ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

February 29, 2016

Big Oscars upset as Spotlight takes Best Picture

UNITED STATES
Breaking News (Ireland)

Newspaper drama Spotlight has upset all the glitzy Hollywood predictions with an underdog best picture Oscar.

The film was the surprise winner at the 88th Academy Awards, where remarks on lack of diversity dominated the proceedings.

Tom McCarthy’s film about the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Catholic priests won over the favoured frontier epic The Revenant.

Spotlight, led by a strong ensemble cast, had lagged in the lead-up to the Oscars, losing ground to the flashier film-making of Alejandro Inarritu’s film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who won the best actor statuette.

But Spotlight, an ode to the hard-nosed methodical work of a form of journalism now practised seldomly, took the night’s top honour, despite winning only one other Oscar for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s screenplay.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

‘Spotlight’s Surprise Best Picture Win At The Oscars: What Does This Mean For Its Box Office?

CALIFORNIA
Deadline

by Anthony D’Alessandro
February 28, 2016

Open Road’s Spotlight is already out on DVD/VOD and it’s in its 17th weekend at the box office with $39.1 million. So how much juice can possibly be left in this film at the domestic box office? While exhibitors typically have a policy against booking titles that are already out on VOD/DVD, there’s always a want to get a best picture winner back into theaters. An Open Road insider confirmed earlier tonight that there’s a plan to take Spotlight back up to 1,000 engagements. It’s currently in play at 685 locations. Should that plan hold, industry estimates see Spotlight‘s total cume rising by another 4% to 12% for a final take between $40.7M-$43.8M.

Interestingly enough, Spotlight finds itself in similar scenario to last year’s best picture winner Birdman. By Oscar night a year ago, that Fox Searchlight release was also a played-out fall release that was already out on DVD with $37.8M in its 19th frame. Searchlight jumped its theater count from 407 venues during Oscarcast weekend to 1,207 the following week. Following its best picture win, Birdman‘s total cume jumped by 12% to $42.3M, ending its run during mid April. The average B.O boost for a best picture winner between the night of the ceremony and the end of its run has hovered around 20%.

Heading into the tonight, many though 20th Century Fox/New Regency’s The Revenant was going to take best picture, and if that was the case, that title stood to make another $10M-$15M at the box office. Fox will expand by a few hundred theaters and the thinking is that its best actor win for Leonardo DiCaprio will continue to send folks to the multiplex. However, a best picture win would have fueled the ultimate gain. While a number of contenders got lost in autumn’s bloodbath at the B.O., The Revenant, was the only best picture contender to play the 2016 side of the awards season, and reaped the benefits of doing so in a market that had already O.D.ed on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Since noms were announced on January 14, The Revenant actually saw the biggest boost out of all the best pic noms –+215%– jumping from $54.1M to $170.5M through this weekend.

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Oscars 2016: Chris Rock Scores and ‘Spotlight’ Takes Center Stage

CALIFORNIA
New York Times

by MICHAEL CIEPLY and BROOKS BARNES
FEB. 28, 2016

LOS ANGELES — In a ceremony that became a raucous diversity lesson under the guidance of its host, Chris Rock, Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” a newspaper drama about the Roman Catholic Church cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, snatched top honors at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. It beat out “The Revenant,” which had been widely viewed as the favorite, but which nevertheless earned a best actor prize for Leonardo DiCaprio, his first Oscar, and a best director award for Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Michael Sugar, a “Spotlight” producer, said he hoped the win would “resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

February 28, 2016

Here’s the list of things Cardinal George Pell can’t remember

ROME
Business Insider

HARRY TUCKER

Cardinal George Pell gave his long awaited four-hour testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse earlier this morning.

The testimony covered many things around Pell’s time at various positions throughout various dioceses in Victoria and his knowledge of the behaviour of alleged paedophile priests.

The Rome-based Cardinal, who is the Secretariat for the Economy, responsible for the Holy See and Vatican’s finances, was forced to give evidence from the Italian capital because he is ill and unable to fly back to Australia to appear before the Royal Commission. His memory also appeared to be causing him trouble during testimony today.

Several times during his four hour appearance he said “I can’t remember any such examples but my memory might be playing me false”, or similar statements.

Here’s a list of the things the man in charge of the Catholic Church’s finances couldn’t recall or didn’t know anything about during his testimony today.

1. Whether he was ever approached about priests being “overly affectionate” with kids.

2. Whether he was approached for advice before a special tribunal was established to judge bishops accused of covering up priests who sexually abused children.

3. Whether paedophile priest Paul David Ryan was sent to the US for special treatment for his sexual offences.

4. Whether he knew anything about Paul David Ryan’s US trip at all.

5. Whether Bishop Ronald Mulkearns from Ballarat was aware of child abuse within his diocese.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Cardinal George Pell: Out of his comfort zone, and facing sex abuse survivors in Rome

ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

February 29, 2016

Nick Miller

You would not find a more remarkable bunch of blokes than this group from Ballarat.

They are survivors of horrible sexual abuse, scarred for life, in varying states of health, but drawing on such deep wells of strength that up they came, in the teeth of a storm, to the Hotel Quirinale to face the third most powerful man in the church that betrayed and abandoned them.

Thunder and lightning cracked overhead, fat drops of Mediterranean winter rain bounced off the cobbles around them, serried media spotlights swung their way.

And they calmly said their pieces, posed for the flashes, and trooped into the opulent depths of the Quirinale.

The contrast couldn’t be stronger to Cardinal George Pell’s arrival, several hours earlier. As his car swung up to the hotel’s side entrance, a TV camera and reporter were waiting – the networks had pooled their resources to make sure he couldn’t go in unseen.

But a group of burly Italian security guards roughly pushed the journalists back – it was unclear on whose orders: Cardinal Pell later denied they were his team, blaming Italian police.

He then disappeared up to his room on the fifth floor, where rumour has it he will dwell until the hearing is over – except when he takes the stand.

It may not be quite the Vatican style that Cardinal Pell is used to but he’s not roughing it.
Rome specialises in luxurious locations. It’s kind of its thing.

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Chris Rock gives Globe Spotlight reporter a shoutout during the Oscars

CALIFORNIA
Boston.com

By Bryanna Cappadona @brycappa
Boston.com Staff | 02.28.16

Oh, would ya look at that? In a glitzy room full of ravishing movie stars, Academy Awards host Chris Rock turned everyone’s attention to some of the real people who inspired some of this year’s Oscars-nominated movies. One of those people was The Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes, who is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight.

“It’s always fascinating to meet the real people that the movies are based on,” Rock said. “And some of them are here tonight. From Joy, the real Joy Mangano is here. Give it up for Joy. From Spotlight, The Boston Globe reporter the real Mike Rezendes is here. Give it up for Mike.”

Hi, Mike!

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Oscars: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Original Screenplay, Tom McCarthy Praises Journalists

CALIFORNIA
Variety

Dave McNary
Film Reporter
@Variety_DMcNary

“Spotlight’s” Academy Award win for best original screenplay for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer shone a light on the important work of investigative journalists.

“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable, and for the survivors whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration. We have to make sure this never happens again.” McCarthy said in his acceptance speech for the first award of the evening.

The script, exploring the Boston Globe’s investigation into pedophile priests, topped screenplays for “Bridge of Spies,” “Ex Machina,” “Inside Out” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

“Spotlight” has been the screenplay frontrunner through the awards season as it won at the Writers Guild and at the Spirit Awards, where it received standing ovations Saturday. McCarthy, who also directed, and Singer have made the rounds describing the courage of the Globe journalists portrayed in the film — both for their Pulitzer Prize-winning work in exposing the systematic clergy abuse and for giving wide access to the production team and actors.

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‘Spotlight’ wins for best original screenplay

CALIFORNIA
Boston Globe

Just minutes into the Oscar telecast on Sunday night, Josh Singer already knew he’d be going home with at least one little gold man.

The evening’s first award, best original screenplay, went to Singer and Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight,” their telling of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. Accepting the award, Singer, a Harvard Law grad whose previous writing credits include “The West Wing” and “The Fifth Estate,” thanked the “Spotlight” cast and crew, and his father, “who taught me how to dream.”

McCarthy, who also directed, dedicated the screenwriting award to survivors “whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration.” He added, “We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable.”

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Pell never heard ‘bum buddies’ term

ROME
NT News

AAP

The term “bum buddies” never came to the attention of Cardinal George Pell in reference to a Christian Brother who was later jailed for abusing 31 boys.

The Cardinal was answering questions about his time as a priest in the Ballarat East parish in Victoria from 1973 to 1994 when he was also the episcopal vicar for education in the diocese.

In a video link from Rome the Cardinal has repeatedly told the Royal commission into child sexual abuse that he could not recall detail of exactly who told him what about problems at the local Christian Brothers school, St Patrick’s College.

He said he remembered being told of one brother who was kissing boys but said he never heard the ‘bum buddies’ term, which one witness, a former student at the school, has told the commission was used openly about boys who were abused by Brother Ted Dowlan.

Dr Pell agreed the term would certainly suggest sexual abuse.

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Abuse unseen but ‘on the radar’, Cardinal George Pell tells commission

ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Cardinal George Pell was aware of the existence of clerical sexual abuse in the early 1970s but failed to recognise widespread offending when he was a junior priest in Ballarat, despite gossip that Christian Brothers there were assaulting children.

Cardinal Pell gave his long-awaited evidence into his knowledge of alleged sexual offences in Ballarat to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by video link from Rome on Monday.

In a hearing expected to last four days, Cardinal Pell told the commission that abuse by Catholic clergy was “on the radar” in the 1970s due to offending by Monsignor John Day, who died in 1978.

The commission heard a 1971 police investigation found that Monsignor Day had molested children in Victoria over 13 years.

Cardinal Pell told the commission Monsignor Day’s case made him aware of sexual abuse among clergy but he did not recognise signs of abuse among Christian Brothers in Ballarat, where he was assistant parish priest from 1973-83.

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No knowledge of ‘catastrophic’ abuse: Pell

ROME
9 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell says he didn’t know of sexual abuse perpetrated by pedophile priests in Victoria in the 1970s and has labelled a bishop’s handling of one notorious case as “catastrophic”.

On the first of four days of evidence to the child abuse royal commission via video link from Rome, Cardinal Pell was adamant he was unaware of predatory behaviour by priests and brothers when he was a junior priest in the diocese of Ballarat.

Cardinal Pell said the former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew in 1975 that notorious pedophile Father Gerald Ridsdale had abused boys but continued to move him to new parishes.

“The way he was dealt with, that was a catastrophe, a catastrophe for the victims and a catastrophe for the church,” Cardinal Pell told the hearing from a conference room inside Rome’s Hotel Quirinale.

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At the scene: George Pell leaves abuse survivors unconvinced after first royal commission hearing

ROME
ABC News

By London bureau chief Lisa Millar

Cardinal George Pell’s testimony to the royal commission in Rome left abuse survivors slightly mollified, but ultimately unconvinced. Lisa Millar reports from the Hotel Quirinale.

After so much anticipation, it was hardly surprising that the hearing began in such a dramatic fashion.

Three hours before his evidence was due to start, Cardinal George Pell was driven to the side entrance of the Hotel Quirinale, where a cameraman and reporter trying to film his arrival were treated roughly by security.

The scuffle threatened to overshadow the start of this unusual session.

The Royal Commission has heard from witnesses before via videolink, but never under these kind of circumstances — in a hotel on the other side of the world, with 120 people in the audience who were not seen or heard from because of a ban on filming or photographs.

They remarked that Cardinal Pell had not acknowledged them as he entered the room. His mind was probably focused on the table on the side where he sat facing a video screen.

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Cardinal George Pell: Ballarat reacts to testimony characterised by memory loss

AUSTRALIA/ROME
The Age

February 29, 2016

Konrad Marshall
Senior writer

It was 8:46am when the crowd of more than 60, gathered in the Trench Room at Ballarat Town Hall, murmured with disapproval. They hung their heads, shook their heads, and looked up in disbelief.

Cardinal George Pell’s testimony had only been going 45 minutes when he acknowledged that his recollections would be imperfect – that his memory might fail him in this hearing.
“I can’t remember,” Cardinal Pell said.

“I’m struggling to remember,” he said later.

“I can’t clearly recall,” he noted.

The people there listening – a mix of clergy abuse survivors and counsellors and family members – had previously been silent. Now they offered a muffled collective scoff, and pained laughter.

Tim Lane, 44, had been waiting for this. Lane was abused in his home as a child – one of six Ballarat siblings to fall prey to Brother Grant Ross. Lane has followed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, and been pleased with the result in his home town.

He has seen people throughout the city wearing “Some Don’t Remember – Some Won’t Forget” T-shirts. He has watched ribbons of support blow in the wind, tied to every school and church and tree. He has attended various civic receptions for survivors, and been listened to by his community. And it has been cathartic.

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‘Spotlight’ Wins for Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards

CALIFORNIA
Bostoinno

Alex E. Weaver Lifestyle Editor

Chances are, you’re at or near a TV, paying varying degrees of attention to the 2016 Oscar winners, hosted by the often funny and always controversial Chris Rock. (Who, yeah, spent some time chatting about #OscarsSoWhite.)

This year’s Oscar Awards holds a special level of interest if you’re a Massachusetts resident or native: Spotlight, the portrayal of the 2001 Boston Globe shakedown of the rampant child molestation occurring within the Roman Catholic Church (and even more so, the subsequent systemic cover-up), is up for a host of awards, including Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing and Writing (Original Screenplay).

And while the Best Picture is still a ways off, Spotlight has won an Oscar for Writing (Original Screenplay).

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Spotlight writers thank journalists, survivors after Best Original Screenplay win

CALIFORNIA
Entertainment Weekly

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer took home Oscar gold for telling the real-life story behind the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team.

McCarthy and Singer won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Spotlight, after winning in the same category at the Writers Guild Awards earlier this month. In their screenplay, McCarthy — who also directed the film — and Singer follow the investigative team at the Boston Globe as they fight uncover the truth about systemic child abuse inside the Catholic Church.

The film is nominated for several other awards, including Best Director for McCarthy and Best Picture.

“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable,” McCarthy said. He also dedicated the award to survivors, “whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration.”

Backstage, McCarthy continued, “I think if Josh and I came away with anything from this, it’s just what hardworking dedicated curious and committed professional these reporters are. And for any profession you take your hat off to people like that. For us it felt more like a social calling than it did a job, with these people, it was incredibly inspirational.”

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Survivors welcome more conciliatory Pell

ROME
The Australian

BY LLOYD JONES, AAP EUROPE CORRESPONDENT

Child abuse survivors in Rome to hear Cardinal George Pell’s testimony to a royal commission say he struck a more conciliatory and constructive tone, but there’s a long way to go.

Cardinal Pell is making his third appearance before the inquiry into how institutions like churches handled child sexual abuse complaints and is giving evidence by videolink after he was deemed too ill to return to Australia for questioning.

He’s being questioned about what he knew about pedophile priest activity in Ballarat and Melbourne when he served there.

A survivors’ group who travelled to Rome to hear his evidence listened quietly through just over three and a half hours of testimony in the Quirinale Hotel late on Sunday night and early into Monday morning.

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‘SPOTLIGHT’ WINS FIRST OSCAR OF THE NIGHT

CALIFORNIA
ABC 7

LOS ANGELES — “Spotlight” took home the first award of the night at the 2016 Oscars on Sunday.

The journalism drama won the Oscar for the best original screenplay. The script by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy tells the story of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sex abuse by Catholic priests.

McCarthy said they made the film for all the journalists who hold those in power accountable.

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‘Spotlight’ wins Oscar for original screenplay at the Academy Awards

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Susan King

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer won the Academy Award on Sunday for original screenplay for “Spotlight,” the drama revolving around the Boston Globe’s investigative reporters uncovering a massive cover-up by the Catholic Church of priests molesting young boys.

The film won praise from journalists for its realistic depiction of the newspaper world; many considered it the best film about newspapers since “All the President’s Men.” And in fact Washington Post Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein endorsed the film in Oscar season advertising. The screenplay was heralded for its attention to detail and its thriller-like pacing.

In accepting the Oscar, McCarthy referred to the survivors of the abuse scandals, noting: “We have to make sure this never happens again.”

Going into the 88th Academy Awards, “Spotlight” was considered the odds on favorite to receive the screenplay Oscar. Singer and McCarthy had won the vast majority of the major awards this season, including the BAFTA, Spirit Award, Gotham Independent Film Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and National Society of Film Critics honors and the Writers Guild award.

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Oscars: ‘Spotlight’ Screenwriters Talk Sex Abuse Cover-Up Prevention in Acceptance Speech

CALIFORNIA
Hollywood Reporter

[with video]

“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable, and for the survivors whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration to all,” said Tom McCarthy.

Spotlight was named best original screenplay at the 88th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.

The film’s screenplay beat out those of Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, and Straight Outta Compton.

“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable, and for the survivors whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration to all,” said Tom McCarthy, alongside co-writer Josh Singer. “We have to make sure this never happens again.”

Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron presented the first award of the night. The order of awards was changed to illustrate the filmmaking process itself.

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Italian police jostle Aussie news crew covering George Pell’s Royal Commission testimony

ROME
9 News

The Catholic Church has denied Cardinal Pell’s security clashed with Australian news crews outside the hotel where he is giving evidence in the sex abuse inquiry, saying the men were Italian police officers.

Video from the encounter shows the police, originally thought to be the Cardinal’s bodyguards, obstructing and jostling a news cameraman and crew outside the Hotel Quirinale in Rome.

The Archdiocese of Sydney rejected claims the cardinal’s security were involved in the altercation.

“Cardinal Pell is sorry to hear of an incident involving two members of the media and Italian police just prior to giving evidence to the Royal Commission via video link in Rome,” a spokeswoman said.

“The Italian Police are in charge of security outside and inside the hotel where the hearing is taking place and have been liaising with Commission staff.

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Pell denies allegations security team ‘manhandled’ SBS reporter

ROME
SBS

AAP

Italian police and not Cardinal George Pell’s security staff were involved in a scuffle with media outside a Rome hotel, the cardinal’s office says..

SBS Europe Correspondent Brett Mason said Cardinal Pell’s security team had been heavy handed, “manhandling” him and a cameraman as they attempted to film the arrival.

Cardinal Pell is sorry to hear of the incident with an SBS reporter and cameraman but it did not involve his security staff as has been reported, his office said in a statement.

“The Italian police are in charge of security outside and inside the hotel where the hearing is taking place and have been liaising with commission staff,” the statement said.

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Cardinal George Pell gives evidence in Rome to the royal commission into child sexual abuse

ROME
Courier Mail

[with live stream]

CARDINAL George Pell is giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse via video link from Rome.

Cardinal Pell’s office issued a statement as he was giving evidence saying he will meet with abuse survivors who have flown to Rome from Victoria.

Key Events

10.32AM: Cardinal Pell believes reading a newspaper article in 1972 was the first time he became aware of allegations of abuse by clergy.
More

9.21AM: Cardinal Pell said in the 1970s if a priest denied allegations of paedophilia he was inclined to accept their denial
More

9.04AM: Cardinal Pell says the handling of Gerald Ridsdale was “catastrophe” for the victims and the church
More

8.57AM: Cardinal Pell says the instinct was to protect the institution of the church from shame
More

8.55AM: Cardinal Pell has denied he was aware of priests including Gerald Ridsdale being sent off for treatment

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Pell: Dealing with paedophile priest ‘a catastrophe’

ROME
Daily Examiner

THE way the Australian Roman Catholic Church dealt with a paedophile priest in Ballarat was a “catastrophe”, according to Cardinal George Pell.

Giving evidence from Rome, Cardinal Pell was asked his view on former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who has long been accused of ignoring sex abuse within the church.

When Cardinal Pell was asked if he was critical of Bishop Mulkearns’ conduct, the Cardinal said the bishop’s handling of paedophile Gerald Risdale was “a catastrophe”.

“I have just re-read the file of Ridsdale. The priest. Ex-priest,” Cardinal Pell said.

“And the way he was dealt with was a catastrophe.

“A catastrophe for the victims and a catastrophe for the church.

“If effective action had been taken earlier, an enormous amount of suffering would’ve been avoided.”

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Case for Mulkearns inquiry, says Pell

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

There is a case for a judicial tribunal to consider how Bishop Ronald Mulkearns handled clergy accused of child sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell says.

In evidence via videolink from Rome, Dr Pell said he could not give “book, chapter and verse” about what Bishop Mulkearns knew and did not act upon at particular times.

Bishop Mulkearns, who is now in his 80s and dying of cancer, was bishop in Ballarat, Victoria, from 1971 to 1997.

Dr Pell told the sex abuse royal commission there was a purpose to the way Bishop Mulkearns dealt with Gerald Ridsdale and other alleged pedophile priests.

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Mark Ruffalo, ‘Spotlight’ creators join Catholic sex abuse victims’ rally in downtown L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Frank Shyong

About 20 protesters who rallied against sexual abuse in the Catholic church in downtown Los Angeles were joined by “Spotlight” actor Mark Ruffalo, the film’s director Tom McCarthy and its writer Josh Singer on Sunday.

Protesters, many of whom identify as victims of abuse by Catholic priests, marched and brandished banners outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels Sunday morning.

Ruffalo, Singer and McCarthy, who were invited by the group to appear, joined them in calling on the church to take greater action against sexual abuse and release the names of known abusers.

The “Spotlight” creators each held a section of a banner printed with the victims’ childhood photos and addressed the protesters before heading to pre-Oscar parties and the red carpet.

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“I’m here to stand with the survivors and the victims and the people we’ve lost from Catholic priest childhood sex abuse,” Ruffalo told protesters.

The protest, organized by the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was one of 20 rallies Sunday urging greater transparency at Catholic cathedrals across the nation, said Barbara Blaine, the president and founder of the group. Organizers wanted to use the Academy Awards, which takes place Sunday night, was a way to draw attention to their cause, Blaine said.

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‘Spotlight’ actor Mark Ruffalo joins survivors protest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Boston Globe

By Mark Shanahan GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 28, 2016

Before the Academy Awards started Sunday, “Spotlight” actor Mark Ruffalo, director Tom McCarthy, and co-writer Josh Singer joined with members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, for a protest outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the “Spotlight” gang was there to support the survivors’ demand that the names of pedophile priests be released. Ruffalo, nominated for his role in the film, tweeted: “Standing with the survivors of Priest sexual abuse!” The Oscar-nominated “Spotlight” tells the story of the Boston Globe series exposing the many pedophile priests in the Catholic church.

