After “Spotlight” took home the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who now serves as the Archbishop of Boston, addressed the impact he believes the film and its real-life investigation have had on the Catholic Church and the victims of abuse. Guests were treated to gourmet delicacies from Chef Wolfgang Puck, with an elaborate dessert buffet that featured chocolate golden Oscar statuettes.
“This Oscar amplifies that voice”, he said.
The film won an Oscar for Best Picture at the Academy Awards on February 28.
But as Spotlight reminds us, perhaps one of the greatest lessons the Church has learnt is that for the institution to understand the full devastation of the clergy abuse crisis, we must listen to the stories of those most affected, tell them, and, ultimately, repent and reform.
Spotlight’s director, writer and lead actor Mark Ruffalo joined about twenty protesters at a rally against sex abuse in the Catholic Church the day before in LA.
The head of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy George Pell testified late on Sunday to the Australian commission investigating sex abuse of minors and admitted the Church had committed “enormous mistakes” with regards to the abuse.
While children are vulnerable to abuse in many other places, like in the family, school or sports teams, it said, “it is now clear that too many in the Church were more anxious about the image of the institution than the seriousness of the act”.
The biggest prize for this year’s 88 Annual Academy Awards went to “Spotlight“, winning in the Best Picture category.
“Today…in the name of the Church, I ask you for forgiveness for the scandals that have occurred recently either in Rome or in the Vatican”, Francis said without elaborating in unprepared remarks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
Josh Singer told the reporters assembled backstage, “We actually spent the morning down at the Cathedral (of Our Lady of the Angels) … protesting with 20 or 30 SNAP folks”. They stood in solidarity with members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests demanding the public release of the names of pedophile members of the clergy.
The film chroniciles the work of Spotlight, a team of Globe investigative journalists and their tireless effort to expose the crimes and the coverup in stories that began appearing more than 15 years ago. The same organization has now honored Spotlight for its courageous exposure of sexual abuse.
Inarritu, whose win meant three straight years of Mexican filmmakers winning best director, was one of the few winners to remark passionately on diversity in his acceptance speech.