In 2002, the Boston Globe’s investigativereporting team, Spotlight, published a series of reports exposing clergy childsexual abuse, and a cover up by the Catholic Church. As the horrific andheartbreaking instances of abuse and betrayal came to light, more stories ofclergy sexual abuse and the Catholic Church’s effort to hide it began tounravel across the US, and all around the world.
“I don’t think any of us understood thatthis was a global phenomenon,” says Mike Rezendes, one of the Spotlightjournalists who reported on the original cover up of clergy child sexual abusein Boston. “None of us could’ve foreseen it, none of us did foresee it.”
Fifteen years on, a film about the originalSpotlight investigation has, importantly, brought this issue to the fore onceagain.
“There’s no doubt that the Spotlight moviehas inspired another wave of victims and survivors to come forward,” Mike says.“I think a lot more needs to be done, and I think the movie is letting peopleknow that more work needs to take place.”
In this episode of Life & Faith, MikeRezendes talks about his work on the Boston Globe investigation into the coverup of clergy sexual abuse, and the aftermath. He’s still a part of theSpotlight team at the Boston Globe, and continues to have a strong sense of socialjustice – which has a surprising origin.
Plus, we have a bonus interview withProfessor James O’Toole from Boston College. He explains the complexrelationship between the prominent and powerful Boston archdiocese and thepeople of the city, and why some local parishes grew stronger after the scandalbroke.
“I think what was going on in people’sminds there was they had completely lost confidence in Cardinal Law, they’dlost confidence in the hierarchy and the leadership of the institution, butthey were committed to their local parish church,” Professor O’Toole says. “Ina sense they were saying, even after everything that’s gone wrong, they’re notgoing to take my church away from me.
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