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Mark Ruffalo Joins Sexual Abuse Survivors at a Protest Outside a Catholic Church Just Hours Before the Oscars

LOS ANGELES (CA)
People

BY KATHY EHRICH DOWD @kathyehrichdowd 02/28/2016

Mark Ruffalo took part in a protest outside a Los Angeles Catholic Church on Oscars Sunday, joining others who continue to criticize the religious institution for its handling of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal.

Ruffalo, 48, joined Spotlight director and co-writer Tom McCarthy, co-writer Josh Singer and members SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles Sunday to call for the names of priests accused of pedophilia to be released, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ruffalo is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Mike Rezendes, a member of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, whose meticulous reporting to uncover the scandal is dramatized in the film up for Best Picture.

The actor and activist confirmed his participation in the protest Sunday on Twitter.

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Pell unaware of priests sent for treatment

ROME
SBS

AAP

Cardinal George Pell has denied any knowledge of pedophile priests being sent for psychiatric treatment by the bishop of Ballarat when he was based in the Victorian diocese.

Cardinal Pell, giving evidence to the child abuse royal commission via video link from Rome, said he was “certainly not” aware the former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns was sending priests off to be treated for sexual offending.

“I wasn’t aware of Mulkearns sending anyone off for sexual offending,” he said.

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Pell says he would have believed denials

ROME
The Australian

AAP

Cardinal George Pell says he would have believed a priest who denied sexually abusing children in the early 1970s.

Cardinal Pell said it was a great scandal when Monsignor John Day was accused in 1971 and 1972 of indecently assaulting children while the parish priest in Mildura.

Cardinal Pell, who as an assistant priest in the Swan Hill parish at the time, said he heard some gossip about Monsignor Day being accused of some sort of pedophilia activity.

“I must say in those days if a priest denied such activity I was very strongly inclined to accept the denial,” Cardinal Pell told the child abuse royal commission from Rome.

Cardinal Pell, who was overseas from 1963 until 1971, said the gossip he heard likely came from fellow priests.

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Not Pell security in Rome scuffle: church

ROME
9 News

AAP

Italian police and not Cardinal George Pell’s security staff were involved in a scuffle with media outside a Rome hotel, the cardinal’s office says.

Reporters outside the hotel say Cardinal Pell’s security team was heavy-handed, pushing camera crews aside as he entered to give his videolink evidence to the child abuse royal commission.

Cardinal Pell is sorry to hear of the incident with an SBS reporter and cameraman but it did not involve his security staff as has been reported, his office said in a statement.

“The Italian police are in charge of security outside and inside the hotel where the hearing is taking place and have been liaising with commission staff,” the statement said.

Cardinal Pell asked a member of his team to speak to the reporter to check on his wellbeing, it said.

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Mark Ruffalo joins sexual abuse protest hours ahead of the Oscars

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Guardian (UK)

Henry Barnes and agencies
@HenryHBarnes
Sunday 28 February 2016

Mark Ruffalo has joined survivors of paedophile priests in a protest outside downtown LA’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, hours before he is due to attend the Academy Awards.

Ruffalo, who is nominated in the best supporting actor category for his performance in Spotlight, joined members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to call for the names of priests who had been convicted of abusing minors to be made public.

Spotlight follows a 2002 investigation by reporters from the Boston that uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of children by scores of the district’s clergy. Ruffalo plays Mike Rezendes, a veteran on the Globe’s investigative journalism team, which the film is named after.

The film details the cover-up of sexual abuse cases by Boston’s then archbishop Cardinal Bernard Francis Law. In 2013 SNAP accused the Catholic Church in LA of a similar cover-up and demanded that Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of the LA archdiocese in the 1980s, reveal the names of all priests who had been relocated after an incident of abuse. It’s one of a series of protests taking place across the US. “In LA and nine other US cities, SNAP urged bishops to disclose and post on church websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of all predator priests,” said SNAP’s national director David Clohessy.

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Cardinal admits ‘scandalous ‘ response to abuse allegations

ROME
Reading Eagle

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — One of Pope Francis’ top advisers acknowledges that the Catholic Church “has made enormous mistakes” in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests over centuries in testimony at an extraordinary public hearing of an Australian investigative commission just a few blocks from the Vatican.

Cardinal George Pell testified late Sunday via videolink from a Rome hotel to the Royal Commission sitting in Sydney. In the front row of the conference room were two dozen Australian abuse survivors and their companions who had travelled across the globe to be on hand for Pell’s testimony.

The lead counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness, is questioning Pell about current Vatican efforts to address the scandal as well as Pell’s past in Australia, including how he dealt with abuse allegations.

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Cardinal George Pell’s heavy-handed security guards ‘push and punch’ Australian media in Rome

ROME
Daily Mail

By FREYA NOBLE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Cardinal George Pell’s security have been accused of ‘pushing and punching’ Australian media in Rome as he arrived to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Child Abuse.

Cardinal Pell is speaking to the commission in Ballarat, Victoria, via video link from a hotel near his home at the Vatican in Rome despite public pressure to bring him home for the event.

As he arrived at the high-end hotel, heavy-handed security are said to have forcefully pushed waiting media away from Pell as he arrived through a side door.

Channel Nine reporter Amelia Ballinger told the Sydney Morning Herald one reporter was punched, while cameramen were pushed and shoved out of the way.

‘Before he even got out of the car a number of big, burly security guards got out before him and they basically assaulted, I guess, for want of a better word, the [television] crew that was waiting there for him,’ Ballinger said.

She added that a journalist waiting to question Pell was ‘punched in the stomach’, and Pell entered the building without having to face any questions.

Italian Police have been informed of the alleged incidents and the Royal Commission have been notified

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Pell: Church not calling police was “general practice”

ROME
Daily Examiner

CARDINAL George Pell has admitted the church had a “general practice” of not calling the police when it learned of sexual assaults, instinctually acting to protect the institution ahead of victims.

Cardinal Pell was being asked about his views — given in the 1980s — that the church generally did not believe children when they made these allegations.

The Cardinal said he believes those were now an “over-statement” but conceded that children were often not listened to.

He said there was no formal policy to dismiss such allegations but unofficially, “sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances”.

These were when victims made “very, very,very plausible allegations made by responsible people that were not followed up sufficiently”.

Cardinal Pell said the instinct of many was to protect the church and its community “from shame”.

When asked if there was a tendency not to refer such incidents to police, Cardinal Pell said it was “general practice” but that people were not prevented or impeded “but they were certainly rarely encouraged”.

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Pell regrets some complaints ignored

ROME
9 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell says a number of complaints of clergy abuse of children were wrongly dismissed.

“I don’t have the statistics on that but too many of them certainly were dismissed and sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances,” Cardinal Pell told the child abuse royal commission via videolink from Rome.

He said the tendency to dismiss complaints was more about protecting the church.

“At that stage, the instinct was more to protect the institution, the community of the church, from shame,” he said.

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Cardinal George Pell’s memory ‘fallible’ as Royal Commission testimony begins

ROME
9 News

By Nick Alexander

Cardinal George Pell has begun testifying before a Royal Commission via video-link from Rome under the watchful gaze of 15 Australian abuse survivors, who are present in his room at the Hotel Quirinale.

Having sworn on a Holy Bible to tell the truth Cardinal Pell began his third appearance before the Royal Commission by saying that he does not intend to “defend the indefensible”.

“The church has made enormous mistakes and is here to remedy those,” Cardinal Pell said, but conceded that the church has “mucked things up and let people down.”

“Unfortunately original sin is alive and well, the tendency to evil in the Catholic Church too,”Cardinal Pell said.

“For good or for ill the church follows the patterns of the society in which it lives.”

Cardinal George Pell has begun testifying before a Royal Commission via video-link from Rome under the watchful gaze of 15 Australian abuse survivors, who are present in his room at the Hotel Quirinale.

Having sworn on a Holy Bible to tell the truth Cardinal Pell began his third appearance before the Royal Commission by saying that he does not intend to “defend the indefensible”.

“The church has made enormous mistakes and is here to remedy those,” Cardinal Pell said, but conceded that the church has “mucked things up and let people down.”

“Unfortunately original sin is alive and well, the tendency to evil in the Catholic Church too,”Cardinal Pell said.

“For good or for ill the church follows the patterns of the society in which it lives.”

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Oscars: Mark Ruffalo Joins Sexual Abuse Protest Outside Los Angeles Cathedral

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Hollywood Reporter

‘Spotlight’ director Tom McCarthy and screenwriter Josh Singer also took part.

Hours before the 88th Oscars were set to start, the Spotlight team of actor Mark Ruffalo, director-cowriter Tom McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer joined a protest outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. They stood with members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, outside the cathedral calling for the names of pedophile priests to be released.

Ruffalo confirmed on Twitter on that he participated in the protest, tweeting, “Standing with the survivors of Priest sexual abuse!”

Spotlight follows the Boston Globe investigative journalists who uncovered the Catholic church scandal of priests involved with child molestation. The film has earned Ruffalo an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor as well as five other nominations, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay. On Saturday, it took home five trophies at Film Independent’s Spirit Awards, including best feature.

SNAP is also hosting a viewing party for the Oscars at the Next Door Lounge, at 1154 North Highland Avenue, in Hollywood.

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THE ‘SPOTLIGHT’ PROBLEM: MOVIES ABOUT JOURNALISM GET NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE. WHY DON’T THEY WIN?

UNITED STATES
Newsweek

BY ZACH SCHONFELD ON 2/28/16

At the 49th Academy Awards, two instantly iconic depictions of journalism on film—one fictional, the other stranger than fiction—competed for top prizes.

It was 1977. Network, the ever-quotable portrait of a “mad prophet” TV anchor whose on-air breakdown leads to soaring ratings, nearly swept the acting categories: Peter Finch (in a posthumous victory) won Best Actor for his performance as Howard Beale; Faye Dunaway took home Best Actress; and Beatrice Straight won Best Supporting despite spending a record-short five minutes on screen. All the President’s Men, the sprawling, step-by-step unraveling of the Watergate investigation that inspired a generation of reporters, garnered eight nominations and four wins, including Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards).

And in the Best Picture category, for which both movies were nominated, the award went to—well, it went to Rocky.

Movies about the news media get Best Picture nominations. They just don’t seem to win. The pattern is an old one. Citizen Kane, the story of a newspaper mogul loosely based on William Randolph Hearst, got a nomination in 1942 but lost to John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley. The prior year, Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent—starring Joel McCrea as an American reporter tracking enemy spies—lost to a very different Hitchcock film, Rebecca. Broadcast News lost to The Last Emperor at the 1988 awards, several years after The Killing Fields lost to Amadeus. More insultingly, Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney’s thoughtful depiction of a McCarthy-era Edward R. Murrow, lost to a movie sometimes considered the worst Best Picture winner in Oscars history: 2005’s Crash.

It has been nearly 70 years since a journalism movie won Best Picture. The deserving Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) has Gregory Peck as a reporter assigned to write an article about anti-Semitism, so he poses as a Jew to experience prejudice firsthand.

