Spotlight: The Opportunity to Protect Children is a Privilege…When the Opportunity Knocks, Answer the Door

Spotlight, the movie directed by Thomas McCarthy, chronicles the investigation undertaken by a team of investigative reporters from the Boston Globe.  Their investigation uncovered a decades-long cover-up of sexually abusive priests by the Archdiocese of Boston.  The passion and tenacity of not only the reporters but the others who had already been laboring against the injustice including attorneys, whistleblowing priests, and the survivors themselves can be viscerally experienced by the audience.  The movie is quite simply one of the most important and compelling films of our time.

When the story broke to the public in 2002 the effect forever improved child safety for the future and highlighted the ability for survivors of this trauma to hold responsible the institution which allowed the predator priests to flourish.  The importance of these effects cannot be understated.  The change happened because the opportunity to protect children existed and the individuals portrayed in the movie exhibited the strength of character and bravery necessary to seize the opportunity to both save future children and acknowledge those who suffered already.

Equally important and also acknowledged in the movie was the opportunity for the story to have broken several years earlier.  At that time, the opportunity was quashed and those working to bring light were intimidated by the institution that chose to protect its reputation over the safety of children.  We may never know how many children could have been spared if the story had broken earlier.  What we do know is that the ongoing perseverance of the brave individuals who continued to fight until the Spotlight team was able to put the story on the front page is what created the opportunity to protect children.  The Spotlight team answered that call and children are forever grateful.