(RNS) Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Archdiocese of Boston, whose record on clergy sex abuse was uncovered by The Boston Globe and portrayed in this year’s Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” has praised the movie for forcing the Catholic Church to acknowledge its “crimes and sins.”
“Spotlight is an important film for all impacted by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse,” said O’Malley, who was named to the archdiocese after Cardinal Bernard Law was forced from office in 2002 following revelations that church officials protected abusive priests.
“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,” O’Malley said in a statement released Tuesday (March 1).
“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,” he said.
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” won the best-picture prize at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
The film 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)
- Trump’s move to protect LGBT workers unsettles religious conservatives - February 1, 2017
- Trump’s rise and GOP economics may shift Catholic Church’s priorities - January 13, 2017
- Is there a ‘Trump effect’ on public morality? - October 20, 2016
- Facebook founder meets Pope Francis. Friendly, if not yet ‘friends’ - August 29, 2016
- ‘Hey ISIS, you suck!!!’ New campaign by #ActualMuslims pulls no punches - August 5, 2016
- Two conventions, two nominees, and a whole new culture war - July 29, 2016
- The divided soul of the Democratic Party - July 28, 2016
- Is Pope Francis a Lone Ranger on apologizing to gays? - July 1, 2016
- Bernie Sanders won’t be addressing pro-Israel group - March 19, 2016
- Boston Cardinal O’Malley praises Oscar winner ‘Spotlight’ - March 1, 2016