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Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton celebrate at ‘Spotlight’ producers’ pre-Oscar bash

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Christie D’Zurilla

Call it what you want — this was a “Spotlight” celebration.

Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo, with wife Sunrise Coigney, all made it to “Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar’s pre-Oscar party just hours after the film took four Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature.

The film is up for six Oscars, with nominations including supporting actor for Ruffalo, supporting actress for Rachel McAdams and best picture.

The event, co-hosted by Sugar’s Anonymous Content colleagues Steve Golin (also a “Spotlight” producer) and Doug Wald, started late Saturday and ran over into Sunday morning high atop Sunset Tower in West Hollywood.

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Black ribbon tied outside commission

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP

A black ribbon has been tied around a tree outside the abuse royal commission hearing room in Sydney where Cardinal George Pell’s evidence by video link will be transmitted from Rome.

The ribbon was put there to mark the death on Sunday of 71-year-old Gary O’Neill, who was raised in a Catholic Church boys’ orphanage in Westmead Sydney, said Leonie Sheedy who heads up a survivor support organisation.

Members of Care Leavers’ Australasia Network, linked hands and held a silent vigil for Mr O’Neill and hundreds like him, who suffered at the hands of Catholic clergy.

Ms Sheedy said Mr O’Neill had suffered awful abuse as a child at the St Vincent’s Boys’ Orphanage.

People have been gathering outside Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney’s CBD where the commission is sitting on Monday.

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Pell says ‘not defending the indefensible’

ROME
Gold Coast Bulletin

AAP

Cardinal George Pell says he is “not defending the indefensible” in the Catholic Church’s handling of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Cardinal Pell says the church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy them.

“The church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down. I’m not here to defend the indefensible,” Cardinal Pell told the child abuse royal commission from Rome.

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Pell testifies in Rome

ROME
7 News

The cardinal, who was too ill to return to Australia for questioning, is testifying via videolink from the Hotel Quirinale in Rome in front of a group of survivors from Ballarat.

Before giving evidence, he swore on the Bible that he would tell the truth.

He will be questioned over three to four days about what he knew of historic pedophile activity by priests when he served in Ballarat and Melbourne.

First up, he detailed his role at the Vatican, describing it as “something equivalent to a treasurer” but would not concur that he held the third most senior position in the church.

“I wouldn’t say it was. People like to make these hypothetical lists. Some people would see the financial affairs of the Vatican as very low on the list,” he said.

“I’m a senior official in the Roman curia.”

He was then asked about financing of compensation for victims of clergy abuse.

He said he had given advice, as one of the nine cardinals on an informal council advising the pope, prior to the establishment of the pontifical commission for the protection of minors in March 2014.

Cardinal Pell, under questioning, said child sex abuse had been an issue for centuries.

“The church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those but the church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down,” he said.

“I’m not here to defend the indefensible.”

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With victims in audience, Australian cardinal testifies on abuse

ROME
Reuters

ROME/SYDNEY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA AND JANE WARDELL

Australian Cardinal George Pell said on Sunday the Catholic Church had made “enormous mistakes” as he became the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on sexual abuse of children in the Church.

Pell, 74, held up a Bible as he was sworn in to answer questions by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in front of victims in a Rome hotel room.

Around 15 abuse victims and support staff traveled to Rome on the back of a crowd-funding campaign to see the Vatican’s treasurer give evidence after he said he was unable to travel to his native Australia because of heart problems.

While strictly speaking an Australian affair concerning events decades ago, the hearing has taken on wider implications about accountability of Church leaders because of Pell’s high position in the Vatican, where he serves as finance minister.

“The Church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those but the Church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down,” Pell said as he began answering questions via video link to the commission in Sydney. “I’m not here to defend the indefensible.”

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Live: Cardinal George Pell prepares to give evidence to child abuse royal commission

ROME
ABC News

Cardinal George Pell is giving evidence about sexual abuse in Ballarat and Melbourne, with his testimony live-streamed to Australia via video link from a Rome hotel.

The hearing will run for three days and hear four hours of evidence each day.

Follow our live blog for updates.

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Pell testifies in Rome

ROME
The West Australian

Cardinal George Pell has started giving testimony from a Rome hotel to the royal commission into child abuse.

A group of survivors of child sex abuse at the hands of priests has arrived at the hotel where Cardinal Pell is giving evidence.

Cardinal Pell arrived earlier, three hours ahead of the scheduled 10pm (0800 AEST) start of the special hearing at the elegant Hotel Quirinale.

He was too ill to return to Australia for questioning and will give his videolink testimony to the commission in Sydney.

Reporters outside the hotel say Cardinal Pell’s security team was heavy handed, pushing camera crews aside as he entered the hotel.

He will be questioned over three to four days about what he knew of historic pedophile activity by priests when he served in Ballarat and Melbourne.

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Journalists ‘punched and shoved’ by guards as Cardinal George Pell arrived to face Royal Commission

ROME
7 News

Natasha Christian
February 29, 2016

Australian journalists were allegedly shoved and punched by ‘extremely aggressive’ security guards surrounding Cardinal George Pell in Rome.

Cardinal Pell arrived at the hotel via side gate on Monday, where he will make his third appearance before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

Cameramen were reportedly pushed and shoved and another reporter was punched.

Channel Seven reported Chris Reason said the visiting abuse survivors were not surprised by the heavy-handed tactics.

“We’re used to it,” Victim Anthony Foster said.

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Security At Pell Hearing Assault Australian Journalists

ROME
Huffington Post

By Cayla Dengate

A cameraman and journalist were allegedly punched and shoved by private security guards surrounding Cardinal George Pell ahead of his video link appearance in the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

SBS News Europe Correspondent Brett Mason said security guards ‘obscured’ his camera crew while they were waiting for Pell’s arrival at a Rome hotel and Italian Police were reviewing the footage.

Journalists who observed the scene outside Hotel Quirinale said an Australian crew were punched and shoved.

In footage shared by Channel 9 News, an Australian can be heard saying: “…excuse me, we have a right to be here, this is a public street” as several men approached.

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George Pell testifies from Rome for abuse royal commission

ROME
The Australian

[with live stream from Rome]

FEBRUARY 29, 2016

Jacquelin Magnay
European correspondent

John Lyons
Associate Editor
Sydney

7.55am: I am inside the Verdi Room at the Hotel Quirinale and it is already full, reports Jacquelin Magnay. Several priests are standing alongside the walls, looking very prominent. Everyone just chatting at the moment.

Cardinal Pell will give his evidence in an area at the front of the room. He will have his own large TV screen to be able to watch the royal commission in Sydney. Adjacent to him in Rome will be one of his lawyers, although his barrister is back in Sydney.

All of the questioning of Cardinal Pell will occur from Sydney – there will be no cross examination from anyone in Rome.

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Spotlight and the Oscars

UNITED STATES
Peter Borre

Spotlight and the Oscars: Hooray for Hollywood – A look behind the camera (February 27, 2016)

Summary

American viewers (almost 37 million last year) will tune in for the Oscars’ pageant on Sunday evening, February 28. One of the contenders will be Spotlight, the true story of how the Boston Globe’s specialized team of investigative reporters, known as The Spotlight Team, broke wide open in early 2002 the story of clergy abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Boston. The movie’s six Oscar nominations are for:

Best picture; Best director; Best supporting actor and actress; Best editing; Best original screenplay.

From anecdotal information, many moviegoers have stayed away from Spotlight fearing that it is a graphic portrayal of child abuse. Not so. The center of gravity of the movie is the real-life tension in the Globe’s newsroom, and the relentless efforts of the Spotlight team that would not be pushed off the story. The movie has just about broken even, with box office receipts through mid-February of $38 million which is almost double the production budget of $20 million. That is close to break-even under the Hollywood 2:1 rule of thumb for box office coverage of post-production marketing and distribution costs. But one of the executive producers, Pierre Omidyar, has truly deep pockets, a net worth of almost $9 billion thanks to his eBay and Paypal investments. Interesting that a French-born member of the Iranian diaspora chose to bankroll this movie.

IMO, Spotlight is the best media movie since All the President’s Men and the Watergate scandal; and there is a family link between these two pictures:

Ben Bradlee père, was the Washington Post’s managing editor who stood up to major heat from the Nixon White House; and Ben Bradlee Jr fils, was #2 in the Globe’s newsroom hierarchy, but in the movie he seemed to curb his enthusiasm when it came to support for the Spotlight team.

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Live stream: Cardinal George Pell to give evidence to Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse via video-link from Rome

ROME
9 News

Cardinal George Pell will give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, via video link from a hotel room in Rome this morning.

He will answer questions over Case Study 28 in the commission, concerning how Cardinal Pell handled allegations of child sex abuse in the Catholic church in Ballarat and Melbourne.

We will bring you the live stream of Cardinal Pell’s testimony here on 9news.com.au. The hearing is expected to begin at 8am (AEDT).

Cardinal Pell will be asked to address allegations as outlined below.

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Journos ‘roughed up’ in Rome: Drama as George Pell enters Royal Commission

ROME
3AW

Italian Police are investigating after private security guards surrounding Cardinal George Pell allegedly assaulted journalists this morning.

The incident happened while Cardinal Pell was arriving at the Rome in which he is due to give evidence via videolink to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

It’s believed a cameraman was shoved and a journalist was punched.

The Royal Commission has been notified.

Channel 10 reporter Joe Hill in Rome told Ross and John the atmosphere was “tense”, fuelled by the presence several security companies and a worldwide media contingent.

“This is a story that will be heard around the world,” he said.

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Abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell’s security guards ‘push, punch’ Australian media in Rome

ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

February 29, 2016

Marissa Calligeros

Members of the Australian media have allegedly been shoved and punched by security guards surrounding Cardinal George Pell in Rome.

The Cardinal arrived at an elegant Rome hotel, where he will make his third appearance before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, via a side gate three hours early on Monday.

As the Cardinal was arriving at the hotel however, his security guards allegedly took forceful action to protect him from the waiting media.

Channel Nine reporter Amelia Ballinger said cameramen were pushed and shoved, while one reporter was punched.

“Before he even got out of the car a number of big, burly security guards got out before him and they basically assaulted, I guess, for want of a better word, the [television] crew that was waiting there for him,” Ballinger said.

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Case Study 28, February 2016, Ballarat – Live hearing

ROME/AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream from Rome]

Case Study 28, February 2016, Ballarat

Cardinal George Pell will give evidence from 29 February 2016 by video link from Rome concerning Case Study 28: Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat and Case Study 35: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. The Royal Commission will sit in Sydney and, in accordance with a request from Cardinal Pell, the hearing will commence at 08:00am AEDT.

Please be aware that the content of the public hearings can be distressing for viewers. Visit support services to find services near you, or for immediate support call the Royal Commission on 1800 099 340 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Pedofilia in Australia, Pell è arrivato in hotel a Roma

ROME
Corriere Quotidiano

E’ arrivato all’Hotel quirinale di Roma il cardinale australiano George Pell, Prefetto della Segreteria per l’Economia vaticana. Il chierico è giunto, poco dopo le 19 in albergo, da dove, a partire dalle 22 e fino alle 2 di domani, farà la sua deposizione via video con la Royal Commission australiana che indaga sugli abusi del clero sui minori. Pell è chiamato a rispondere sugli abusi commessi da sacerdoti quando era responsabile delle diocesi di Sidney e Melbourne. Pell è stato fatto entrare nell’albergo da una porta secondaria protetto dalla sicurezza.

