Bishop Gregory Hartmayer’s Statement in Response to Release of the Motion Picture “Spotlight”

October 30, 2015

The new motion picture, “Spotlight”, focuses on The Boston Globe’s investigation of child sexual abuse among clergy in the Catholic Church.

It was featured at the Savannah Film Festival on October 27, with nationwide release planned in November.

We welcome anything that raises awareness around the important, painful issue of child sexual abuse.
Following the time period that the movie covers, the Catholic Church has put strong measures in place for protecting children and young people, including safe environment training for children and adults, background checks and zero tolerance.

Since the publication of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002, the Catholic Church in the United States has been a leader in its efforts to protect children and youth.

The most recent audit for the Diocese of Savannah shows that 158 ordained clergy, 32 men in formation for ordination, 589 educators in our Catholic schools as well as 8,018 active employees and volunteers have met our Safe Environment Compliance mandates for education, criminal background check clearance and agreement to our Code of Conduct regarding volunteering or working with or near youth during the 2014-2015 audit period. 

Since the inception of the Charter, in the Diocese of Savannah a total of 16,987 adults have attended the VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children for Adults” training, empowering them with tools to recognize predatory behavior, develop safe spaces and report suspected abuse.

The Diocese encourages anyone with knowledge of abuse to come forward and report such allegations to civil authorities and the Diocese of Savannah Office of Child and Youth Protection. The toll-free number for reporting is 888-357-5330.

If you would like more information, please contact the Office of Child and Youth Protection

Go to top