Spotlight Feedback

SNAP encourages everyone to see the Spotlight movie and share their comments on our website.

Spotlight Feedback

SNAP encourages everyone to see the Spotlight movie and share their comments on our website.

SNAP is thrilled to support the Spotlight Movie.

We strongly encourage everyone to see it and to talk about it with their family, friends, loved ones, and communities. While it has been an emotional experience for many, overwhelmingly we hear from survivors who feel empowered and motivated to advocate for others. We have been receiving so much feedback we wanted to create a place to share it with the SNAP community. 

How do you feel about the film? Were you surprised by anything in the film? From your perspective, did it resonate with your experience? Would you go see it again and who would you take with you? Please leave your comments below.

Showing 107 comments

  • Francis McMaster
    commented 2016-02-07 13:02:14 -0600
    As the holey veil is lifted from the perpetrators of the Catholic church organized sexual abuse of it’s own children, the unveiling of the criminal conspiracy is stunningly portrayed by a cast of truly gifted actors, and the film is well supported by a methodical accounting of the illegal, immoral cover up by the [in]justice system that is paid off with legal fees. Just as pedophiles groom their victims with the whisper of secrecy, the church utilizes the same excuses to mask the guilt of their complicity in the propagation of crimes against children. What you may not know, unless you’ve seen the film, is that this cinematic triumph hits you between the eyes with the immense global conspiracy that staggers the moral compass of any reasoning human being. Please don’t be fooled by the church’s public relations efforts to minimize their accountability!
  • Jennifer Skog
    commented 2016-01-04 20:29:43 -0600
    I was hurt by the realities that the movie showcases. I lived in Boston when this was uncovered but never truly got it until now. I want nothing more but to save every child from a horrific fate, a grandiose hope to end all abuse!
  • Jennifer Skog
    commented 2016-01-04 20:28:13 -0600
    I was hurt by the realities that the movie showcases. I lived in Boston when this was uncovered but never truly got it until now. I want nothing more but to save every child from a horrific fate, a grandiose hope to end all abuse!
  • Jonathan Kissel
    commented 2016-01-04 19:38:05 -0600
    As a proud donor to SNAP, I hope the excellent Spotlight brings more attention to the superlative work of the organization. Tom McCarthy’s empathetic and morally exhausting depiction of the breaking of the Boston abuse scandal is a thorough breakdown of the forces that allowed this crime against humanity to be perpetrated for so many years. It additionally captures the rewards that people receive for not making waves, while those fighting for justice are ostracized and forced to the fringes, including SNAP member Phil Saviano, beautifully portrayed with righteous indignation by actor Neal Huff. In a scene that brought me to tears (the first of many), Saviano is a man screaming into a hurricane, frustrated by years of being ignored and justly skeptical that the Spotlight team will be any different. To the benefit of all mankind, they listened and helped expose something that is still spinning out to this day, thanks to the tireless efforts of SNAP and other organizations. Spotlight is a must-watch and the best film of 2015.

    Full review at
  • Spotlight Movie
    @ tweeted this page. 2016-01-04 11:37:39 -0600
    Thanks to all for sharing their reaction to @Spotlightmovie read comments and share your thoughts here--->
  • Deborah Marshall
    commented 2015-12-30 21:43:30 -0600
    Seen the movie “Spotlight” this afternoon and it was powerful. I felt the anger of the victims and felt anger toward my church for allowing it to happen. There is no excuse for this. I was at an anniversary mass about five years ago and the Monsignor at that time told us we needed to forgive the men who have been accused of sexual abuse of children. I then have viewed my church differently from that one moment. I have questioned everything about how the church is run and I am an active parishioner at my parish I love my faith however I do not like what man has done to my faith and therefore don’t blame my faith I blame mankind for what happened and it could had and should have never been hid. No respect for the church but have respect for the teachings of the church.
  • Chris Cassone
    commented 2015-12-30 19:15:12 -0600
    I finally saw “Spotlight” today and was reduced to tears throughout. I cried not for myself, a survivor of the horrendous Jesuits, but for the kids who are being abused as we speak. The Society of Jesus treated me like dirt when my submerged memory arose, that of the PRINCIPAL of Fordham Prep who groomed me and had his way with me on several continents (yes, he took me Europe!) When I remembered what had happened, it all came rushing out as I told it all to a pastoral counselor. She was wonderful but no legal mind at all and the Jesuits had their way again, paying me off with a small sum and a dog and pony show. Believe me, it wasn’t about the money. It was about making things right which they refused to do. That’s why the Michael Keaton character, Robbie, struck such a chord with me. The days of looking the other way are over. Ah, the film was very cathartic, I must say. I need to see it and to see those who finally took a stand. Bravo to SNAP and Bishops Accountability.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-12-14 15:04:39 -0600
    Check these 34 comments on the Spotlight movie and leave yours today!
  • Danielle Stefanick
    commented 2015-12-14 15:02:27 -0600
    Thanks to Joe McGee for calling in to share his feedback on the Spotlight movie. Something he said that really stood out to me: “I really appreciated that the film made a point to define sexual abuse. So many people think it’s just a pat on the butt or a misinterpreted touch. People don’t stop to think about what really happened to us as kids.” Thanks for pointing this out Joe! There is nothing about raping children to misinterpret.
  • Dottie Klammer
    commented 2015-12-08 16:18:12 -0600
    It was excellent! The journalist’s in the movie were like dogs digging for a bone. And a bone they did find. What an example of investigative journalism! I felt the film depicted the truth of what has happened and is still happening in the Catholic Church. It is a closed system that takes care of it’s own, at any cost.

