The sins of the Catholic fathers
d’Arcy James) – peel back layers of lies, payoffs and cover-ups to start to realise the extent of the scandal and how high up the church hierarchy it goes ... and just how many victims there are in their home city.
Unsurprisingly, pressure is applied by various powerful Catholics and there are some scary moments – such as when Carroll discovers that one of the treatment centres for these predator priests is a few houses down in his neighbourhood.
It isn’t easy to make a film about a group of people digging through archives, attending court cases and interviewing people into compelling viewing – that McCarthy and his actors do so is why they walked off with the Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble cast last week.
This is an important film for many reasons, but even if you don’t want to see it for any of them, it is just a strong story about a subject that touches us all – religious or not, interested in news or not. It is about uncovering the abuse of authority and holding the powerful to account. It is about giving victims a voice.
Unfortunately, since the Spotlight team broke the story in 2002, there have been another 105 sex scandals in dioceses in the US and another 102 in dioceses elsewhere, including in Cape Town. Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who the Boston Globe said was “the central figure in a scandal of criminal abuse, denial, payoff and cover-up that resonates around the world”, is currently enjoying his retirement in the Vatican.
“He is living out his elderly age just like many elderly cardinals who are in Rome or elsewhere do, and the way we probably will too if we make it over 80 years old,” Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, told The Guardian.
PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2