The Boston Globe's painstaking investigation into paedophile priests led to arrests, lawsuits and an Oscar-tipped film. But their fight for justice isn't over yet
In January 2002, a newspaper in Boston broke a story that was to shake the Roman Catholic Church to its very foundations. It concerned the sexual abuse of children by more than 70 priests, and the systematic attempts by Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop of Boston, to cover up their crimes.
For years, the Cardinal had been reassigning known paedophiles — moving them from parish to parish — effectively allowing them to prey on new victims. He had, moreover, been approving out-of-court settlements to their victims, in order to buy their silence.
The Boston Globe’s report was the result of a six-month investigation by the paper’s semi-autonomous Spotlight team — three men and one woman. It began when a new editor took over the paper and asked the team to follow up on a column about Rev John Geoghan, a local priest accused of having sexually abused dozens of young parishioners.
Not since The Washington Post broke the Watergate story in the 1970s had a small, dedicated team of investigative reporters had such an impact. They went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and spark investigations, not only in other American cities, but in 102 dioceses around the world, including Britain. In Ireland, it emerged, subsequent to the Boston findings, that the church had covered up the crimes of 46 paedophile priests.
And now their story has been made into a critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film, Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy. - PLS CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING...