‘Spotlight’ film illuminates Boston clergy abuse scandal


BOSTON —It was a scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church to its core: Hundreds of priests molested children for decades and got away with it because church leaders covered it up.

More than a decade later, the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the church’s secret is being told in “Spotlight,” a movie starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, set for release Nov. 6.

In Boston, where the scandal led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and settlements with hundreds of victims, key figures featured in the film say it captures the shock of the scandal as it unfolded, the pain suffered by the victims and the work done by journalists to bring it to light.

“We obviously stumbled upon something far more extensive and horrifying than we had any right to expect to find,” recalled Walter Robinson – played by Michael Keaton – who led the Globe’s Spotlight Team, the investigative unit that broke open the scandal with a series of stories in 2002.

The stories detailed how church higher-ups – including Law – knew priests were abusing children but moved them from parish to parish instead of removing them. The series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2003.

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