Letter: Survivor thanks “Spotlight” team


TO THE EDITOR:

I recently saw the movie "Spotlight," along with my wife, Mary.

It's a suspenseful, accurate portrayal of how a team of dedicated Boston Globe reporters began exposing what eventually became more than 250 accused child molesting clerics in one archdiocese and the shrewd cover up of those crimes for years by top Catholic officials.

"Spotlight" made a lasting impression on us for many reasons. First, it emphasized the absolute necessity for a free press. Second, it spoke to the courage of editors and their dedicated journalists to a commitment for investigative reporting.

Third, it exposed the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church leadership and its centuries-old policy of protecting pedophile priests and its complete disregard of the emotional trauma laudatory, the real question is why would the Catholic Church allow John Nienstedt ‘s reassignment to occur in the first place?

Nienstedt has been credibly accused of committing several acts of sexual abuse in Minnesota.

The archdiocese of Minnesota currently faces criminal charges for refusing to report child sex crimes by pedophile priests, which occurred during Nienstedt watch.

Victims of abuse have filed affidavits in these proceedings detailing the suffering they sustained during Nienstedt ‘s conduct.

I was sexually abused by a priest when I was 5 years old and living at St. Vincent’s orphanage in Lansing.

Just last week an incident occurred in Western Michigan again demonstrating the need for a free press and investigative reporting.

Nienstedt, a recently resigned former Archbishop from Minnesota, was appointed as pastor at St. Joseph's Catholic parish in Battle Creek.

After announcement of the appointment, representatives of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued two press releases denouncing

the appointment.

Following considerable public pressure after the announcement, Paul Bradley, Bishop for the Kalamazoo diocese, which includes Battle Creek, rescinded Nienstedt's appointment and publicly apologized to his parishioners.

The exposure by the Boston Globe together with the assistance of SNAP gave Mary and me the courage in 2010 to publicly share the sexual abuse claim with the Lansing Diocese.

Our Constitution's First Amendment protects a free press and all forms of public expression.

Without the courageous work of the Boston Globe’s investigative reporters, countless numbers of victims would have remained silent and their suffering would have continued to injure them for the rest of their lives. Well done.

Greg Guggemos

SNAP member

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