By now, you likely know about, or have at least heard of, the
in the Boston Globe...
...that, 20 years ago, did so much to expose the Catholic sex abuse crisis.
that chronicled the writing of those first, devastating articles.
But what happened NEXT?
What was it LIKE?
And what's CHANGED?
Despite all the talk.
Those are questions I first touched on in an episode of my podcast,
But, as I recently learned in researching and writing another episode...
...those questions need to be expanded upon.
So here I am, with Sequel, the follow up both to
Since & Me
Sequel is the unauthorized sequel to the movie
A deep dive into the aftermath of the revelations
Catholic sex abuse crisis, twenty years later.
Sequel is a look at how much safer children and women and men are in — and FROM — the
Focused on the years since 2002.
What's happened and changed.
And what hasn't.
What About survivors?
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.
Survivors Need Help
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 what's changed, in the 20 years since the release of the original
SPOTLIGHT articles, and the movie by the same name.
My name is Chris O'Leary and I'm a survivor of the Catholic sex
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
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
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...
The approaching 20th anniversary of the
release of the original SPOTLIGHT articles has
me again looking at things.
And whether anything has CHANGED.
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
And the Catholic Church is to be saved.
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.
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...