    In the movie it was obvious the journalist’s were sensitive to the vulnerability of the victims they interviewed however I was disappointed they didn’t touch on the reality that victims were/are from all socioeconomic walks of life. Being associated with the Catholic Church was the only requirement.

    When they questioned a victim they were sensitive to how much courage it takes to hear your own voice say the words I was sexually abused. Victims take on the guilt and shame in the aftermath of “P.T.S.D.”, so to step forward “to tell”, is monumental. In doing so they are saying “It wasn’t my fault.” Michael Broussard understands this well. He is an abuse survivor who has produced and acts in the one man play “Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor”. This play and the movie are “out there” now to enlighten and educate the public about just how devastating sexual abuse is to one’s life. I know. I am a survivor.
  • Rosemary McHugh
    commented 2015-12-07 12:40:48 -0600
    To Alan Doyle – I am glad to read your comment and to learn that Spotlight is coming to Ireland. I am an Irish-American. My parents were from Mayo in Ireland. I was a new graduate in medicine from Trinity College in Dublin when I was sexually assaulted by a Carmelite priest from the Clarendon Street Church in Dublin. It might interest you to know that the present Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin listens to the victims and does his best to make the predator clergy accountable. He listened to my story and referred my case directly to the police, since that is their job to investigate crimes. The priest was withdrawn from active ministry. Sadly, the Vatican policy for years has been secrecy and denial of the truth, eventhough Jesus asked us all to protect the innocence of children. Jesus also said predators should have a millstone around their necks and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Jesus’ words have been ignored by popes for many years. To learn more of my story, I recommend you read my chapter on clergy sexual abuse in a new book edited by two law professors in Chicago called: Restorative Justice in Practice: A Holistic Approach. Best wishes to you!
  • Paul Ciaramitaro
    followed this page 2015-12-07 11:14:59 -0600
  • Alan Doyle
    commented 2015-12-07 05:58:03 -0600
    Since I am presently in Grad School here in Ireland, I have not seen the movie, Spotlight as yet. It is slated to arrive in Ireland after Christmas, and I hope to see it them. In the interim, I have been telling people here about the movie especially about the cover-up involving Boston Politicians, attorneys, and even the Press. I will say more after I see the film. Thanks
  • Mark Sanchez
    commented 2015-12-07 02:36:31 -0600
    My name is Mark, and I am a survivor of the San Antonio Texas Archdiocese. I attended Catholic parochial school in Floresville, Texas. And in 1976-1977, the priest named Father Louis P. White raped me over 60 times. My mind suppressed the memory of Father Lou, and I lost memories from my many years at Sacred Heart School. On 11/18/10, and on my behalf, my legal representative’s, Lori Watson, Tahira Kahn Merritt and Tom Rhode’s, filed a Civil lawsuit against the San Antonio Texas Archdiocese. The Case with the Archdiocese was settled on 01/07/13, just before trial. The archdiocese feared what might be revealed to the public during the trial….A separate Default Judgment for $181M was taken against Father Louis P. White, who represented himself. How was this victory won? In a nutshell: Lori Watson, Tahira Kahn Merritt and Tom Rhodes, along with their legal teams; defeated the statute of limitations in a Bexar County Texas court of law. The judge of record, ruled in favor of “Repressed Memory Defense” and, accepted the defense. Long story short…It was a great day for victims throughout the United States. Furthermore, I believe the “Spotlight” movie is going to wake up many sleeper’s such as myself, because as I watched the movie Spotlight, I was moved to tear’s, I began to shake. I felt the emotions of the stars before me, they began to defend me, by their revelations about pedophile priest. I was not surprised by anything the movie revealed. Because, my personal experience, is the San Antonio Texas Archdiocese attempted to destroy me, and the ‘priest’s’ did not help me. The movie ’Spotlight’ resonated with my personal experience, it is powerful, it has given me cause to not give up, and I would watch the movie again.
  • Rosemary McHugh
    commented 2015-12-06 15:55:08 -0600
    I highly recommend the movie Spotlight. I have seen it twice now and it is worth seeing more than once. The first time I saw it was in Chicago at a special showing at Northwestern University mainly for students of journalism. The movie was followed by a panel discussion with Barbara Blaine, President of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and an attorney, representing the Archdiocese of Chicago. The attorney for the archdiocese had no words to defend the indefensible. I discovered he was a former priest and was ordained a year before my brother was ordained at the same seminary. As a victim/ survivor of clergy sexual abuse myself, I gave him a copy of the new book Restorative Justice in Practice: A Holistic Approach, and asked him to read my chapter to get the perspective of a victim/survivor.

