Friday, November 20, 2015 - Updated: 6:00 am
The movie “Spotlight” tells the story of Boston Globe journalists who documented sexual abuse by Catholic priests and held bishops accountable to Catholic moral teaching. The story that unfolded in Boston in 2002 is a painful, shameful part of Catholic history in our country. The church has learned from the mistakes of the past while working diligently to ensure that what is portrayed in this movie never happens again. Since 1988, our Diocese of Pittsburgh has followed a policy of zero tolerance, of removing any cleric who sexually abused a minor.
Thanks to the courageous efforts of so many people, including and especially victims-survivors, the Catholic Church in the United States has become a leader in efforts to prevent, detect and respond to accusations of child sexual abuse. At the same time, we know that victims-survivors continue to suffer great pain. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, stated after his recent meeting in Philadelphia with those who had been abused as children, “God weeps” because priests and bishops “who were charged with the tender care of these little ones violated them and caused them great harm.”
I offer my apology to and lift up in my daily prayers all those who have been harmed by someone who was entrusted to represent Christ. As the Diocese of Pittsburgh, we continue to stand ready to help you heal. If you or a loved one is a victim-survivor of abuse and this movie has stirred anxiety, grief or anger within you, please contact our Diocesan Abuse Hotline at 1-888-808-1235. Our diocesan assistance coordinator especially stands ready to support you.