Feb 26, 2016

Spotlight Shines Light on Child Abuse Scandal, Wisconsin GOP Remains Complicit

Update: See Sarah Larson's new piece in The New Yorker.

The systemic obscenity of priests' abuse and rape of children is featured in the powerful Academy Award nominee for best picture, Spotlight.

A brilliant chronicling by American journalism against the Church that lost Christ (Free Press, 2004) as Jimmy Breslin put it, the Archdiocese of Boston is exposed by old-school journalism against the astonishing narcissism and indifference of perpetrators praying on children on a massive scale.

Gripping, powerful and the most important film in decades, Spotlight has this home's hopes for best picture for the Oscar this weekend.

With respect to Wisconsin citizens in heavily Catholic Wisconsin, Spotlight ought to serve as a reminder to the collaborators and the particular viciousness of the Milwaukee Archdiocese that you are not forgotten, forgiven and cannot hide.

No spoilers here for Spotlight.

The scope and moral depravity of the Catholic Church became arguably the leading investigative story of the last 20 years.
A look at The Boston Globe's coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the
movie "Spotlight," which is based on the stories and the reporters behind the investigation.

Almost every state was implicated.

And the Republican Party protected child abuse in collusion with the Cardinal (former Archbishop) Timothy Dolan, including current Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) who worked to protect pedophile priests and against victims, (Talking Points Memo, One Wisconsin Now and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa and Wisconsin legislative Republicans who blocked a child victims' rights bill numerous times in service to rightwing cabals then holding sway in the Catholic Church, (Frontline).

No matter how often Wisconsin State Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) introduces or sponsors a new Child Victims Act every session, Wisconsin legislative Republicans block it. Don't look for simple decency from Wisconsin Republicans and Scot Walker anytime soon.

In 2014 Pope Francis met with six victims of abuse, comparing the abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests to the performing of a satanic black mass:

'Before God and his people, I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you,' Francis said during his homily, according to a text released by the Vatican. 'And I humbly ask forgiveness I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves.'(Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests]

A leading advocate for survivors of Catholic priests, Patrick J. Wall of Jeff Anderson and Associates of St. Paul, Minnesota, expressed a show-me attitude towards the Pope's stated commitment to holding bishops accountable for covering up crimes against 1,000s of children worldwide.

"If the Holy Father does not fire the Bishops and Abbots who have been complicit in covering up child sexual abuse by the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Religious, then he simply is a Jesuit using roman tactics of smoke and mirrors," said Wall in an email.

I think Pope Francis is for real, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and every lousy bastard in the Milwaukee Archdiocese will face justice.

See below, in service to history, Ron Johnson testifying against the Wisconsin Child Abuse victims bill, Ron Johnson opposing Child Victims Act in Wisconsin just 10 months before being elected to the office of U.S. senator:


  1. My husband and I were married in a Catholic church in Milwaukee. My in- laws were deaf and insisted we had a particular priest to perform our ceremony. He was a favorite with the deaf people and he could speak and do sign language together. Well, a number of years later we found out that this particular priest was the one that molested over 200 children. This coming Tuesday is our 41st wedding anniversary and this continues to haunt my husband and I to this day. We have carried this disgust with us since. We wonder how anyone could do this to a child and have washed our hands of the Catholic Church. Just can't see how anyone can stand and protect these child molesters. Shame on them.

    1. Cardinal Dolan should be in prison.

      Peace to your and your family. Happy Anniversary (early), and the best life has to offer you.
      - Mike