“Spotlight” How the Globe Took on The Church

The movie “Spotlight” chronicles The Boston Globe’s investigative team’s reporting on the rampant sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

This docu-drama reminds us of the importance of good journalism. The tenacious three-reporter Spotlight team used computer assisted reporting techniques, a boots on the ground round up of victims and personal connections to blow the cover on this egregious violation of trust, faith and the law by those at all levels of the Archdioceses of Boston.

The movie builds suspense when the investigation is put on hold because all reporters needed to work on stories of the aftermath of September 11th and it does a decent job addresses personal conflicts faced by the team.

The real story is so powerful it would be hard to get the movie version wrong. What the movie does beyond its accurate depiction is to remind us all of this abuse of power. It asks us to question what has changed within the Church. Furthermore, the underlying theme that this abuse went unaddressed, despite multiple people calling attention to it,  is a call to action. It’s a rally cry to consider what other violations of our social contract are protected by our own negligence.

One of my favorite lines from this film: “People say it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes a village to molest a child too.”

We know from an PRI story earlier this year that many of the priests convicted or found to be molesting children were moved to South America, where they are very powerful among the poor communities. The movie makes clear what the excellent reporting uncover: These priest target children from poor, broken homes. So moving them to poor South American countries seems more like a reward than a punishment.

CBS’s 60 Minutes coverage is the only time we hear from the Vatican on the issue, and it’s still pretty cryptic. We have heard Pope Francis condemn anyone who covers up this kind of abuse, yet he had Cardinal Law living in luxury in Rome. The hypocrisy continues.

I recommend the film and revisiting the Spotlight series.

Here are the real reporters on stage with some of the actors and the producer.

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