Oscar-winning child-sex film Spotlight ‘not anti-Catholic’, says Vatican

Straits Times

VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, faithfully portrays how the Church tried to defend itself despite a “horrible reality”, but is not anti-Catholic as such, the Vatican paper said Monday.

“Predators do not necessarily wear ecclesiastical vestments, and paedophilia does not necessarily stem from the vow of chastity. But it is now clear that, in the Church, too many people concerned themselves more with the image of the institution than the gravity of the act,” wrote an editorial in the Osservatore Romano.

“All of this cannot justify the very serious fault of whoever, as a representative of God, uses this authority to abuse innocents: it is well told in this film,” opined editorial-writer Lucetta Scaraffia, in the first official Vatican comment on the film’s Best Picture Oscar win Sunday night.

“The film is convincing by its narrative. And it’s not an anti-Catholic film,” she wrote.

But she did regret that the “long and tenacious fight” against paedophilia launched within the Church by Joseph Ratzinger, first as Dean of the College of Cardinals and then as Pope Benedict XVI, was not mentioned.

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