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Cardinal George Pell to face Royal Commission from Rome’s Hotel Quirinale

ROME
news.com.au

FOR three months, child sex abuse survivor Paul Levey has been carrying a dog-eared envelope with him.

Addressed simply, to “Cardinal George Pell, The Vatican” the one page inside puts into words what he has not been able to say to his face — his thoughts on the abuse he suffered as a child and what needs to be done to fix it.

“It’s very to the point,” he said, standing jet-lagged outside his Rome hotel. “I want to hand him that letter…It’s about I am a survivor and I want to be heard.”

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Vatican security obstructs Aussie news crew covering George Pell’s Royal Commission testimony

ROME
9 News

[with video]

Bodyguards believed to be protecting George Pell appear to have manhandled an Australian news crew as the cardinal arrived at the Italian hotel where he will testify before a Royal Commission later today.

The footage, shot on the rain-slicked street outside the Hotel Quirinale in Rome, show men purported to be in the cardinal’s service apparently attempting to obstruct Australian media workers.

“Let go of me, you have no role at all,” one of the crew can be heard saying, as another man strides over and appears to grab at the camera.

“Excuse me, we have a right to be here, this is a public street,” the Aussie journalist says, telling his cohort to “go around” the street so they can keep filming.

Cardinal Pell’s appearance today, expected to be the first of three or four gruelling sessions before the Royal Commission, is hotly anticipated.

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Cardinal Pell arrives at Rome hotel early

ROME
The Australian

Cardinal George Pell has arrived at the Rome hotel where he will make his third appearance before the child sexual abuse royal commission.

A group of survivors will watch the cardinal, who was too ill to return to Australia for questioning, give his videolink testimony to the commission in Sydney from a conference room at the Hotel Quirinale from 8am Monday (Australian time).

The cardinal arrived at the hotel via a side gate three hours early.

Reporters outside the hotel say Cardinal Pell’s security team was heavy handed, pushing camera crews aside as he entered the hotel.

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Suspenden a tercer sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual

EL SALVADOR
La Pagina

POR JOSÉ NAPOLEÓN MORALES

El arzobispo de San Salvador, José Luis Escobar Alas, confirmó este domingo la suspensión del sacerdote José Antonio Molina por estar implicado en dos casos de abuso sexual.

Molina Nieto estaba destacado en la iglesia Santa Cruz de Roma, del municipio de Panchimalco, en San Salvador.

Escobar Alas reveló que se trata de dos casos ocurridos hace más de 20 años y que éstos fueron denunciados en las oficinas episcopales. Asimismo informó que el acusado -quien no ha aceptado las acusaciones- se encuentra recluido en su casa al lado de su familia.

Sin entrar en mayores detalles sobre el delito cometido por el religioso, Escobar Alas afirmó que investigan al respecto y reiteró que no están dispuestos a tolerar esa situación ya que la Iglesia está de lado de las víctimas.

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Denuncian caso de abuso sexual de sacerdote católico en El Salvador

EL SALVADOR
barrigaverde

[SAN SALVADOR, February 28, 2016 (PL) .- The archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Luis Escobar, revealed today the suspension of priest Jose Antonio Molina for being involved in sexual abuse. Molina served as parish priest in Santa Cruz de Rome in the town of Panchimalco.]

SAN SALVADOR, 28 febrero, 2016 (PL).- El arzobispo de San Salvador, José Luis Escobar, reveló hoy la suspensión del sacerdote José Antonio Molina por estar implicado en otro hecho de abuso sexual.

El párroco Molina se desempeñaba en Santa Cruz de Roma, de la localidad de Panchimalco, en el departamento de San Salvador, y quedó suspendido desde el pasado 15 de este mes de febrero.

Escobar, quien dijo que la Iglesia católica salvadoreña no está dispuesta a tolerar ese tipo de hechos, aseguró que el caso está en investigación.

El prelado religioso recalcó en conferencia de prensa este día, que están del lado de las víctimas.

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‘Spotlight’ journalists take a turn on the Oscars red carpet

UNITED STATES
KCCI

By Brian Stelter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) —The six journalists featured in “Spotlight” have spent the past three months answering questions instead of asking them. They’re ready to get back to their day jobs — but not before getting a taste of Hollywood life via the Academy Awards.

“Spotlight,” a contender for Best Picture, has already been praised as the most influential and critically acclaimed movie about journalism since “All The President’s Men” in 1976. It is a contender for the Best Picture award on Sunday night.

The movie dramatizes the 2001-2002 investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight unit into sex abuse by Catholic priests. CNNMoney spoke with the journalists at the heart of the story: Marty Baron, editor: Liev Schreider Ben Bradlee Jr., projects editor: John Slattery Walter “Robby” Robinson, Spotlight team leader: Michael Keaton Sacha Pfeiffer, reporter: Rachel McAdams Mike Rezendes, reporter: Mark Ruffalo Matt Carroll, reporter: Brian d’Arcy James

Hollywood stories

What have the journalists learned from the awards season experience?

SACHA PFEIFFER: People keep asking us, ‘Is this fun?’ I say it’s more fascinating than fun.

MATT CARROLL: It’s been totally surreal. Surreal.

BEN BRADLEE JR.: It’s been heady and quite fun in all honesty.

MIKE REZENDES: We’ve been given this opportunity to spread the word. I always pivot the conversation to, A, the survivors, and B, the importance of investigative reporting.

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Cardinal George Pell to give evidence to child abuse royal commission via video link from Rome

ROME
ABC News

By Michelle Brown

Cardinal George Pell will today give evidence to the child abuse royal commission via video link from Rome about the Catholic Church’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Cardinal Pell has been called to give evidence about two case studies — number 28 about the Diocese of Ballarat and number 35 about the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The time frame for the case studies stretches from the 1960s through to the 1990s.

Case Study 28 deals with the response of the Christian Brothers in Victoria to allegations of child sexual abuse involving six brothers — all of whom spent time working at schools in the Diocese of Ballarat.

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With victims in audience, Australian cardinal to testify on abuse

ROME
euronews

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) – Australian Cardinal George Pell on Sunday becomes the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church at a hearing that victims have flown half way around the world to attend.

Pell, 74, who said he was unable to travel to his native Australia because of heart problems, will answer questions from a Rome hotel put via video link by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.

While strictly speaking an Australian affair concerning events decades ago, the hearing has taken on wider implications about accountability of Church leaders because of Pell’s high position in the Vatican, where he serves as finance minister.

After the Commission allowed Pell to testify from Rome, it bowed to demands by victims’ groups to observe. A national crowd funding campaign raised the money to fly about 15 victims and supporters so they could be in the same room with Australia’s most senior Catholic clergyman.

“This is the most Catholic city in the world, in every sense,” Andrew Collins, who was a abused by priests as a boy and is one of the victims who travelled to Rome, told the Australian newspaper The Courier.

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We hope Pell comes clean: Syd abuse victim

ROME
news.com.au

Stefanie Menezes
AAP

A Sydney man who confronted Cardinal George Pell when he first gave evidence to the child abuse royal commission two years ago says he hopes Australia’s most senior Catholic finally “tells us the truth”.

John Hennessy, 80, will join dozens of other abuse victims at a public hearing in Sydney on Monday morning to watch Cardinal Pell give evidence via video link from a hotel in Rome.

“We hope he does the right thing. We hope everything finally comes clean,” Mr Hennessy, a former deputy mayor of Campbelltown Council, told AAP.

Cardinal Pell is expected to be questioned about several different matters on Monday including claims that he knew offending priests were moved from parish to parish.

“I cannot believe he didn’t know what was going on,” Mr Hennessy said on Sunday.

“It’s up to Cardinal Pell. He must tell us what really happened,” he said.

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Peter Fox turns up at Pell testimony

ROME
Herald Sun

Former police inspector Peter Fox, who alleged church and police cover-ups of pedophile priest offending in NSW’s Hunter Valley, has turned up to support abuse victims attending the testimony of Cardinal George Pell in Rome.

Mr Fox, who calls himself a “self-funded retiree”, is in Rome on holiday with his wife, Penny, but on Monday will be at the elegant Quirinale Hotel to hear Australia’s senior Catholic cleric give evidence by video link to the child abuse royal commission sitting in Sydney.

Cardinal Pell will be questioned over three to four days about what he knew of historic pedophile activity by priests when he served in Ballarat and Melbourne.

He is chief of the Vatican’s finances and has asked to give evidence by video link because of a heart condition that prevents him travelling to Australia.

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Australian sex abuse victims await cardinal’s testimony

ROME
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By NICOLE WINFIELD

ROME (AP) — A group of Australians who were raped and molested by Catholic priests when they were children are hoping to learn the truth about what a top Vatican cardinal knew about their attackers when he testifies Sunday before an investigative commission at a Rome hotel.

Thanks in part to a crowd-funding campaign, about two dozen Australian sex abuse survivors and their companions travelled across the planet to be on hand when Cardinal George Pell testifies via video link before Australia’s Royal Commission. It’s the third time that Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, has testified about the sex abuse scandal, but the current round has generated intense international attention because it is taking place a short walk from the Vatican.

The commission, which is half-way through a 435 million Australian dollar ($300 million) government-authorized probe into how all Australian institutions dealt with abuse, agreed to let Pell testify from Rome because he was too ill to travel home. Two weeks ago, it also agreed to let victims be on hand to re-create the type of public hearing that Pell would be subject to in Australia.

David Ridsdale, who was abused for four years by his uncle, the notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale, said he had done 17 press interviews before Pell’s testimony even began — and was grateful that the horror of what transpired in Ballarat was finally getting known outside of Australia.

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Australia’s Cardinal Pell to testify from Rome in abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell is to testify from Rome via video link to an Australian inquiry into child sex abuse.

Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, will be asked whether he knew if paedophiles were active in churches under his watch.

Abuse survivors have flown to Rome to face the cardinal, who was excused from returning to Sydney due to ill health.

The hearing is expected to run at least three days.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is holding its second round of inquiries into child sex abuse that occurred in the city of Ballarat in Victoria state.

Cardinal Pell was a priest in Ballarat and lived in a seminary with a notorious paedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, in the early 1970s.

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Boston: Truth and Complicity

UNITED STATES
The New York Review of Books

Garry Wills

Investigative reporting got a boost in 1976, after the movie All the President’s Men showed what a small team (two men) could do if an editor and owner like Ben Bradlee and Kay Graham at The Washington Post let them keep digging for a long time. Another such coup was brought off by The Boston Globe in 2002, when its own investigative team of four people, called “Spotlight,” broke the story of Cardinal Law’s protection of priests who sexually preyed on children. In this case, Spotlight, which normally chose its own subjects, had not followed up on leads fed to the paper. It took an outsider, Martin Baron (played by Liev Schreiber), who had become editor of the paper in 2001, to jog the team into action. Baron was sent by the Globe’s new owner, The New York Times, to trim costs, yet he spent heavily on the priestly abuses scandal. An instinctive deference to the Church had inhibited the press in this Roman Catholic city from recognizing a scandal in its own backyard. Baron was not subject to that thrall. He was initially thought of as outside the Boston culture—an unmarried man, a Jew, not interested in the sacred Boston Red Sox.

In Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight—which has received six Oscar nominations, including for Best Film and Best Director—The Boston Globe story has been given a movie treatment like that of The Washington Post story. Both films retain some of the clichés of such tales—the resistance of society to what the enterprising reporters are trying to do, the difficulty of prying evidence from fearful witnesses, the final victory of the good guys over powerful resistance. But there are many differences. Woodward and Bernstein were outside the normal political reporting of Washington. The “Spotlight Four,” though not churchgoers, were all Catholic-raised or influenced. The crimes being investigated were more personal and religious, combining sexual and theological inhibitions.

As the team begins, lethargically, to go into the one case that had been superficially handled in the Globe, the serial abuses and regular moves of Father John J. Geoghan, they saw that other priests had been treated the same way—four, they turned up; then eleven. In diocesan records they began tracing the patterns of such frequent shiftings-about for priests. They were stunned as they found that large numbers of priests fit the pattern. They called on Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and psychotherapist who has studied priestly sexual activity for decades. (He is a respected scholar whom I have consulted for my writing and speaking on priests.) He tells the Spotlight team over the phone (his voice supplied by the actor Richard Jenkins) that he had found a high quotient of predatory priests in America, almost uniformly protected by bishops, and by that quotient the number of offending priests in Cardinal Law’s domain would be ninety—which was eerily close to the number they had turned up in diocesan records—seventy-six.

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‘Spotlight’ wins big at the Film Independent Spirit Awards

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Steven Zeitchik and Mark Olsen

“Spotlight” was the big winner at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as Hollywood’s debate over diversity also took center stage.

Tom McCarthy’sa tale of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal and the newspaper investigation that uncovered it scored best feature, director, screenplay and editing ‎prizes at the annual indie-movie ceremony in Santa Monica, as well as the previously announced ensemble-oriented Robert Altman Award‎.

“It is very rare to make a film that has impacted the world as significantly as this one has,” said “Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar upon accepting the feature prize. “By honoring it,” he added, “more lives can be spared from abuse‎.”

Co-screenwriter Josh Singer, accepting the writing prize with McCarthy, paid tribute to abuse survivor Phil Saviano, who was given a huge standing ovation. Many of the real-life‎ Boston Globe journalists portrayed in the film also were at the show and took the stage for the final prize.

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Abuse survivors expect Pell to disappoint

ROME
The Australian

LLOYD JONES, AAP EUROPE CORRESPONDENT
FEBRUARY 29, 2016

Cardinal George Pell has tied a ribbon at the Vatican in support of sex abuse victims, but Ballarat abuse survivors expect he’ll still put the church before victims when he testifies to a royal commission.

A group of survivors and supporters have travelled to Rome to hear the senior Australian cleric’s testimony at the elegant Quirinale Hotel from Monday (Australian time).

Cardinal Pell will be questioned over three to four days about what he knew of historic pedophile activity by priests when he served in Ballarat and Melbourne.

The Ballarat-born churchman, now in charge of the Vatican’s finances, has asked to give evidence by video link from Rome because of a heart condition that prevents him travelling to Australia.

On the eve of his testimony it emerged he had tied a yellow ribbon at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens in support of Loud Fence, a movement supporting abuse victims that started in Ballarat and spread worldwide.

“This is my gesture of support, especially for the people of Ballarat,” Cardinal Pell said in a statement.

“I hope the coming days will eventually lead to healing for everyone.”

In Rome on Sunday, Ballarat survivors welcomed the gesture, but said they wanted to see Cardinal Pell follow it up with strong words in support of victims during his testimony.

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Spotlight wins Best Feature at 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards

CALIFORNIA
YouTube

Published on Feb 27, 2016

Spotlight wins Best Feature at 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, broadcast live on IFC Saturday, February 27 at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET with hosts Kumail Nanjiani and Kate McKinnon.

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National–SNAP Fact Sheet: Bishops posting predator priests’ names

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Why is it important that predator priests’ names are exposed?

First, because it’s the quickest, easiest, cheapest and most effective way to protect kids now. If a chemical company CEO knows of 20 or 30 places in a city where toxic chemicals have been dumped, her first duty is to warn the public. (Then, she must of course fence in the properties, put up ‘DANGER’ signs and take other remedial steps.)

Since bishops recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, transferred and shielded these predators – often until criminal statutes of limitations expired so prosecution wasn’t possible – the LEAST bishops can do is make it easier for police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public to learn who these predators are so they can keep their loved ones away from them.

Second, because it helps heal the wounded. Somewhere, there’s an elderly Catholic mom on her knees praying “God forgive me for being a bad parent. Sally has an eating disorder and Bill is an alcoholic. I’ve obviously done something wrong.” When she sees Fr. John Smith exposed as a predator, she calls her kids and they acknowledge “Yes, he molested me,” and the whole family begins to stop blaming themselves and start their recovery. (“The truth,” the Bible says, “shall set us free.”)

Third, because it helps reassure Catholics. Until bishops “come clean” about all predator priests, parishioners must look up from the pews at their pastor and wonder “Has he committed or concealed child sex crimes?” They must wonder “Is the priest who baptized our kids or performed our wedding a predator?” and “Did Fr. Jack really retire or did they take him out of the parish because he’s an abuser?”

Fourth, because it’s what bishops have repeatedly pledged, for decade, to do: be “open and transparent about clergy sex crimes and abuse.” In fact, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ national abuse policy, adopted in 2002, mandates “openness.”

Has this been done before?

Yes. About 30 US bishops have posted predators’ names.

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Why a Miscreant like Cardinal Pell is Head of Vatican Finance

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on February 28, 2016 by Betty Clermont

Australian Cardinal George Pell will testify before the Royal Commission on child sex abuse today. Because his doctors claimed he was too ill to travel, Pell is allowed to give his testimony via video link from a hotel room in Rome between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. for three or four nights to coincide with 8 a.m. to noon, Sydney time.

Coincidentally, the Academy Awards show – in which Spotlight, about the Boston Globe‘s exposure of clerical sex abuse in Boston and an Oscar nominee for Best Picture, will be featured – will begin as Pell’s testimony concludes.

Pell will have to answer charges that he attempted to bribe a victim, he dismissed a victim’s complaint, knew about Australia’s worst predator priest, Gerald Ridsdale, and did nothing, and was complicit in moving Ridsdale from parish to parish.

In February 2015, the Royal Commission – the highest form of investigation in Australia – found that Pell “placed the Church’s financial interests above his obligation to victims of clerical sex abuse as part of an aggressive legal strategy to protect the assets of the Sydney archdiocese.”

Prior to being elevated to Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy by Pope Francis, Pell’s previous financial expertise was cheating the victims out of an adequate compensation known as his “Melbourne response“ and “Ellis defense” where Pell “instructed his lawyers to crush this victim.”€

To understand how Pope Francis was elected to a position to appoint Pell, we need to look at the state of the Vatican’s financial affairs preceding the 2013 conclave in which Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen.

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Flock keeps faith as Archbishop Philip Wilson returns

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlian

Rebecca Puddy
Reporter
Adelaide

Worshippers have described the return of Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson to his role as head of the Adelaide archdiocese as “wonderful”, despite criminal charges which allege he failed to report child sexual abuse committed by a priest.

Archbishop Wilson said mass yesterday at St John Vianney’s Church in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, nearly a year after being charged by NSW police with concealing a serious offence involving clerical child-sex abuse in the Hunter Valley in 1976.

In a decision criticised by some senior church officials, he ­resumed saying mass in January after taking leave in March last year when the charges were laid.

Archbishop Wilson yesterday declined to respond to questions about his return to work.

Parishioner David Carey said he supported the archbishop’s ­return, saying it was good for him and for the church community.

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San Jose: Protestors demand that Catholic dioceses release names of predator priests

CALIFORNIA
Daily Democrat

By Tracy Seipel tseipel@mercurynews.com
POSTED: 02/27/16

SAN JOSE — As passersby drove by honking their horns or cheering in support, four demonstrators waved signs in front of the Diocese of San Jose headquarters on Saturday as part of a nationwide protest to pressure U.S. Catholic bishops to disclose the names of 2,800 predator priests.

“Today, 30 dioceses in the U.S. have listed those priests in their dioceses that have been credibly accused or convicted or admitted guilt,” said Tim Lennon, 68, who said he was molested at age 12 by a Catholic priest in Iowa, then often driven by that priest to another parish to say confession.

“What we are saying is that the 165 other dioceses in the U.S. should make public their internal lists and open the books — and that includes San Jose,” said the San Francisco resident.

The demonstrations in 10 U.S. cities — including one at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Oakland Cathedral — are taking place on the same weekend as Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, which will feature best picture nominee “Spotlight.”

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Kurienkardinal sagt vor Missbrauchskommission aus

ROM
Radio Vatikan

Von Sonntagabend an wird der australische Kurienkardinal George Pell in Rom per Videoschaltung vor der australischen Missbrauchskommission aussagen. Zehn Missbrauchsopfer flogen dafür nach Italien ein. In Australien wurde die Aussage mit Spannung erwartet.

Im Mittelpunkt der mehrtägigen Befragung stehen Missbrauchsfälle im australischen Bistum Ballarat aus den 1970er Jahren. Damals war Pell dort als Priester tätig und stand in freundschaftlichem Kontakt zu einem Priester, der inzwischen wegen Missbrauchs verurteilt wurde. Pell gehörte zum Beratergremium des Bischofs, bevor er selbst erst Weihbischof und später Erzbischof von Melbourne wurde.

Grund für die Aussage per Videoschaltung ist der Gesundheitszustand Pells, der deshalb nicht zur Aussage nach Australien reisen wollte. Die Kommission stimmte Anfang Februar einem entsprechenden Antrag des Kardinals zu, der seit Februar Leiter der zentralen Finanz- und Wirtschaftsbehörde im Vatikan und einer der einflussreichsten Mitarbeiter des Papstes ist.

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Cardinal Pell joins loud fence movement

ROME
Cowra Guardian

ON the eve of his much anticipated evidence to the Royal Commission, Cardinal George Pell has made a gesture of support for victims by taking the Loud Fence movement into the heart of Vatican

The Ballarat generated movement that expresses support for victims of sexual abuse by tying colourful ribbons to fences has spread to cities across the world but this is its first step into the Catholic Church’s Rome headquarters.

While schools and clergy across the Ballarat Diocese including Bishop Paul Bird have joined the movement, Ballart born Cardinal George Pell is the highest ranked clergyman to make the gesture so far.

In a quiet area of the Vatican Gardens at the Lourdes Grotto, Cardinal Pell tied a yellow ribbon supporting the Loud Fence campaign in support of victims of sexual abuse.

In a statement from his office it said Cardinal Pell went to the grotto with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes the day before the hearing began to pray for all survivors of sexual abuse.

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Cardinal Pell’s Take on Child Sex Abuse to Stream Live

AUSTRALIA/ROME
Australian Network News

Australian Cardinal George Pell will go through international media scrutiny when he sits for the Royal Commission hearing. The hearing will be conducted to receive institutional responses into child sex abuse.

