‘Spotlight’ needed on clergy sexual abuse in the Bay Area

San Francisco Chronicle

By Tom Stier
October 29, 2015

The movie “Spotlight,” which opens Nov. 6, tells the story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation team’s reporting during 2001 and 2002 on the clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and its cover-up by Cardinal Bernard Law. For many, this movie will draw unwanted publicity to the Catholic Church but I, a former Catholic parish priest, welcome the attention. I hope this movie shines the spotlight on the Catholic Church in Oakland and San Francisco so the full extent of abuse and cover-up right here in the Bay Area may be known.

For the truth is, the story revealed here would be just as heartbreaking and just as horrifying as in Boston. The reason the Boston Globe’s journalists were able to shine such a light on the Catholic Church in Boston was due to the courage of a judge who forced the Archdiocese of Boston to open the files of its scores of criminal priests.

The Diocese of Oakland has yet to publicly name all the priests, both diocesan and religious, who abused children and teens throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber and his team cannot tell the full truth to the Catholics of the East Bay, nor can Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone fully reveal these abuses to Catholics of San Francisco.

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