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

  • Gwyneth Paltrow becomes beauty specialist, pranks customers

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Gwyneth Paltrow recently surprised unsuspecting fans by going undercover as a beauty specialist for her pal Derek Blasberg’s new prank series. The actress and lifestyle guru joined Blasberg to test out her skills as a masseuse, a spray tanning expert, and a waitress during a day of gags around Los Angeles. Source
  • Obamas celebrated at their last Kennedy Center gala

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honours presentation: President Barack Obama. Source
  • 'The Walking Dead': The 5 best moments from 'Sing Me a Song'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    What Negan wants, Negan gets. Food, medicine, lots of wives, a whole new town… The Walking Dead’s big baddie, played with oily charm and oozing menace by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, gives us a deeper glimpse inside his world in this week’s episode of AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama. Source
  • 'Last Tango in Paris' rape scene revelation sparks outrage

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- "Last Tango in Paris" is making headlines again 44 years after the controversial film came out. A recently unearthed video interview with Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci from 2013 has renewed interest, and outrage, over what happened to actress Maria Schneider on set during the infamous butter rape scene. Source
  • Elton John dismisses retirement rumours

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Elton John has laughed off reports suggesting he is planning to retire from music after another round of shows. The legendary singer took to social media to calm the fears of his fans after media outlets claimed he would be stepping out of the limelight next year. Source
  • Jennifer Aniston pokes fun at Friends character on SNL

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jennifer Aniston joined comedienne Vanessa Bayer to poke fun at her former Friends character Rachel Green on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Bayer took part in a Weekend Update segment comedy skit about 1990s nostalgia as the TV character, complete with her famous hairdo, and was joined by the real Aniston, her co-star in new movie Office Christmas Party, who appeared not to be amused by the impersonation. Source
  • 'Luke Cage' renewed for second season

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Marvel confirmed on Twitter Sunday that its Netflix series Luke Cage will get a second season. The show features Mike Colter as the title character, a wrongfully convicted man, who escaped prison after being given super strength and invincible skin in a secret experiment. Source
  • 'Last Tango in Paris' butter-rape scene was done without teen actress' consent, Bertolucci admits in video

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jessica Chastain, Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood are disgusted by director Bernardo Bertolucci’s admission he staged a brutal rape scene in Last Tango in Paris without teenage actress Maria Schneider’s consent. In a 2007 interview with U.K. Source
  • 'Moana' still on top of box office

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Audiences came back for a second helping of Moana and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this weekend. Both family-friendly films topped the post-Thanksgiving box office charts, with Moana bringing in US$28.4 million and Fantastic Beasts earning $18.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Source
  • Jewish family battles Spain museum over art looted by Nazis

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The latest step in a Jewish family's 16-year battle to reclaim a priceless painting their heirs surrendered in exchange for safe passage out of Nazi Germany moves to a Southern California courtroom on Monday. Source