Boston Cardinal O’Malley praises Oscar winner ‘Spotlight’

Print More
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley on Sept. 2, 2009, defended his attendance at the funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley on Sept. 2, 2009, defended his attendance at the funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Revelations-Series-Banner-770x150

(RNS) Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has praised the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” which portrays The Boston Globe’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse in the archdiocese, for forcing the Catholic Church to acknowledge its “crimes and sins” in covering up for predator priests.

The film won the best picture category at the Academy Awards on Sunday for dramatizing the events of 2002 that led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and O’Malley’s appointment to head the historic archdiocese the following year.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection, speaks at a news conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Feb. 16, 2015. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection, speaks at a news conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Feb. 16, 2015. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

“Spotlight is an important film for all impacted by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse,” O’Malley said in a statement released Tuesday (March 1).

“By providing in-depth reporting on the history of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the media led the Church to acknowledge the crimes and sins of its personnel and to begin to address its failings, the harm done to victims and their families and the needs of survivors,” he said.

“In a democracy such as ours, journalism is essential to our way of life. The media’s role in revealing the sexual abuse crisis opened a door through which the Church has walked in responding to the needs of survivors.”


RELATED STORY: Vatican gives two thumbs-up to Oscar winner ‘Spotlight’


The cardinal went on to detail the steps the church has taken to protect children and said, “We continue to seek the forgiveness of all who have been harmed by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse.”

“Spotlight” has won praise from many Catholic leaders, and Vatican media on Monday lauded the movie and insisted that it is not anti-Catholic.

Cardinal Law, 84, is living in retirement in Rome. O’Malley is one of Pope Francis’ top advisers and has become a leading advocate for the hierarchy’s efforts to combat the sexual abuse of children by church workers.

(David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS)

  • Pingback: Boston Cardinal O’Malley praises Oscar-winner ‘Spotlight’ | CandoGH()

  • Navy Chap

    It’s a shame that the “media led the church” to respond to abuse within its ranks. Unfortunately the hierarchy has not gone far enough to cleanse its own ranks of those who were responsible. Because of this lack of action I remain a VICTIM of clergy sexual abuse and in no way can I consider myself a SURVIVOR. The sickness is still there.

  • Frank

    You will never find wholeness if you can’t come to forgiveness in your heart. You were abused by a man with a deep sickness and part of the crime is that he never sought the help he needed. Your journey has been difficult, painful and not part of God’s plan for the great man I’m sure you are. That’s what sin is. But you cannot let his sin keep torturing you. I know. I have been there.

  • Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    Why isn’t Cardinal Law in prison? Why is Pope Francis protecting Cardinal Law, Cardinal Pell, and Former Pope Benedict from accountability by letting them have diplomatic immunity? Why is Pope Francis ignoring the fears of parents in Chile who know the bishop he appointed has covered up the rapes of children by his mentor, the notorious pedophile Fr Karadima? Why does the Church still have diplomatic immunity, as it is only a church and not a nation, and has abused its trust over and over again? Where is the integrity of Pope Francis and of Cardinal O’Malley by continuing this charade, is it that they have no children of their own and therefore lack the normal care that a good dad would have to protect the innocence of children?
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, MD, MSpir

  • patrick

    @ Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    “ Why isn’t Cardinal Law in prison? Why is Pope Francis protecting Cardinal Law, Cardinal Pell, and Former Pope Benedict from accountability by letting them have diplomatic immunity? “

    When a notable member of the Church’s hierarchy is credibly accused of a crime or malfeasance he is usually “promoted” by the pope.

    This is a PR stunt. After all, how can this member of the hierarchy be guilty of any crime or malfeasance when the pope “promotes” him !

    He wouldn’t “promote” anyone who is guilty of anything. After all – the pope is infallible. (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.)

    Should any member of the hierarchy be subpoenaed or subject to arrest, he will be “summoned” to the Vatican where he will be housed and given diplomatic immunity or asylum.

    This is the case with Law and Pell. Also check out Bishop Paul Marcinkus (1980’s failure of Banco Ambrosiano) who was given Vatican asylum after Italy issued a warrant for his…

  • Doug Barker

    Oh, Rosemary, so people without children are prime suspects as abusers and no parent ever abuses a child?

  • arira

    I am a victim of a priests sexual abuse too. Not just the priest but the parish who hid him – still are – and the abuse committee I complained too. Please be assured that you cannot forgive someone ‘in your heart’ who will not admit, apologise or make ammends. Forgiveness from God requires repentance. God does not forgive those who do not repent. The church does an about-face and tells people that forgiveness is ‘letting go’, healing for you etc. They do not understand that forgiveness is not a feelings thing. Forgiveness is supposed to restore the relationship. Nothing is being restored with the churches take on forgiveness. The forgiveness the church teaches re-victimises the victim. If you don’t ‘forgive’ you are sinful seems to be the message. Notice how the abuser never has to do anything to recieve your Forgiveness unlike you who have to ask God for repentance. I do not forgive my abuser, I seek justice. The church is low on both forgiveness and justice today.