In Sydney, the public hearing will be held at the Royal Commission’s hearing room. Cardinal Pell would lay down the evidence from Hotel Quirinale via videolink.

The Cardinal will be appearing before the Commission for the third time.

The Commission is meant to investigate what knowledge Cardinal Pell had about the activities of paedophile priests, belonging to the Catholic Church in Melbourne.

According to Ballart Deputy Mayor Belinda Coates, Cardinal Pell’s testimony before the Royal Commission could act as a “catalyst” for more victims of paedophile priests to approach.

“There are so many survivors that we have who have been affected by clergy abuse within Ballart,” she said. “We know that with a crime like child abuse the majority of people don’t come forward and haven’t told anyone.”

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An Australian lesson in telling the whole Catholic story

AUSTRALIA
Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 27, 2016

MELBOURNE, Australia — A human rights lawyer and anti-death penalty activist named Julian McMahon, who was recently proclaimed “Australian of the Year” in his home state of Victoria, is every bit as much a part of the Catholic story in Australia today as the embattled Cardinal George Pell.

You really wouldn’t know that, however, from coverage of the church in this country’s media.

Pell, 74, is at the center of a national storm related to his record on handling child sexual abuse cases, both as a priest in the city of Ballart and later as archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney. He’s scheduled to begin testifying, for the third time, before a royal commission investigating institutional responses to the abuse scandals on Monday via video link from Rome, and talk about Pell is pervasive in the national press.

I spent 72 hours in the country last week, and spoke to scores of national and local news outlets on the Pell story. What I picked up is that many Australians believe Pell is getting a long-overdue comeuppance, while others think he’s being railroaded.

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Victims remember Pell’s trucking analogy

ROME
9 News

AAP

Clergy abuse victims have a message for Cardinal George Pell: no more trucking analogies.

Cardinal Pell has said the Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women.

That 2014 comment to the child abuse royal commission attracted outrage, and abuse survivors say they do not want a repeat in Cardinal Pell’s evidence this week.

Ballarat victim Peter Blenkiron said he ground his teeth so hard the night after Cardinal Pell’s trucking analogy that he cracked a tooth, which had to be removed.

“It’s time for no more of that,” said Mr Blenkiron, who will be in the Rome hotel conference room for Cardinal Pell’s testimony.

“We’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst – hoping that George will get up and say ‘yes we got this wrong, this is what we need to do’, and no more spin doctoring and trucking analogies.

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Abuse royal commission: Survivors prepare to face George Pell in Rome

ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

February 28, 2016

Melissa Cunningham, Rome

The 14 sex abuse survivors who have travelled to Rome to face Cardinal George Pell as he gives evidence to the royal commission have described their visit as like being dragged into “the belly of the beast”.

Survivor Andrew Collins, who was sexually abused by numerous priests as a boy, said the group was made up of broken men, but together they were a formidable force. More will join them at the hearing.

“You put a group of broken men together and if one falls down, they pick the other one up,” Mr Collins said.

“Together we have strength. We could never have come here and done this alone. It’s not the abuses of our past that unite us, it’s our quest for justice which has brought us all to this place.

“This is the most Catholic city in the world, in every sense. It is enemy territory and we are being dragged into the belly of the beast. But we’re not here for a bloody battle. We’re here for the truth.”

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Pell focus ‘taking attention from others’

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

The hype surrounding Cardinal George Pell may be allowing others in the Catholic Church to fly under the radar over the handling of child sex abuse, observers say.

Australia’s most senior Catholic, described as a “lightning rod” for anger at the church, will this week be questioned about pedophile clergy in Victoria’s Ballarat diocese and the Melbourne archdiocese.

Lawyer Dr Judy Courtin said Cardinal Pell’s appearance at the child sex abuse royal commission was significant given his seniority but others must also be held accountable.

“They don’t want to get lost under the radar,” said Dr Courtin, who specialises in institutional sexual abuse.

“Although Pell has to be accountable so do all the others.”

Dr Wayne Chamley of clergy victims’ advocacy group Broken Rites also believes others in the Catholic Church hierarchy are hiding behind all the attention on the third most powerful person in the Vatican.

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‘We spoke in front of the world’ – abuse victims in Rome to see George Pell testify

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Saturday 27 February 2016

It was not easy for Paul Levey to make it to Rome today to watch one of the most senior officials in the Catholic church, Cardinal George Pell, face questions about what he knew about rampant

The 47-year-old, who was sexually abused more than three decades ago by one of the most notorious pedophile priests in the church’s recorded history, needed doctors’ notes, an ultrasound for his leg, and even began taking blood thinners to prepare himself for the nearly 16,000km (10,000-mile) journey from Melbourne to Italy, with a 48-hour stopover in Abu Dhabi that was required on doctors orders because of a severe leg injury that requires him to walk with a cane. But he did it.

“It is important for us to sit in a room and see him testify. We all testified in a public arena and we didn’t think it was fair that he would be sitting in the Vatican and testify by video link, practically in his lounge room,” Levey said.

“We spoke in front of the world [when we testified], really, so we believe he should feel a little bit of that pressure,” he said.

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State can’t make priests tell of confessed abuse, judge says

LOUISIANA
Democrat-Gazette

By The Associated Press
Posted: February 28, 2016

BATON ROUGE — A Louisiana judge struck down a state requirement that clergy members report suspected child abuse even if they learn about it during a private confessional.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell ruled Friday that the requirement — a Louisiana Children’s Code provision — violates the constitutionally protected religious freedom rights of a Roman Catholic priest accused of neglecting his duty to report a teenager’s abuse allegations to authorities.

The Advocate reports that Caldwell ruled in favor of the Rev. Jeff Bayhi in a lawsuit that Rebecca Mayeaux, 22, filed against the priest and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge in 2009.

Mayeaux says she was 14 in 2008 when she told Bayhi during confession that a 64-year-old parishioner was sexually abusing her. Mayeaux claims Bayhi, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption church in Clinton, told her to “sweep it under the floor and get rid of it.”

The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sexual abuse, but Mayeaux went public with her case in a 2014 interview with WBRZ-TV.

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Cardinal Pell’s third time at commission

AUSTRALIA/ROME
SBS

AAP

Australian Cardinal George Pell will come under international scrutiny when he testifies, from Rome, before the Royal Commission into child sex abuse.

Catholic sex abuse victims and their supporters are now also in Rome for his appearance.

Victims remember Pell’s trucking analogy

Clergy abuse victims have not forgotten that Cardinal George Pell compared the Catholic Church to a trucking company in terms of legal responsibility.

This is Cardinal Pell’s third time at the child abuse royal commission.

The focus this time is on the Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse allegations in Victoria’s Diocese of Ballarat and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Cardinal Pell was a Ballarat priest (1973-1984) and as the diocese’s episcopal vicar for education oversaw schools including St Alipius where four Christian Brothers were pedophiles.

He was one of Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ advisers, at a time when there were pedophile priests in the diocese and was at meetings where the appointment of priests was discussed.

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Abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell set to testify from Rome

AUSTRALIA/ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

Cardinal George Pell is likely to be grilled on when he first learned of child sexual abuse allegations against Catholic clergy when he fronts the sex abuse royal commission this week.

Cardinal Pell, one of the church’s strongest defenders against public criticism over its handling of the abuse scandal, will be cross-examined by commissioners for the first time on Monday about his early career as a priest in Ballarat and later as auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.

He has previously been questioned on this period by MPs at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry. Cardinal Pell has always denied having known children were abused in Ballarat when he was there.

Yet since he last testified to the royal commission in 2014 about establishing the church’s internal compensation scheme, the Melbourne Response, it has uncovered mounting evidence the opposite was true.

This will be the first time the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has questioned Cardinal Pell on evidence from survivors and the Ballarat diocese that he may have been aware of abuse and its cover-up at a number of Ballarat schools in the 1970s.

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The Vatican maintains silence on Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at Royal Commission into child abuse

ROME
news.com.au

CARDINAL George Pell missed delivering his usual Sunday mass at the magnificent Domus Australia in Rome, but he was very much in the thoughts of the small congregation and clearly front of mind among senior clergy of the Catholic Church.

The Very Reverend Terence Bell twice mentioned Pell by name during his delivery of Sunday mass at the Domus which is situated in the middle of Rome, the heartland of the Catholic Church. Pell often gives mass at the Domus, which is the Australian Catholic church’s presence in Rome but he missed this week in preparation for his four day appearance before the Royal Commission via video link this morning.

Reverend Bell said in his opening address that he prayed for Cardinal Pell. Then during the prayers he alluded to the battering the church has received in light of the clergy sexual abuse. He said: “we pray especially for Cardinal Pell, and in particular the future of the Church. The truth will set us free, we must look forward not back.”

But only five people were at the Domus mass to hear and give the prayers for Cardinal Pell.

Outside the church, several coloured ribbons had been tied to the window grates, but it was unknown if this was in support of Loud Fence, the support group that has encouraged ribbons on church property to acknowledge the victims of child sexual abuse.

Earlier, the Vatican appeared to want to distance itself from the Australian Royal Commission into church child abuse and Cardinal George Pell’s much anticipated appearance at its public hearings in the Italian capital.

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Victims’ powerful message before Cardinal George Pell addresses child abuse royal commission in Rome

ROME
Herald Sun

Charles Miranda in Rome

CLERGY abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron wore a T-shirt as he arrived in Rome, emblazoned with the face of a smiling toothy 11-year-old boy full of life, dreams and promise.

“That was me as a child, when he got me, I looked like that,” the now 53-year-old said haltingly as if still sensing a monster lurking close.

He was abused at St Patrick’s Secondary School in Ballarat each time he could not finish homework and was made to complete it in the room of Christian Brother and now convicted paedophile Edward Dowlan.

He said he came to Rome today to bear witness and keep other children safe.

He said he now had two children of his own, aged 8 and 10, and hoped they and other children would be kept safe with changes to laws, notably within the Church.

He says he bore no malice against the church and was thankful the royal commission was seeking out the truth of those in charge.

“I was born a Catholic and I know some good Catholic people and I’m friends with good Catholic people, I just struggle with the whole institution,” he said.

“I believe there is a God by many different names and I find solace in meditation which is a form or prayer. But I’m hoping George Pell finally … says he does remember and not like all the bishops and other clergy in Australia that have said ‘I can’t recall, I can’t remember I don’t know the details’.”

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Victims’ plead with Pell to ‘tell the truth’ as he fronts royal commission

ROME
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery and Charles Miranda
Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell will today come under the toughest scrutiny of his career when he is asked to explain how he ­remained unaware of the child sexual abuse crisis that plagued the Catholic Church.

But he will not be quizzed over a present Victoria Police investigation into allegations he abused up to 10 boys — ­allegations he emphatically denies.

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s third most powerful figure, has long maintained he knew nothing of the crimes being committed by his fellow clergy on hundreds of innocent children across Victoria.

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Cardinal George Pell to face Royal Commission from Rome Hotel

ROME
news.com.au

[Note: The hearing can be seen in the United States at 4 p.m. EST today (Sunday, Feb. 28) on the Royal Commission site.]

THE connections have been tested and the flights are behind them. On Sunday evening, in an opulent hotel near the heart of the Catholic Church, an extraordinary event will take place.

