'Spotlight' film illuminates Boston clergy abuse scandal
Investigation led to Cardinal Law's resignation Oct 27, 2015
BOSTON —It was a scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church to its core: Hundreds of priests molested children for decades and got away with it because church leaders covered it up.
More than a decade later, the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the church's secret is being told in "Spotlight," a movie starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, set for release Nov. 6.
In Boston, where the scandal led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and settlements with hundreds of victims, key figures featured in the film say it captures the shock of the scandal as it unfolded, the pain suffered by the victims and the work done by journalists to bring it to light.
"We obviously stumbled upon something far more extensive and horrifying than we had any right to expect to find," recalled Walter Robinson - played by Michael Keaton - who led the Globe's Spotlight Team, the investigative unit that broke open the scandal with a series of stories in 2002.
The stories detailed how church higher-ups - including Law - knew priests were abusing children but moved them from parish to parish instead of removing them. The series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2003....
For the reporters, the film is a realistic depiction of both the failings and triumphs of journalism. Before the 2002 series, the Globe had written numerous stories about abusive priests but had not delved deeper to report on who within the archdiocese knew what was going on.
Shortly before Marty Baron took the helm as editor in 2001, he saw a reference in a Globe column about sealed court files in the case of John Geoghan, a priest accused of abusing more than 100 children.
His first day on the job, Baron asked Globe staffers if they had tried to get the files unsealed....
The Spotlight Team went to work while the Globe's lawyers went to court. A judge eventually unsealed church documents, including priest personnel files containing extensive details on when the archdiocese received sexual abuse allegations against priests and who in the church hierarchy knew. The Globe's explosive series sparked an upheaval in the Boston archdiocese that snowballed as similar revelations came to light about abusive priests around the world....
I was abused by clergy: Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson tells of abuse as 19-year-old
October 26, 2015 Joanne McCarthy
Anglican bishop Greg Thompson has spoken about being groomed by an Anglican bishop and senior clergyman in the 1970s and later sexually abused, after an historic diocese apology on Sunday for the "shameful" treatment of abuse survivors in the past.
The Newcastle bishop said he was an impressionable 19-year-old when the two men singled him out, made him feel special and used his strong faith and their shared religion as the cover to sexually abuse him.
His allegations against the two men, now dead, were revealed to NSW Police and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse earlier this year.
Bishop Thompson said he did not reveal the information before the diocese synod at the weekend because he wanted the vote on an historic apology to be a genuine response from clergy and senior diocese parishioners, and not a response to him personally.
"I couldn't have spoken about the need for an apology if they'd known I was a survivor," Bishop Thompson said.
"I wouldn't have known if the response was for me or survivors. I didn't want it to be just about me or any one particular survivor."
He felt stronger after the synod supported an apology, without dissent, in which the diocese apologised "for the shameful way we actively worked against and discouraged those who came to us and reported abuse".
"We are ashamed to acknowledge that we only took notice when the survivors of abuse became a threat to us."....
Texas woman used in 'blood ritual' while being held captive
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
DALLAS (AP) — Four people kidnapped a woman and held her captive for three days in a San Antonio-area home, forcing her to ingest drugs and at one point conducting a "blood ritual," a sheriff's spokesman said Wednesday.
Authorities believe Mercedes Salazar, 32, was the ringleader who orchestrated the woman's captivity, according to James Keith, spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. Salazar is being held on charges that include aggravated kidnapping, he said.
Keith said Salazar believed the 25-year-old woman played a role in the August killing of her brother. Authorities say there's no indication the victim played any role in the death.
The woman was abducted last month and spent most of her time in captivity tied to a chair. She told investigators she was forced to take drugs, including what she believed was heroin. Her captors also held a ceremony that Keith described as a blood ritual.
"It was a form of witchcraft where they cut her hair and drew blood from her," he said....