And the Oscar Goes to…Clergy Sex Abuse Victims


On Sunday night, ‘Spotlight’ took the Oscar for best picture during the 88th Academy Awards. It is usually the biggest night for the film industry but this year it was the biggest year for the victims of clergy sex abuse. The movie depicted the Boston Globe investigative coverage of clergy sex abuse that broke in that city in 2002.

“This film gave a voice to survivors,” said producer Michael Sugar in his acceptance speech. “And this film amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

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13 Responses to “And the Oscar Goes to…Clergy Sex Abuse Victims”

  1. How apt that the Oscars were held at the same time that Cardinal George Pell started getting grilled by the Royal Commission into child sex abuse here in Australia. He’s not coming out of it smelling like roses either.
    Personally, I think it would be sad if he did go to Hell although he certainly deserves to, because he does preach some good sermons and I’m impressed with how real he knows his Church history. On the other hand, the scandals reflect so badly on him that one has to feel that he has more in common with the scribes and pharisees than with Jesus.

    • So now they are after Pell, huh ? Funny….Pell, Finn, Nienstedt….none of them actually guilty of covering up crimes, just not doing enough.

      Meanwhile…the ‘social justice’ liberals like Weakland, Mahoney, O’Malley, and Bernadin get a free pass because they are very supportive of taking money from white middle-class Catholics and handing it over to liberal special interest groups in the Democratic Party.

      So let’s call this jihad for what it is: an attempt to railroad loyal Catholic prelates while giving liberals a free pass.

      • Loyal to whom? God’s children?

      • Shame on you for reducing this absurdly grotesque example of yet further mockery of the innocence stolen from little children so you can make your daily jab at liberals, only to divert attention again from the real issue.

        To damaged victims this has nothing to do with your petty church politics. I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m a human being trying to survive. I’m a priest sexual abuse survivor, struggling severely with PTSD, intractable depression, social anxiety, agoraphobia and unable to earn a living anymore. I’m currently trying to find someone at the Church with the balls to discuss the support I desperately require if I ever expect to recover. So far they’re ALL simply too cowardly to act like grown men, much less Christians. Thus includes special golden-boy Card Sean O’Malley and the various minions in the Pope’s Commission. I’ve never even been contacted by the Diocese. No acknowledgement, no apology. Absolute disgraceful cowards. There is literally no excuse whatsoever for grieving men in a first works country to behave in this manner. I am not accepting it either.

        Please allow me to outline what you should be concerned with in relation to the wholesale breakdown of human decency and compassion with the largest Christian religious organization in the world. Your Catholic Church;

        1) Stop further abuse from happening. Install on-premise CCTV if needed.

        2) Engage in negotiations with the US Atty General to negotiate compensatory settlements for all victims who have credible allegations, confessions or witnesses.
        Further negotiate SOL reform for all states that have not had window legislation allowing victims to seek damages regardless of time period.
        Create a victims crisis hotline in partnership with respected trauma experts and organizations, staffed with secular affiliated interventionists.
        Partner with top sex abuse trauma experts to develop program to become replicated at a few key, accredited in-patient facilities with which victims can seek treatment.
        Replace Pope’s Commission with a steering committee appointed with a variety of stakeholders who share various incentives to serve victims first and foremost, transparently. Report to peer constituencies bi-annually.

        3) Church-wide investigation that quantifies all past players regardless of seniority, then publicly release report.

        Any church members—clergy and nonclergy—suspected of perpetrating abuse is immediately suspended from ALL priestly duties until such time culpability is established. In this case, defendant is defrocked and similarly dethroned entirely from any and all religious organisational or leadership roles. An apology will be drafted and sent to victim(s) from Msgr, and also printed in minimum 2 local papers and two national papers, as well as Diocesean community printed periodicals.

        3) Coordinate with established charity and support organizations that help CSA victims of all flavors to commit to a multi-year financial endowment, in addition to any Catholic related charities they directly benefit victims. A dollar amount TBD.

        4) Produce a campaign consisting of six thirty-second television commercials focused on creating awareness and abolishment of Child Sexual Abuse. Distribute for broadcast, minimum once every two months, nationally.

        5) Develop a comprehensive website that contains a robust body of educational material regarding child sexual abuse, and provide for persistent refresh and tech support.

        6) Develop an educational course, resulting from collaboration with experts, that is available for distribution to any qualifying organization worldwide, including public and non-public versions. A specialized version will be created for internal Catholic Church use as well as a version for Catholic Church parishioners. Teach people about the permanent harm that priest sexual abuse causes.

        7) Hire a secular Children’s Protection Czar whose job is to be the face of the Catholic Church’s commitment and effort to protect children and support victims of Child sexual abuse. Person should be at least a PhD, preferably an MD.

        That’s enough to get started.

  2. Thank God Spotlight won Best Picture!!! I saw it at the local indie theater last year. There were a handful of other people. We need to keep working to get as many people as we can to see this!! It’s great that it will be so much easier with it being best pic!!!

  3. It’s all out for everyone to see, yet people keeping giving this institution money.

    Please stop giving them money. Then, as (if) you see measurable behavioral change you can start funding them incrementally based upon the degree of change. The layman’s money is the only leverage they have over the prelates; use it!

    • drwho13, you are so right. I’ve felt for years that money (read “power”) is the only leverage the laity has with many church leaders.

      Do you, or others, know of organizations who are withholding money to affect needed reforms? If not, we need to organize to be effective. Is there interest in this here (Susan, is this OK to ask on your website?)?

    • Maybe Dr, but there are people who say don’t pay to see a Hollywood movie because the money will go towards funding films that mock Christianity. Mind you, I saw Spotlight and was impressed by it but you have to admit that Hollywood is not the most wholesome place in the world.

      • “…Hollywood is not the most wholesome place in the world.”

        True, but can’t fix that. I’m still trying to get over the headache I got from trying to fix the RCC. It’s laughable, one guy thinking he can fix the Church. But, I did get one pedophile priest removed, and that’s something.

  4. drwho13, you are so right. I’ve felt for years that money (read “power”) is the only leverage the laity has with many church leaders.

    Do you, or others, know of organizations who are withholding money to affect needed reforms? If not, we need to organize to be effective. Is there interest in this here (Susan, is this OK to ask on your website?)?

  5. Reid and Joan Warren Reply March 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    “When will it ever end, when will it ever end……………………?”

    /”The report said the bishop created a “pay-out chart” to help guide how much victims would receive from the church. Victims fondled over their clothes were to be paid $10,000 to $25,000; fondled under their clothes or subjected to masturbation, $15,000 to $40,000; subjected to forced oral sex, $25,000 to $75,000; subjected to forced sodomy or intercourse, $50,000 to $175,000.”/

  6. I woke up Monday morning like I had won the Academy Award! I was up there on stage with all my fellow survivors.

    If you have not watched Spotlight – do so! If you have – watch it again and again. As a survivor – I am constantly drawn to the fact that the hierarchy knew. The patterns were the same – the methods the same. It was like someone gave a bulleted list out in the seminary for priests.

  7. Thrilled to have celebrities who, let’s face it, people tend to listen to, speaking out and bringing attention to this issue! So happy it won! It was beautifully done.

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