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Lessons of ‘Spotlight’
March 15th, 2016
By John McCord


“Spotlight” is a collegial lesson for our current church leaders. Cardinal Law’s malfeasance and institutional dishonesty are a degrading confirmation of the presence of evil and human frailty within the rectory of our faith.


The complicity of the private sector: The lawyers, the defenders, the heavy hitters, the press.


The denial, the disbelief and betrayal of a grandmother.


The collateral damage, the stray Catholics who hoped to salvage their faith reduced to disillusion and anger.


The catastrophe of those who suffered first-hand.


The congregation’s common fear, not wanting what was whispered in the pew to be true.


Perhaps most disturbing in the film were the acknowledgements: Cardinal Law, in a Holy See act of ineptitude, rehabilitated to a revered place in Rome, followed by a dismaying list of global places where priestly spiritual and sexual sin took hold upon children and held for generations. Were they mortal or venial? The small audience gasped. I felt sadly connected when, in the columns of places appeared my town, Santa Barbara, along with faraway Wongooloola, Australia.


Go see the movie. You will be entertained, gripped and stunned.


Then, let us all explore the grace of forgiveness.


John McCord
San Francisco

 

From March 17, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

 

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