The media came in for high praise in a blog written recently by an archbishop addressing the "Spotlight" movie and sexual abuse in the church.
"The media was one of the major forces pushing the church to respond in a way that it failed to do up to that point, and we are better for it," wrote Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a Nov. 12 blog posted on the website of the Archdiocese of Louisville.
With the release of "Spotlight," he said, the role of the media will again be discussed, and he recalled a 2010 column in which he wrote: "I think we should acknowledge the role of the media in calling us to accountability and the firm resolve that is expressed in the Charter," a reference to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth. The document was approved at the bishops’ spring meeting in Dallas in 2002, following the revelations of abuse by clergy and cover up by the hierarchy in the Archdiocese of Boston.
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The "Spotlight" film traces the work of the Boston Globe in uncovering the systemic nature of the crisis in which crimes of individual clerics were hidden as priests were moved from parish to parish without warning and payments were made to buy the silence of victims.
The subject of the blog came up Monday in a press briefing during a national gathering of the bishops in Baltimore. Kurtz was asked for his response to the movie and he referred reporters to the column he had posted days earlier.