Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.
Free ConsultationAll calls answered 24/75 convenient locations
Click Here To Call Now
215-392-4217 Local
800-724-2323 Toll free
to Our Offices
Toggle Menu Email Contact
Toggle View Our Practice Areas

'Spotlight' earns critical praise, tells important story: Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about the movie "Spotlight," which has earned numerous accolades and is nominated for several Oscars. It tells the story of a small group of reporters from the Boston Globe who publicly exposed one of the Catholic Church's biggest and darkest secrets. Institutional complicity was a major theme of the movie.

In today's post, we'll discuss two more of the movie's prominent themes. The first is the power of victim advocacy - including the self-advocacy of victims. The second is the role of willful public ignorance in keeping this scandal a secret for so long.

Victims push for their story to be told

An important character in Spotlight is a real person named Phil Saviano. As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, he established the first New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). In the movie, Saviano is initially viewed by other characters as a well-meaning but less-than-credible victim advocate. His claims seem too outrageous at first.

But as the movie progresses, Saviano connects reporters to other victims. He also pushes to ensure that the story is ultimately published, as past attempts to get media attention had been largely unsuccessful. Nearly all victims involved with the story wanted one simple thing: To be heard and believed. Once the story broke, countless other victims came forward with their own accounts.

Willful ignorance and the culpability of the public

One of the most powerful lines in "Spotlight" is spoken by an attorney representing many sex abuse victims. He says: "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one." These crimes could not have continued for so long without the help of other clergy members at all levels of the church. These men and women were more concerned about protecting pedophiles than protecting children.

But the public as a whole may also share some blame. Catholicism has a stronger cultural presence in Boston than almost anywhere else in the country. Many faithful Catholics chose not to understand the evidence they saw or acknowledge their suspicions. Newspapers (including the Globe) were very hesitant to print anything that would be critical of the Catholic Church.

These patterns were not unique to Boston. They could be seen here in Philadelphia, across Pennsylvania and throughout the country.

If you have not yet seen Spotlight, please don't miss your chance to experience this powerful story. And if you or a loved one has been a victim of clergy sexual abuse, please share your own powerful story with a compassionate victim advocacy attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Philadelphia Office
1525 Locust Street
8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 800-724-2323
Phone: 215-392-4217
Fax: 215-732-2289
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Reading Office
38 N 6th Street
Reading, PA 19601

Phone: 215-392-4217
Reading Law Office Map

Allentown Office
612 Hamilton Street
The Trifecta Building
2nd Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

Phone: 215-392-4217
Allentown Law Office Map

Lancaster Office
8 North Queen Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 215-392-4217
Lancaster Law Office Map

Cherry Hill Office
457 Haddonfield Rd, Suite 540
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone: 215-392-4217
Cherry Hill Law Office Map