Catholic church leaders prep US dioceses for ‘Spotlight’

Pope Francis
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2015, file photo, Pope Francis delivers his homily during a Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Cardinal Justin Rigali, second from right, who retired as Archbishop of Philadelphia amid allegations he put church interests ahead of clergy sexual abuse victims returned to the city over the weekend to help Pope Francis celebrate Mass, drawing criticism from advocates who said his visibility "rubs salt into deep wounds." (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

BOSTON (AP) – High-ranking leaders of the Catholic church have sent talking points to U.S. dioceses in advance of the wide release of “Spotlight,” a movie detailing the Boston Globe’s 2002 investigation into the church’s cover-up of clergy abuse.

The Boston Globe reports the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops formulated the guidance, complete with statistics, in September in anticipation of the film’s Nov. 20 nationwide release.

A spokesman for the group, Don Clemmer, says church officials wanted to prepare clergy members for speaking with victims who might be experiencing pain coinciding with the movie’s release, and to show that the church has changed.

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, of Albany, New York, says he hopes the film “will be a vehicle to communicate the truth and advance the dialogue regarding the protection of children.”


(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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