Catholic Church Child Sex Abuse Scandal Rightfully Remains in ‘Spotlight’


Click here to read, “‘Spotlight’ portrayal of sex abuse scandal is making the Catholic Church uncomfortable all over again,” by Michelle Boorstein, November 9, 2015, The Washington Post.

Excerpt: “The sin and crime of sexual abuse sadly still happens. And while failing to report on or remove an offender is rare in comparison with past practice, it too still happens, and when it does a shadow is cast on the Church’s efforts to restore trust and to provide a safe environment,” wrote Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels. “May God have mercy on us and help us.”

Editor’s note: Archbishop Jackels gets it! At least one bishop in the US does.

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29 Responses to “Catholic Church Child Sex Abuse Scandal Rightfully Remains in ‘Spotlight’”

  1. I HAVE CHANGED MY EMAIL ADDRESS FROM VANLADY128@PAONLINE, SINCE THEY WILL NO LONGER HANDLE ANYTHING BUT BUSINESS ACCOUNT. I REGESTERED WITH MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS AS GATPUF64@GMAIL.COM. IN TYRING TO REPLY TO THE LATEST POSTING, MY ADDRESS WAS BOUNCED AND NOT ACCEPTED BY WORDPRESS. I DO NOT REMEMBER THE PASSWORD FOR THE ORIGINAL PAONLINE ADDRESS NOT FOR GATPUF. I AM LEGALY BLIND SO THIS IS A ARSHIP FOR ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN ON TIS BLOG. THANK U FOR UR C OURESY. PAT GUFLER AKA PATCHY AKA VOICE OF THE SPIRIT

  2. “In 2002, the Catholic Church recognized that it was not immune to this issue…” (child sexual abuse). What does this man (Francesco C. Cesareo) mean?

    The RCC recognized that it was not immune in 2002! No, that was the year that the issue became widely publicized.

    It’s statements like this one that continue to demonstrate that the RCC lacks credibility. Fr. Tom Doyle told them back in the 80’s, and they ignored and punished him. Furthermore, the prelates did not need anyone to tell them; they’ve known about it for centuries! The only concerns were image, image, and image. This “issue” was never to be revealed to the Faithfull.

    “Sexual abuse of minors is a problem that affects many institutions in our society” (Cesareo). So what? As Catholics we don’t look to these institutions to be our moral compass. Attempting to spread the blame does not take the “Spotlight” (pun intended) off the filthy prelates.

  3. ‘Terry McKiernan, founder of a Boston-based abuse-tracking group bishopaccountability.org, said he doesn’t see child sex abuse as necessarily more prevalent in the Catholic Church. But he believes the reaction in the new statements about “Spotlight” reflect an ongoing problem.

    “What if they had responded in a searching way? A radical way? Because there is so much left to do,” he said. “And I’d prefer they not take credit for something they did so reluctantly. It’s not something they innovated, they were forced into it.” –

    FINALLY – someone who gets it. Yes, abuse occurs everywhere. But, the reaction, the cover up is the cause of anger and pain.

  4. The cover up and the enabling of perpetrators is the cause of my anger and pain. If not for this ongoing issue I might have been able to stay in the church. Yesterday I formally withdrew from the secular order that has been the center of life for over 20 years. It was heartbreaking to leave my community and feels like I got a divorce. Yet it was a step I needed to take because I can no longer keep a vow of obedience to an institution that did not protect us

    • I’m so sorry that you are facing loss of what has been your community. But I certainly understand and applaud your decision. With every passing day that Bishops aren’t held accountable, I find the logistics of how I practice my faith very difficult. While I consider myself Catholic, I can’t be a part of anything the institutional Church touches. I’m figuring out where that leaves me.

    • suzpt- I felt the same way when I left seminary and my religious order in the 90’s, very much like divorce! But, I simply could not remain in an institution that was abusing its people. I am still Catholic if one defines Catholic as believing in the Creed. I still go to Mass, but I’m comfortable praying with non-Catholics Christians in their Houses of Worship and frequently do. Like Susan, the institutional Church is also problematic for me. Collectively I find the bishops to be the very dregs of the RCC. One has to remember that Holiness was NOT the reason for their appointment.

