Vatican media praises Oscar-winning 'Spotlight' as giving voice to victims

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican newspaper praised Oscar-winning film "Spotlight" on Monday as having given voice to the "profound pain" of the faithful over the reality of clerical sex abuse, and insisted it's not an anti-Catholic film.

See Full Article

L'Osservatore Romano dedicated two articles in its afternoon editions to the Academy Awards and the Best Picture won by "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's 2002 expose of the hundreds of Boston children who were raped and molested by Catholic priests and the church's systematic coverup of the crimes.

L'Osservatore quoted producer Michael Sugar's acceptance speech-- "Pope Francis, it's time to protect the children and restore the faith" -- saying even his appeal was positive.

"It means there's still faith in the institution, there's faith in a pope who is continuing the cleanup started by his predecessor as cardinal. And there's still trust in a faith that has at its heart the defence of victims and the protection of innocents," said the piece by Lucetta Scaraffia, one of L'Osservatore's main columnists and the editor of its monthly edition on women's issues.

She said the film wasn't anti-Catholic "because it manages to give voice to the shock and profound pain of the faithful when confronted with discovery of this horrible reality."

Vatican Radio, which gave the film an enthusiastically positive review in October when it screened at the Venice Film Festival, also praised "Spotlight" in its Oscar wrap as a "rigorous and authentic" reconstruction, and cited Sugar's appeal.

The reaction marks a dramatic turnabout by the Vatican from a decade ago and even as recently as 2010, when the last convulsion of the long-running scandal flared as thousands of new victims came forward in Europe, Latin America and beyond. Then, the Vatican paper of record was a vehicle for ringing defences of how the Holy See had responded and criticism for the "unjust attacks" being hurled against its pope.

Vatican praise for "Spotlight" reflects the generally positive reviews the film has had in Catholic circles: Just a few weeks ago, it was screened in the Vatican for members of Francis' sex abuse advisory commission. And the Rev. Tim Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference in the U.S., said he had recently invited his staff to see it at a Washington theatre. He said they left feeling "both moved and devastated."

"We were moved by the courage of those survivors who came forward and shared their truth, and we were devastated by the size and scope of the suffering," Kesicki told the AP in an email. "It is a painful story that has to be told."

The Oscar was handed out just hours after one of the most senior officials in the Vatican, Australian Cardinal George Pell, testified before Australia's Royal Commission, which is investigating the scope of the abuse scandal there. The public hearing is evidence that more than a decade after the church's coverup was exposed, some level of accountability is beginning to take hold.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson's disease, retires from touring

    Entertainment CBC News
    Neil Diamond is retiring from touring, saying he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is cancelling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour. Source
  • Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson's, retires from touring

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is cancelling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. Source
  • Jury selection for Bill Cosby's retrial slated for March 29

    Entertainment CTV News
    NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Jury selection for Bill Cosby's criminal sex assault retrial will start March 29 in the suburban Philadelphia county where he's accused of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004. The 80-year-old entertainer's first trial had jurors from the Pittsburgh area, about 300 miles away. Source
  • Cosby jokes in first show since 2015 he 'used to be a comedian'

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault case. Source
  • 'I used to be a comedian': Cosby performs first show since 2015

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault case. Source
  • Meet the Toronto producer behind 'The Shape of Water'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- As Guillermo del Toro's merman romance "The Shape of Water" swims with the frontrunners this awards season, a Toronto producer who worked on the film is getting a big moment in the spotlight. Source
  • Emerging YouTubers feel the sting of sudden changes to money-making channels

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ray Reynolds has attracted over 200,000 views to his travel adventures on YouTube, but last week he learned his Canadian video channel just wasn't popular enough. In a brief email sent by Google, the Vancouver-based creator of "Vacation: Impossible" was bluntly informed he would soon lose status as a monetized channel, effectively stripping his ability to earn money off his videos. Source
  • NBC's Kelly says Fonda has 'no business' lecturing her

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this combination photo, Jane Fonda appears at the 2017 ACLU SoCal's Bill of Rights Dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Dec. 3, 2017, left, and Megyn Kelly poses on the set of her new show, "Megyn Kelly Today" in New York on Sept, 21, 2017. Source
  • Rehearsal, envelope verification and no cellphones: PwC unveils new rules after epic Oscars mishap

    Entertainment CBC News
    After taking responsibility for the epic best picture flub at the Oscars last year, Tim Ryan of PwC got down to business. He grilled the partners who made the gaffe, then personally reached out to the dozens of people affected by it: The show's producers, presenters and stage managers, as well as the filmmakers behind La La Land and Moonlight. Source
  • Rogers and Vice to end partnership, with Vice hinting at new Canadian plans

    Entertainment CBC News
    Rogers and Vice have terminated their joint venture that saw the latter make exclusive content to be broadcast on the former's properties. In a release on Monday, Vice Canada said it had acquired full ownership of its own studio business, which had previously been shared with Rogers Media under a two-year $100-million deal that launched in 2016 and saw Vice produce content that was broadcast on Rogers-owned networks. Source