Vatican newspaper: ‘Spotlight’ is ‘not anti-Catholic’

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The Vatican newspaper praises the movie "Spotlight"

The film won best picture at the Oscars on Sunday night

CNN —  

“Spotlight,” the new best picture Oscar winner, has earned a stamp of approval from an unlikely source: a Vatican-owned newspaper.

L’Osservatore Romano, which is owned by the Vatican, said the film – which follows a group of Boston Globe reporters delving into the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal – “is not anti-Catholic, as has been written.”

The film “manages to voice the shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities,” wrote the publication’s Lucetta Scaraffia in an editorial Monday.

At the Oscar ceremony Sunday, “Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar said, “This film gave a voice to survivors. And this film amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

Oscar shines on ‘Spotlight’

The editorial looked upon Sugar’s statement favorably.

“The fact that a call arose from the Oscar ceremony – that Pope Francis fight this scourge – should be seen as a positive sign: there is still trust in the institution, there is trust in a Pope who is continuing the cleaning begun by his predecessor, then still a cardinal,” it said. “There is still trust in a faith that has at its heart the defence of victims, the protection of the innocent.”

The column pointed out that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, both before and during his service as Pope Benedict XVI, undertook a “long and tenacious battle” against pedophilia in the church.

Still, though noting that “Spotlight” looks at only one portion of the story, the editorial praised the film for “giving space to the inner devastation that these (abusive) acts generate in the victims, who no longer have a God to plead with, to ask for help.”

L’Osservatore Romano isn’t the first Vatican outlet to praise the film. In October, Vatican Radio described “Spotlight” as “honest” and “compelling.”