      My focus is upon God; but I am now much more open to experiencing Him outside of the institutional Church.

    • From suzpt and Susan, the church, to me, has put way too much emphasis on beliefs rather than on this unshakable faith. I now feel we are all moving in the direction of faith, even without the catholic church, and this faith is not based on any beliefs. This faith is the actual support of Presence. This faith cannot be lost nor can it be harmed. This faith is this confidence to rest in Hope. This faith within Hope allows everything to unfold. It is this place within Hope there is no more mental activity of defining objects and dividing our experiences into different categories. This faith is a still point, a resting point, and appears to me we are falling into faith as this dance with Divine Love.

      You both are this living faith, the actual support of Presence, dynamic, and thank you for your profound faith.

    • Katherine FitzGerald Reply November 17, 2015 at 12:28 am

      suzpt… a courageous and intelligent decision you’ve made. I support you, and I’m praying for you.

  5. I went to see the Movie Spotlight last night in Philadelphia at the Ritz East on Chestnut Street, the theater was about 80% occupied. It is clear that the archdiocese of Philadelphia is following in the same footsteps as Boston and probably many more cities where the abuse was covered up . When the movie was finished the people applauded ! Those that continue to deny VICTIMS JUSTICE must be held accountable and exposed ! No praying or PR will in any way help VICTIMS , healing begins when JUSTICE is served !

    • I”m glad it drew a big crowd and there was applause. It shows that not everyone is clueless. They are advertising it like crazy here in South Carolina but it won’t be released here until the 20th. My daughter wants me to wait to see it with her in Philadelphia over her Thanksgiving break. She is taking criminal justice classes at Penn State main campus and hopes to work in the Philly DA’s office as an ADA after law school. She wants to help victims of rape receive justice. I’d like her to have a happier and easier job, but I’m proud.

  6. There is a private screening of Spotlight in Harrisburg Tuesday evening at 6:45 with a reception preceding it. You have to register in eventbrite by 5 PM today (Monday). The last I checked their were 58 tickets left. If you get this message too lat and want to go try calling PCAR in Enola. They are offering a shuttle to the theater from their office as parking is so limited.
    I was a Boston victim and plan to be there. Look for a 60 ish lady with glasses, short curly grey hair and a Boston Red Sox ball cap

    TUE, NOV 17, 2015 AT 5:30 PM
    Private, Advance Screening of ‘Spotlight’
    Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg, PA
    SHARE THIS EVENT SAVE THIS EVENT
    FREE REGISTER
    SHARESAVE THIS EVENT
    Event Information
    By: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
    Event Description
    The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) invites you to join hosts Representative Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) and Representative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) for a reception and private, advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at the Midtown Theatre beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and the theatre concession stand will be open for business. PCAR is pleased to offer shuttle service from the Capitol across from the fountains on Commonwealth Avenue to the theatre beginning at 5 p.m. and return service following the film.

    “Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese.

    WHEN
    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) – Add to Calendar
    WHERE
    Midtown Cinema – 250 Reily Street Harrisburg, PA 17102 – View Map
    TAGS
    Harrisburg, PA Events Screening Film & Media
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    SEE WHO’S GOING
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    Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
    Organizer Facebook Profile PCARORG Organizer Twitter PCARORG
    CONTACT THE ORGANIZER VIEW ORGANIZER PROFILE
    Founded in 1975, PCAR works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. PCAR partners with a network of rape crisis programs to bring help, hope and healing around issues of sexual violence to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    VIEW MAP
    Use Eventbrite for event ticketing and online event registration
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    Eventbrite

  7. Hope you all get to see the movie. i had a few tears, but was glad that I went. It was so well done.

  8. Saw the movie today and it was very good.

    But wait, there’s more. What’s this?

    “In 2012, the Globe revealed that a prominent Jesuit and trustee at Boston College played a major role in covering up decades of abuse by a Jesuit priest from Chicago. In 2014, the Globe reported that a prominent American cleric named by Pope Francis to prosecute cases of priestly abuse was himself involved in the coverup of molestations” (Michael Rezendes Globe Staff November 20, 2015).

    Is Pope Francis a good guy or not? I personally can”t read the man.

  9. My husband and I went to a 10:15 showing this morning. There were 10 other people there. The movie is riveting. I knew I had to go see it and was worried how it would affect me. It was the very end as the credits rolled that I lost it. My hope is this movie will open many eyes that still remain closed. I was not a victim but my sister was. I don’t know if my anger will ever be resolved. To be raised in a devoutly Catholic family, and then raise your son Catholic, educate him in Catholic schools…and then to find out this back in 2002. I have no reason to go into a Catholic Church ever again except perhaps weddings and funerals. Those in the heirarchy are responsible for destroying my faith.

  10. ” My hope is this movie will open many eyes that still remain closed.”

    There are those who through no fault of their own are mentally and emotionally unable to have their eyes opened. If presented with the entire secret archives they could not accept it, probably because they would be unwilling to read the documents. Indoctrination is very hard to overcome, and as Catholics we have all been Indoctrinated to varying degrees.

  11. We saw the movie “Spotlight” today…….Many years ago (1960s) my nursing school class had to spend 3 months in Baltimore Maryland for our psychiatric affiliation. Yep, at Seton Institute, a facility named IN THE MOVIE that was treating pedophile priests!!!!!…..Years after graduating, I often wondered what all those priests were really there for….The diagnosis on their treatment cards was never more than benign reasons…..( like exhaustion)……We played cards bridge,, pinochle, badminton, singing along with the piano NEVER knowing the real truth. My head was spinning while the movie continued……This whole scene is almost too much to believe….. Pinochle? Thank you for listening

    • Thanks for sharing, Carol. I hope you find it better to know now than never. Horrible. The cover up was so far reaching…and the other treatment center in MD was close to where I used to live. Housing criminals. All the cover ups unforgivable….

  12. Thank you Pat……. Forgive me for rattling on…I’m still trying to come to terms with the revelation in “Spotlight” that I unknowingly spent 3 months of my nursing studies at Seton Institute “caring” for these pedophiles………..The nuns that were in charge ( the order name of which I can’t remember for the life of me, .think Flying Nun) apparently knew about what the diagnosis/ crime was for each and every one of these “patients” , and more than likely my catholic nursing school in PA that sent us there also knew ……..I’m sick………… Almost.EVERYBODY involved wearing sacred garb knew……….We fools, the student nurses, sat there, singing and dealing the cards….”.Pinochle, anyone?” Maybe Prison? This was a treatment center??????…this was probably one of their hideouts for a few months…off the map…….Forgive me, again….I’m irate today just thinking about Baltimore.

    • I totally understand, Carol. This is a place you can vent. And it was the Daughters of Charity. Right? You’ve shed even more light on the situation….Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. I went to see Spotlight on Friday. As a survivor, I was dreading sitting through it for fear that the movie would not get it right. That fear was not realized. I thought they did a very good job of presenting the “condition” of survivors, the arrogance of the hierarchy of the Archdiocese and the threats from people who would turn a blind eye to the rape of children for the sake of the “good works” done by the church. I do not get emotional at movies, but Spotlight made it impossible to not be emotionally vested. At the end of the film they ran a listing of diocese that are experiencing (present tense intended) an ongoing crisis of sex crimes committed against children and vulnerable adults. I was relieved to see “Scranton, PA” on the list. I hope that I did my part over the years to put that diocese on the radar. It felt like a vindication to see them listed in the epilogue.

    • Michael, I hold you & your feelings on the subject matter, in very high regard. A question for you, as I live in a rather sleepy little town, but did you happen to notice Harrisburg, PA, on the list?

      • I did not look for Harrisburg, but I am relatively certain it had to be there. According to Bishop Accountability, there are 7 credibly charged priests who are from that Diocese.