    The second time I saw the movie was in South Carolina. It helped me to see the movie again to deeply appreciate the hard work of investigative journalists and then their humility in having to admit that 5 years previously the story of clergy sexual abuse was not followed up on, partly because Boston is a Catholic town, and the one case reported on was dismissed as a one off situation, especially by the dishonest Church leaders. The thought that the rape of children was endemic in the priesthood was too horrible to believe it to be true. If it wasn’t for SNAP and other victim/survivor groups, I feel sure that the Church would still be covering up the truth. I am deeply grateful to SNAP for the help I received in preparing a report to police in my case. The attentiveness of the reporters to the victims once the reporters realized that sexual abuse was going on, was hopeful that victim/survivors in future will be listened to and believed, because that is what needs to happen for there to be hope for truth and justice. Sadly, clergy sexual abuse continues today around the world, when the Church thinks it can get away with it.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, MD, MSpir
  • Heather Mullally
    commented 2015-12-06 12:19:04 -0600
    The film was awesome! I cried at the end feeling so thankful to the men and women at the Globe and feeling so angry at the Church!
    I saw it with my husband who I believe came away with a whole new understanding of what I went through. He’s been my rock!
    I am so grateful for all SNAP does! I wish there was a group near where I live.
    Thank you!
  • Heather Mullally
    followed this page 2015-12-06 12:18:12 -0600
  • Danielle Polemeni
    commented 2015-12-05 14:22:08 -0600
    I saw Spotlight last night. It was horrifying from the first scene, but I left feeling validated and empowered. Mitchell Garabedian and the Spotlight team are heroes. The filmmakers did an excellent job of representing the myriad of emotions and circumstances that effect survivors of clerical abuse and how and why the abuse had been concealed for so long. The film gives voice to the previously voiceless and tells a critically important story with truth and compassion. I hope that other survivors can come forward and feel vindicated that
    justice and healing can be had.
  • Lizzi Vessel
    commented 2015-12-05 12:28:59 -0600
    Have not seen Spotlight yet. But eager to. Spotlight needs to travel their skills to Stearns county Mn+ St.John’s Abbey/Unv. and help us to continue to uncover all the clergy pedophile crimes. 30 years prior to the Spotlight teams unveiling the systematic crimes+cover-ups in Boston, our families have been on the frontline @ St.John’s Abbey. St.John’s Abbey is the nations largest benedictian university+ hub of training ‘men’ to be priests. Psychological evaluations were implimented by John McNamara in the 50’s, results hidden in records…“these men pose severe risksto seek out sex from children”. Behindthepinecurtain website will identify many of the ‘men’ evaluated. St.John’s abbey knew full well prior to givig/supplying scholarships to these men to attend university, of their propensity to harm children. Jeff Anderson’s office has not YET been able to have the courts enforce retrieval of these records. The Abbey is doing everything to curtail these disclosures. RICO is long over due. A.W.Sipe is well aware that the Abbey hired McNamara to perform these psych evaluations. Our families have been manipulated forcefully threatenedintimidated tactfully by Abbey officials+ judicial members whom have been monitarily paid off to continue our victimization. Spotlight team please help the children+families continueing to be persecuted by clergy organized offenders@ St.John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Mn. Please we request the help of attorney’s coast to coast whom advocate for truth+transparency in behalf of childrens civil+humane rites. Our father fought till the day he died+ clergy offenders+their administrative enablers pushed Dad into the grave. Our brother is made toy by mental health system while PHD’s at St.Lukes in Baltimore rubberstamp recidivist clergy child abusers+ return sex offenders to “service” to reoffend others. We went to all the appropriate state+federal offices to report+ demand proper witness protection OVEROVER for 40+ years. It’s sickning the childs victims act “gives” children a 3 year window, after a lifetime of abuses. We are being shuved into silence+erased.
  • Joanne Helhowski
    commented 2015-12-05 07:14:10 -0600
    This was a great movie. Living in the Boston area then and now I can say I did not comprehend the power of the investigation team and so much we owe to them as individuals and the Boston Globe. What they accomplished was powerful and has had an impact on the Catholic church. There is still much to do in fixing the hierarchy of the Church and healing the abused. I hope it gives more survivors the strength to come forward and help their healing process. We have passed the word to others to go see the film.
  • Julio C. Gavotti
    commented 2015-12-05 06:44:56 -0600
    I found the movie’s story very similar to what I experienced in dealing with the L. A. archdiocese. Most importantly, no matter how much evidence of cover-up there is most people choose to bury their heads in the sand and continue to support corruption. The same is true in regards to the mass shootings we’re seeing taking place around the world. The message in this movie that is most important to convey is that we’re all on this earth together and if we don’t stand up to injustice, we all suffer in the long run.
  • Joe
    commented 2015-12-04 23:04:13 -0600
    I loved this film. Incredible ending. Shows what perseverance can do and has restored my hope,that good,journalism can still happen. Power to the little guy. Great movie.
  • Pat Antonsen
    commented 2015-12-04 20:41:56 -0600
    I saw the movie with my wife and we were both very moved by the whole movie. I thought it was very very well done and also very powerful. I am a survivor who was abused by a catholic priest while in high school in the 60’s, Michael P Hogan OSA. The movie brought to life many feelings as I watched – there were times that I laughed, but a lot more times that I cried. I could easily relate to the denial and the cover-up by the church. I plan to see the movie again and have told my family and friends that they should see it too. One of the things that hit me the hardest is that nothing has changed. priests, bishops etc. still think they are above and better than the people they should be serving. they still haven’t addressed the problem, probably thinking that it will just go away. I also read the book “Whistle” by Robert Blair Kaiser. It is a book about Tom Doyle who helped bring the clergy sex abuse to light. I would highly recommend it.
  • Gilda Zane
    commented 2015-12-04 20:30:45 -0600
    I will bring all my friends to see it. I will cry again!
  • Leslie Speakes
    commented 2015-12-04 19:07:18 -0600
    I think that the point the movie most powerfully makes is: “If it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to abuse a child.”

    In a couple of days the Catholic Church will initiate its “Year of Mercy,” yet its agenda for that year rather amazingly omits any commitment to making amends to abuse victims. I think that SNAP needs to stand on the Church’s toes for every day or the Year of Mercy, like the widow Jesus described who called upon the corrupt judge day and night until he delivered justice to her.
  • Melanie Sakoda
    commented 2015-12-04 17:52:10 -0600
    I have now seem the movie 3 times, twice with other SNAP members and once with a friend. I will go a 4th time next week with another friend. I thought the movie was well done and very powerful. It certainly resonated with my own experiences, and I can’t say that I was surprised by anything in the film. However, I was moved to tears all three times I saw Spotlight.
  • Frank Meuers
    commented 2015-12-04 17:21:50 -0600
    I found the film to be very powerful and well acted. I thought I was familiar with the background, but still found myself to be shocked by the actions of the church and their powerful friends to ignore, deny, and cover up their felonious behavior. I took my family to see it twice, and will go again. I also emailed the trailer and the interview with the actual reporters on “The View” to sixty some people and have encouraged them to see it. I hope it causes the church much embarrassment. I feel it should be mandatory viewing at all Catholic churches.
  • Peter Brooks
    commented 2015-12-04 17:03:56 -0600
    To be clear, the vast majority of sexual abuse follows repeated reports to institutions. So they have a concern they prefer to hide. The key realization the investigative reporters had was that as visible as individual abusers are, the much bigger story is how most of the abuse
  • Terry Webb
    commented 2015-12-04 16:54:39 -0600
    I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago and it while hard to watch was accurate in telling the story of the church and the relationsip to priests. The need for good journalism and a truly free press is clear when you see the impact those reporters has on the catholic church. The story of the boys in Boston and Mass. is one that was repeated across the country so many times. Time and again the chruch had oppertunity to take action but didn’t as they showed in the movie they move preists to abuse again. For me the abuse was in Illinois and Iowa but the samething happened all across the country and world. Its many years ago now that I first found SNAP and the good people there have helped in so many ways. Seeing the film is one more validation of what happened so many years ago. Thanks. See the film if you havent.
  • Mary Miller
    commented 2015-12-04 16:41:19 -0600
    I am SO VERY GLAD that I went to see the movie. I was afraid it would be too sad to watch but the time flew by and I came out wiser. I did not need my tissues. The actors did a wonderful job of portraying the investigative reporters uncovering the abuse but did NOT re-victimize the survivors. There is still a need for investigative journalism as the abuse continues to be uncovered. I have told everyone I know; family, friends, and co-workers to see the movie. We must do our very best to see that those who prey on children, and the ones that cover it up, are stopped and held accountable. My little brother was sexually abused by a catholic priest when he was just a boy. I understand my brother, and his behavior, better now because of this movie.

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