You may have heard about the new movie “Spotlight” set for release on November 6. The drama from Open Roads Films is directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy and features several notable actors and actresses: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery. The movie is about The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in the United States and their coverage of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal, for which The Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The movie is dramatic, powerful, and is reminiscent of the movie “All the President’s Men” highlighting the news investigation of President Nixon and the Watergate Scandal.
The movie will likely be difficult for those abused by priests and they may experience the news of the movie and the content of the movie as a reminder of the traumatic events and result in a negative reaction. Also, Catholics and others will take the movie as proof of what is happening today, not what happened in the past. This may also be a difficult time for you in your role as priest in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. In response to the movie’s release the Church views this as an opportunity to raise awareness of all that has been done to prevent child sexual abuse in the Church and within the boundaries of our own Diocese. There is much good news to share. We acknowledge the role of the Boston Globe reporters in bringing this issue forward for necessary action, and we continue to pray for the victims of abuse and their families. All life is precious. As such, we must all remain vigilant and strive to embody the teachings of the Church and the example of Jesus.
The following documents may be of assistance to you in addressing questions or concerns regarding the movie “Spotlight”. Other resources for Child Abuse Prevention are also available by clicking here.