Editorial: Film ‘Spotlight’ Film story of betrayal that should not be forgotten

Daily Hampshire Gazette

One of the biggest stories of 2002 is news again to millions thanks to Hollywood. While movie studios usually aim to distract viewers, sometimes their films contain uncomfortable truths.

The new movie “Spotlight” recounts one of them: the Catholic church’s long cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. It tells the story of the Boston Globe investigation that revealed how the Archdiocese of Boston protected priests who molested children, valuing its reputation over their safety.

Thanks to the newspaper’s commitment to telling this story, it is far less likely today that a parish priest, or any religious leader, could victimize a child and expect church officials to conceal his conduct. Hard as it is to believe, that’s what went on within the Catholic church for decades — and not just in Boston or Massachusetts.

Far more people will see “Spotlight” than read the Globe series. That is a blessing, because this story’s fundamental message — that power corrupts — should be heard by all.

The movie presents the awful facts the newspaper unearthed. Viewers learn of an institution that coddled priests to the detriment of children. They witness the ruinous impact this had on families who believed in the church and its priests, only to see that faith violated. The Globe had documented the case of a mother who invited a priest into her home, where he secretly molested her three sons in their beds. The paper’s coverage was full of heart-breaking accounts of trust betrayed.

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