About 20 protesters who rallied against sexual abuse in the Catholic church in downtown Los Angeles were joined by “Spotlight” actor Mark Ruffalo, the film’s director Tom McCarthy and its writer Josh Singer on Sunday.
Protesters, many of whom identify as victims of abuse by Catholic priests, marched and brandished banners outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels Sunday morning.
Ruffalo, Singer and McCarthy, who were invited by the group to appear, joined them in calling on the church to take greater action against sexual abuse and release the names of known abusers.
The “Spotlight” creators each held a section of a banner printed with the victims’ childhood photos and addressed the protesters before heading to pre-Oscar parties and the red carpet.
“I’m here to stand with the survivors and the victims and the people we’ve lost from Catholic priest childhood sex abuse,” Ruffalo told protesters.
The protest, organized by the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was one of 20 rallies Sunday urging greater transparency at Catholic cathedrals across the nation, said Barbara Blaine, the president and founder of the group. Organizers wanted to use the Academy Awards, which takes place Sunday night, was a way to draw attention to their cause, Blaine said.
“We wanted to use this moment with all of the attention on the movie ‘Spotlight’ because that movie tells our stories and gets it right. Every Catholic should see this film,” said Blaine, who identifies as a former victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.
“Spotlight,” a film chronicling the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church, is nominated for six Oscars, including best picture and best supporting actor for Ruffalo.