The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Spotlight Film Screening and Q&A with Boston Globe Journalists

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Religion can be an important aspect of an individual’s identity, yet across the span of space and time, religions of all kinds have come bearing not just ideology but also their fair share of controversy. One religious institution that has come under such public scrutiny in recent years is the Catholic Church, especially after numerous Catholic priests in Boston were notoriously implicated in a huge scandal involving the sexual abuse of minors. This initial investigation then opened the floodgates as thousands of other instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church not only in the United States but also throughout the world came to the fore, revealing a long and disturbing trend of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic church. Pedophilia and sexual abuse are far from new concepts, but this case finally brought these issues under the magnifying lenses, importantly in the context of religious institutions. Certainly, such heinous crimes are not exclusive to any one institution, but they nonetheless call such long-standing institutions into question and lead to much-needed investigation into what goes behind closed doors as well as to self-reflection in the struggle to reconcile an institution’s problematic and even criminal history with one’s own personal identity, beliefs, and values.

It is exactly such a journey that a group of Boston Globe journalists and editors, known as the “Spotlight” team, began in early 2002 when they investigated and then revealed the scandal of sex abuse by Catholic priests and the cover-up by the Catholic diocese of Cardinal Bernard Law. The Academy Award-winning biographical drama film, Spotlight (2016 Best Picture Award, Best Original Screenplay), portrays the true and riveting story of the Spotlight team’s quest to uncover the truth and expose injustice.

On Friday, May 13th, in Loew Auditorium in the Black Family Visual Arts Center, the William Jewett Tucker Center in collaboration with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center and Hopkins Center Film presented a screening of Spotlight followed by a discussion with two members of the "Spotlight" team, Boston Globe journalists Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes. The event was made possible through the generous funding from the Tucker Center's Ziskind Jacob Lecture Fund.

-Submitted by Nicole Simineri ’17, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Public Programs

The views and opinions expressed and any materials presented during a public program are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences