Hollywood studio Dreamworks has announced that they are making a film on the Boston Globe’s decade old investigation into the Catholic Church abuse scandals and cover-ups in Massachusetts. This is the pivotal investigation that was the flashpoint and inspiration for a seemingly endless series of investigations into instances of abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Europe and North America.
I can’t help but shake my head at the irony of it all. According to a very popular narrative, Hollywood is supposed to be “godless” as it fights the church and her witness to the world. But here Hollywood is on the side of the angels as it shines a light into the deepest, darkest recesses of an institution that for too long allowed predators to victimize its most vulnerable congregants. Barbara Coloroso has pointed out that while we often focus on the evil of the bully, no less culpable is the bystander who allows the bully to victimize. So while we can all wonder what kind of monster could rape a child moments before offering up the Mass, I wonder equally about the beast who can shuffle some papers and make a few phone calls so that the monster can continue the cycle of abuse in another parish.
One suspects that there is much more evil in the Catholic Church yet to be drawn into the light. Perhaps godless Hollywood just might help illumine that darkness and be a catalyst for lasting change.