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SPOTLIGHT 20 Years Later by Chris O'LearySpotlight.

By now, you likely know about, or have at least heard of, the original articles in the Boston Globe that, 20 years ago, did so much to expose the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

And it would be hard to have missed the Academy Award winning, 2015 film of the same name that chronicled the researching and writing of those articles.

But what happened NEXT?

What was it LIKE? And what's CHANGED?

Actually.

Despite all the talk.

How much safer are children and women and and men, in — and FROM — the Catholic Church?

In truth.

And what God-given gifts have been bestowed upon survivors?

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Sequel: SPOTLIGHT,
Since & Me

Sequel is the unauthorized sequel to the movie SPOTLIGHT.

A podcast and deep dive into the aftermath of the revelations about the Catholic sex abuse crisis, twenty years later.

Focused on the years 2002-2021.

What's happened. And changed.

And what hasn't.

Actually.

Sequel is discussion of the echoes of the Catholic sex abuse crisis, particularly the impact on the survivors.

Starting with what happened next.

After the publication of the original SPOTLIGHT articles in January 2002. And the release of the movie in 2015.

What was it like.

How it FELT.

To be one of the survivors.

One of the people — and families — into whose life a grenade was thrown.

What it does to you.

What the big DEAL is.

About having been sexually abused by a priest as a child.

And worse.

And what's changed, in the 20 years since the release of the original SPOTLIGHT articles, and the movie by the same name.

My Story

My name is Chris O'Leary and I'm a survivor of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, at the Church of the Immacolata in St. Louis, I was sexually abused by a priest named...

Abuse that was witnessed, at least in part, by one of the other priests at Immacolata...

And not the baseball kind.

Abuse that continued at my Jesuit high school, St. Louis University High (SLUH), in the locker room, which predators were free to roam, unsupervised.

And then things got REALLY bad.

In early March 2002, just weeks after the release of the original SPOTLIGHT articles, I made the biggest mistake of my life.

I went to the Catholic Church for help.

SPOTLIGHT & Me

My story picks up EXACTLY where the movie SPOTLIGHT left off; with the publication of an article in the New York Times on March 3, 2002...

...just a few weeks after the original Boston Globe SPOTLIGHT articles ran.

An article that named my favorite priest from my childhood as an abuser.

That led me to my Archdiocese of St. Louis and My Friend the Cardinal — yes, a potential future Pope — who quickly and definitively gave me a clean bill of health.

And then I got sick.

Abuse of the Abused

While I assume my story is a bit worse than many — because of the involvement of My Friend the Cardinal — the same basic pattern is all too common.

Guys went to their (arch)diocese, and the Catholic Church, and were given bogus clean bills of health.

Which is just part of what I describe as the...

SPOTLIGHT@20

The approaching 20th anniversary of the release of the original SPOTLIGHT articles has me again looking at things.

And whether anything has CHANGED.

Fundamentally.

Actually.

And the answer isn't encouraging.

That's likely not what people WANT to hear, but it's what they NEED to hear, if another wave of damaged and destroyed lives, and scandal, is to be avoided.

And the Catholic Church is to be saved.

Sacrificed Podcast

This isn't the first time I've written about this subject.

And I first tried to address the question of whether it's appropriate to locate SPOTLIGHT and its revelations in the past in an episode entitled...

In a way, Sequel is a blown-out version of that single episode.

GoFundMe

If you'd like to help support my efforts to create this podcast, and expose the Abuse of the Abused by the Catholic Church, as well as The Program — or to help me just eat and pay my bills while I'm spending my time on this project — I've set up a GoFundMe...

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