others tried to change it from within, like the group Voice of the Faithful; others loved their parish, they loved their pastor, and they sort of said, ‘Oh, that’s terrible,’ and they kept going to Mass.’”

Click here to read the rest of this story …

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Panel on ‘Spotlight’ film explores priest sex abuse scandal, institutional cover-up and advocacy for vicitms / Harvard Law Today

The film “Spotlight” focuses on the dogged pursuit by Boston Globe reporters to expose the Catholic Church’s cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by Boston priests. But there is much more to the story, as evidenced by a wide-ranging panel discussion of the movie last week at Harvard Law School that touched on legal issues, secrets and shame, and even a potential lawsuit against the filmmakers.

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Dean of Students Office, the panel featured Josh Singer ’01, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Tom McCarthy; Mitchell Garabedian, who represented dozens of plaintiffs in suits against the church (and was depicted by Stanley Tucci in a prominent role in the movie); and HLS professors Jeannie Suk ’02 and Lawrence Lessig, with Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 moderating. In the audience were Ben Bradlee Jr. and Michael Rezendes, journalists from the Globe who were also depicted in the film, and who participated in the discussion.

By Lewis Rice, Harvard Law Today — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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A Catholic contemplates ‘Spotlight’ / WBUR-FM

For Catholics, ‘Spotlight’ landed in theaters this holiday season like the proverbial coal in the Christmas stocking. Watching the recounting of The Boston Globe’s clergy pedophile investigation resurrected old feelings in this practicing Catholic. I seethed again at the men who committed these crimes and covered them up. (Full disclosure: In my past life, I was the Globe’s freelance religion columnist, and my wife until recently worked as a reporter for the paper.)

“Yet the film is actually a Christmas gift. We Catholics bear special responsibility for pondering the lessons of the scandal, and special entitlement: Those were Catholic kids molested by priestly perverts. Some Catholics are drawing lessons from the movie that are obvious, even banal — appreciation for our free press and justice system, the need for ‘more, not less, holiness in the priesthood.’ (I’m unaware of anyone calling for less holy priests.) I believe there’s a more fundamental and valuable wisdom to be gleaned from the movie. Catholics, split between theological traditionalists and liberals, must understand that, at least on this one, the liberals were right.”

By Rich Barlow, WBUR-FM — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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