At 10pm, Australian cardinal George Pell will testify from Rome in a live stream beamed to the Victorian town of Ballarat and Sydney headquarters of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse.

It’s the third time the Vatican’s finance boss, who ranks number three to beloved Pope Francis, will face the public hearings into what went on in the Catholic Church in Victoria.

This time, Pell will have an audience of 15 survivors and supporters who have travelled from Australia to look him in the eyes, after a popular crowd-funding campaign raised more than $200,000 for their journey.

Here’s everything you need to know about the unprecedented events at Hotel Quirinale.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Cardinal Pell is being called on to give evidence about his time in the Ballarat and Melbourne diocese where he served as a priest before becoming archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne and eventually moving to the Vatican.

During his time there, several paedophile priests were operating, including at St Alipius school in Ballarat where children were subject to abuse from Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s most prolific paedophile who described himself as “out of control” at a hearing last year.

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Victims put Cardinal George Pell on notice before royal commission into child abuse in Rome

ROME
news.com.au

STANDING outside the Vatican as storms clouds overhead were moments from erupting, Chrissie Foster has just six words for Cardinal George Pell as he today faces his accusers — “be a man, tell the truth”.

After a year of debate, weeks of planning and a lifetime of heartache for some, Cardinal Pell will take the stand at the royal commission into institutionalised sexual child abuse in a specially convened sitting in a hotel room in Rome.

Here he will be grilled, at the ungodly hours set at his request of 10pm to 2am local time, each night for an expected four nights on what he knew of the abuse by several priests under his watch as head of the church firstly in Melbourne then Australia.

His much-anticipated appearance before the commission today has become an international sensation with more than 60 media from across the globe registering to attend, notably from media outlets that have exposed their own sordid abuse scandals in their Catholic churches notably in Boston, Dublin, London and New York.

It could have been a nonplussed affair held in Ballarat but instead the cardinal’s inability to travel abroad due to poor health forced today’s inquiry to the Italian capital and a scene tantamount to a Roman Circus with police deployed to throw the venue into lockdown and protect attending senior church figures, security guards tasked with body and bag searches and room sweeps, and doors sealed.

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February 27, 2016

International media to descend on Rome for Cardinal Pell hearing at Royal Commission

ROME
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au

AUSTRALIAN Cardinal George Pell will come under international scrutiny when he faces the Royal Commission into institutional responses into child sex abuse, which will be covered by a range of European and North American media.

The Boston Globe, New York Times, BBC as well as European and Australian outlets are expected to show at Rome’s opulent Hotel Quirinale for the Cardinal’s third appearance at the Commission to investigate exactly what he knew about the actions of paedophile priests operating within the Catholic Church in Melbourne.

It comes as US film Spotlight, covering a group of reporters who exposed abuses in the church, vies for up to six Oscars on Sunday evening in Los Angeles.

But despite Pell’s long-awaited testimony, many locals in the Italian capital remain oblivious to the emotionally charged events. On Saturday the hotel was full of Scottish rugby fans in town for the six-nations game with many unaware of what was happening or who Cardinal Pell was.

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The Vatican maintains silence on Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at Royal Commission into child abuse

ROME
Cairns Post

Charles Miranda, European Correspondent, in Rome

THE Vatican appears to want to distance itself from the Australian Royal Commission into church child abuse and Cardinal George Pell’s much anticipated appearance at its public hearings starting tomorrow in the Italian capital.

At the time of publication, the Vatican had not decided who or indeed if they would send anyone officially to support Cardinal Pell as he fronts the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, despite the fact he is the Roman Curia’s chief of the secretariat of the economy and effectively the pope’s number 3.

The Vatican’s official mouthpiece and head of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi, who is fluent in multiple languages notably English, would not comment Saturday about Cardinal Pell’s appearance to give evidence nor whether he still enjoyed the support of the Vatican.

Then speaking in Italian he described the questions as “rompipalle”, derogatory slang literally meaning “ball breaker” and said he did not understand what was happening tomorrow before the telephone call was abruptly discontinued.

A Vatican press office colleague of his later suggested there may have been an issue with Fr Lombardi’s mobile telephone and hearing of the questions but she also declined to discuss Cardinal Pell and the royal commission.

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Vatican–US group praises Ballarat abuse victims in Rome for Pell testimony

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release, February 27, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

The leaders and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are grateful to and empowered by our fellow Australian survivors now in Rome for the testimony of ex-Melbourne Archbishop George Pell. We admire them for their courage and resourcefulness and hope their trip brings them healing and inspires hope and bravery in other survivors across the globe.

The importance of the presence of this group of survivors at the Vatican’s door-step cannot be over-stated. Pell, the Pope, and all within the Vatican have a responsibility to their followers and the world to show – by actions, not words – that they are in support of victims and survivors. To do this, they must expose and punish ALL those within their institution who have or are committing or concealing sexual violence. And that will only happen when victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, police, prosecutors, parishioners and secular authorities follow the lead of these brave Australian survivors and publicly pressure the church hierarchy to reform.

Soon Pell will answer questions via video link to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We hope he’ll be honest but suspect he won’t be. But no matter what Pell does or doesn’t do, these brave Ballarat victims have already won, by making this trip, regaining their power, and showing the world what a fraud the third highest ranking Catholic official on earth is.

As the oldest and largest organization of clergy abuse survivors, we in SNAP have promoted healing and justice for survivors world-wide and protection of children and vulnerable adults from future clerical abuses. When we get discouraged, we are buoyed by the strength, courage and persistence shown by these dedicated Ballarat survivors.

We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

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How ‘Spotlight’ is a ‘shot in the arm’

UNITED STATES
CNNMoney

by Molly Shiels @CNNMoney

CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter talks to “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer about how the movie is influencing a profession that has seen massive cutbacks in recent years.

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Perspective ‘Spotlight’ makes journalism great again with a savvy Oscars campaign

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Steven Zeitchik

Like moms and your friend with the garage band, there’s no surer way to speak to the souls of journalists than to tell them no one appreciates them the way you do. Who doesn’t want to be told they’re better than people give them credit for?

Such was the strategy this season in the race for Oscar best picture, of all places, where “Spotlight” has made a strong case ahead of Sunday’s show.

Tom McCarthy’s deftly executed film — a story about reporters — used reporters to tell its story to reporters. The message they delivered was simple: Journalism has become an undervalued profession, and this movie was here to correct that.

Since it rolled out nearly six months ago, the campaign for the Open Road release has needed to follow a unique path. The low-key procedural abut how Boston Globe reporters slowly unearthed the story of Catholic Church sex abuse and the conspiracy to cover it up was initially in a tough spot. The film was about a subject uncomfortable at worst and process-based at best, and about a profession that can be, well, let’s just say not super-cinematic to watch on the big screen.

So the campaign made the groundbreaking journalism the thing. Any fact-based movie is keen to trot out the real-life personalities, especially if they’re heroic. But “Spotlight” — one of three front-runners to win best picture prize on Sunday, along with “The Revenant” and “The Big Short” — had the added benefit of having many of its personalities available and appealing. (It also made the heroic survivors of the sex abuse a focal point of coverage.)

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Spotlight in Boston: Where the Oscar Favorite Was Filmed

MASSACHUSETTS
Curbed

BY TOM ACITELLI @TOMACITELLI FEB 27, 2016

Spotlight is poised to collect several Academy Awards on Sunday night. The movie depicts the Boston Globe’s 2001-2002 investigation into the Catholic child-abuse scandal in an admirably forthright and unsentimental way (we think). Most of the movie was shot in Toronto, with only about four days of filming in Boston. Therefore, the local flavor in the movie is of the exterior kind: outsides of buildings, skyline panoramas, street sweeps of the South End and Charlestown, one character waiting for the Red Line. Still, such shots layer the movie with an authenticity that makes it that much more engrossing. Here are 10 Boston sites that made the cut.

1 Fenway Park
The ballpark provided the backdrop for an early scene wherein Globe editors and reporters realize the possible extent of what they’re about to uncover. Real-life Spotlight reporter Mike Renzendes can be seen a few rows behind the actors, including Mark Ruffalo, who plays Rezendes.

2 South End Buttery
The cafe is used as a backdrop for a scene of a meeting between Rachel McAdams, who plays reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, and a victim-survivor. The actual South End Buttery did not open until 2005, while the depicted meeting took place in 2001.

3 Union Park
The South End park served as a backdrop for another scene between Pfeiffer/McAdams and the victim-survivor.

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What can we expect from Cardinal George Pell’s testimony to the child abuse royal commission?

ROME
ABC News

By London bureau chief Lisa Millar

The royal commission has received evidence by video link before but it is normally from the controlled environment of a court room.

Because of the speed with which this session has been organised, the four-star Hotel Quirinale was chosen.

It had a room large enough to fit the expected number of media and supporters and the facilities to assist with this logistically complicated exercise.

Seats for 168 people have been provided in the Verdi Room. There are strict rules regarding media coverage.

No photography, filming or photography is allowed of the room or those in it.

Cardinal Pell will sit at a table by himself at the front and his evidence will be streamed live back to the royal commission in Sydney.

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Ballarat shows support for abuse survivors

ROME
9 News

Cardinal George Pell’s royal commission testimony in Rome could prompt more victims of pedophile priests to come forward, says Ballarat Deputy Mayor Belinda Coates.

She’s in Rome to support 15 victims who have flown there to hear Cardinal Pell’s response to questioning over what he knew of sex abuse by clergy when he served in Ballarat and Melbourne.

The Ballarat-born cleric, who is now in charge of the Vatican’s finances, has asked to give evidence by video link because of a heart condition he says prevents him from travelling to Australia.

His testimony to the child sex abuse royal commission will be given from a conference room in the elegant Hotel Quirinale over three to four days from Monday (Australia time).

Ms Coates told AAP in Rome on Saturday night it was important the city and people of Ballarat showed they supported sex abuse survivors.

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Bishop of Truro apologises to survivor of abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
West Briton

THE Bishop of Truro has apologised to a survivor of abuse by clergy who claimed he failed to act after he revealed his suffering to him more than a decade ago.

The victim of the abuse, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he named Garth Moore as his abuser to the Right Reverend Tim Thornton in 2003 when he was Bishop of Sherborne in Dorset.

Moore, who was an authority on ecclesiastical law and chancellor of the dioceses of Southwark, Gloucester and Durham, died in 1990.

The alleged victim said the abuse by Mr Moore took place when he was a teenager.

But after he made the disclosure to The Bishop no record was made and nothing happened, he said, adding that The Bishop suggested he could come in and inform the diocese but there was no further help offered.

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Survivors arrive in Rome

ROME
Sky News

[with video]

The stage is set in Rome for George Pell’s appearance before the Royal Commission, with survivors of sexual abuse arriving in the Italian capital to hear Pell give evidence tomorrow.

More than $200,000 in crowd funding donations has helped the victims, family members and advocates make it to Rome for the Commission focusing on the abuse of vulnerable children in the town of Ballarat during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Pell had earlier argued he was too unwell to return home to Australia to give evidence and will instead appear via a video link from Rome, with the travelling survivors in the same room.

The Cardinal has been keeping a low profile ahead his appearance, but was spotted emerging from his home near the Vatican.

He confirmed he’s planning on meeting the victims that have travelled to be at his appearance in person.

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