The film Spotlight won Best Picture at the Oscars this year, and while the film itself is great, it’s the subject that fascinates. It follows a team of investigative journalists (the famous Boston Globe “Spotlight” team) covering the story of a Catholic priest accused of molesting more than 50 boys. The film has put a “spotlight” on this issue in the Catholic Church. Priests have been accused of child pornography, abuse, and sexual abuse not just in Boston, but in around the globe. One story in the New York Times this week talked about a small diocese in Pennsylvania where it’s been proven that at least 50 priests and other church employees have molested hundreds of children in the last 40 years. Priests admitted their actions, and church records also show that their superiors knew about what was going on. Nobody will be prosecuted, however, due to the fact that the statute of limitations has expired on the crimes – and most of the priests and the bishop who kept them employed are now dead. Even though many in the church knew about what was going on, they made tremendous efforts to keep the whole thing quiet because they didn’t want to tarnish the reputation of the church in a public scandal. The story is complicated, but it doesn’t change the fact that many children were abused and molested and nothing was ever done about it. Perhaps it would have been wiser to deal with it correctly in the first place and handle a small scandal rather than have all this information come out at once but not be able to do anything about it.
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