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

  • Actress Erin Moran of Happy Days fame dead at 56

    Entertainment CBC News
    Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Ind., said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • 'Happy Days' star Erin Moran dies

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff’s department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher “received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • Erin Moran, Joanie in 'Happy Days,' dies at 56

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • Bruce Springsteen surprises fans at film festival

    Entertainment CTV News
    Steven Van Zandt, left, Southside Johnny, and Bruce Springsteen perform at The Asbury Park Music And Film Festival at The Paramount Theater on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Asbury Park, NJ. (Photo by Michael Zorn / Invision / AP) Source
  • Coachella 2017: The music, fashion and parties

    Entertainment CBC News
    COMEDY Comic Charlie Murphy, brother of Eddie Murphy, dead at 57 Source
  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' will be 'exactly what the fans want': Chris Pratt [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 won’t hit theatres until next month, but Chris Pratt is already teasing big things for his intergalactic band of misfits when they return in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Source
  • Ex-nanny says Scary Spice got her drunk for three-way with husband

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mel B’s ex-nanny has accused the former Spice Girl of plying her with alcohol when she was an 18-year-old student and encouraging the young woman to have sex with her and her husband. The new allegations appear in a defamation suit filed by Lorraine Gilles, who claims the Wannabe singer, who is now an international TV personality, seduced her when she was a teenager and is now trying to suggest Gilles is “a homewrecker, prostitute, and extortionist,” amid her divorce from Stephen…
  • 'Avatar' sequels get release dates

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — James Cameron has set the release dates for the next four Avatar sequels, with the first coming in 2020. The movie’s Facebook page Saturday posted a photo of Cameron and his massive film crew, who have been working on all four films simultaneously. Source
  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' will be 'exactly what the fans want': Chris Pratt

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 won’t hit theatres until next month, but Chris Pratt is already teasing big things for his intergalactic band of misfits when they return in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Source
  • Ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger in talks for 'Wicked' film: Report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is reportedly in top secret talks to take on the role of Elphaba in the movie adaptation of magical musical Wicked. The Moana star, who stunned theatre critics with her West End debut in Cats, is among the frontrunners to play the role originated on Broadway in 2003 by Idina Menzel, according to The Sun. Source