        • Michael, Thank you for that info. Truly, though I am familiar with bishopaccountability.org, I admit, I have never sought out the Harrisburg Diocese specifically, on that site. Once about a year ago, I was on that site, saw my molester, guy d. marsico, it helped internally & emotionally. Once I saw him on the list, I had felt, a sense of vindication on him alone, then, to date, I have never looked for a single other former priest, SPECIFICALLY FROM HARRISBURG. Rather selfish on my part. Thank you for your response to the question. I will say also, regarding my perp., in 2011, the Head of the Child Protection Unit, H’burg, (Shaun McCormack) called me, to relay the fact, I was not guy marsico’s ONLY VICTIM. It has been 4 long years since that call & have been seeking out “his other victims”, ever since. To no avail. Thank You for responding.

        • Michael, You do very important work. I know I talk about God all the time and some people don’t believe in God but he gave me the strength to do what I needed to do but I want you and other survivors to know that it was survivors that gave me the knowledge to break thru all the lies and put the puzzle together to help put a predator in jail. I was an Rn and nothing I had studied prepared me for all the denial, lies, manipulation and crazy making that I had to push thru. A lot of the information I got from our survivors was thru articles I read in the newspapers many involving their stories. The point they kept driving home was predators don’t stop at one victim and that predators are so sick they don’t realize how sick they are and many see nothing wrong with what they do. I have said before this predator was not a priest but the work you do impacts those even outside the church in many ways. So again thankyou and I pray you continue with your goodwork. I also was overwhelmed by the list of AD’s across the country that had coverup clergy sex abuse. A friend of mine I lobbied with in Harrisburg is a friend of Phil that was portrayed in the Spotlight movie.She said he was a dear dear man. I remember when the reporter in the movie said he seemed like he was on a crusade or something. It reminded me so much of Vicky, Rich and so many others on this site that have sought to enlighten and inform us. I thought to myself I am so glad Phil persevered. He could have given up the 5 yrs earlier when he originally took his box of documents to the Boston Globe. So thankyou again Michael again for your perseverance. It has made all the difference.

          • I also must send kudos to Michael. I happened upon your blog some years ago. I read 1 word, “Scranton”, I lived there for 1 year in about 1974, due to my fathers work. Irregardless, I thought while reading your blog, wow & so close to home, & sadly, much the same happened to me. It just had such an impact thru reading about you. I am 1 of the seven reasons, B.Accntblty.org, lists 7. Moreso, Michael, not so many years ago, YOU helped me decide to 1) Try this again, 2) re-contact the Harrisburg Diocese, again. (SIDENOTE TO ANY VICTIMS, YET TO SEEK HELP OR JUSTICE – GOING TO A DIOCESE, “FIRST”, WILL VERY OFTEN, “NOT”, BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST). Thank you Michael, as you made a difference in one man’s life…MINE & assuredly, others.

  14. Fitzgerald: Where’s the spotlight on innocent priests?
    Joe Fitzgerald Monday, November 30, 2015

    “They knew what it was to see themselves unfairly wrapped in a blanket indictment that turned a basic American tenet upside down; if you wore a Roman collar you were presumed guilty, not innocent.If you’ve been following the brouhaha over the way some characters were portrayed in “Spotlight,” Hollywood’s version of how the Globe covered the priestly scandal that rocked the Catholic Church here, it’s tempting to feel sympathetic to someone who feels he was made to look like a jerk in order to juice up the script.

    But lost in all of this bickering over what was said years ago is the disservice that was done to faithful priests whose unwarranted disgrace was the collateral damage of a rush to judgment.

    They knew what it was to see themselves unfairly wrapped in a blanket indictment that turned a basic American tenet upside down; if you wore a Roman collar you were presumed guilty, not innocent.”

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/joe_fitzgerald/2015/11/fitzgerald_where_s_the_spotlight_on_innocent_priests

    It was not the job of “Spotlight” to look after the innocent priests. IT WAS THE JOB OF THE THE PRIEST’S WORTHLESS BISHOPS TO LOOK AFTER INNOCENT PRIESTS AND INNOCENT VICTIMS. I KNOW I’M REPEATING MYSELF, BUT MOST OF THE BISHOPS ARE THE VERY DREGS OF THE RCC, WORTHLESS, WORTHLESS, WORTHLESS! Joe Fitzgerald, place the blame where it belongs.

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