Vatican gives two thumbs up to Oscar winner ‘Spotlight’

Religion News Service

Rosie Scammell | February 29, 2016

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just hours after the movie “Spotlight” picked up the best picture prize at the Academy Awards, the Vatican newspaper praised the film for its portrayal of The Boston Globe’s investigation into clerical sex abuse in the U.S.

The Oscar win on Sunday (Feb. 28) was hailed by producer Michael Sugar as amplifying the voice of survivors. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he said in his acceptance speech in Los Angeles that was broadcast around the world.

Sugar’s voice apparently reached Rome as well, with a columnist for the Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, asserting that the film had a compelling plot and should not be considered “anti-Catholic.”

“It manages to voice the shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities,” wrote journalist Lucetta Scaraffia.

Scaraffia said the movie did not go into detail on what she called the “long and tenacious battle” against clergy abuse by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — but she noted “one film cannot tell all.”

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