In the effort to portray Cardinal Bernard Law in the darkest light, there are a couple scenes in Spotlight which recall a 1992 episode in which Cardinal Law sinisterly "called down the power of God" upon the Boston Globe to punish the paper for its reporting about abuse in the Catholic Church.
The only problem? It never happened.
In early 1992, the Boston Globe was in the thick of fevered coverage about an abusive priest, the notorious James Porter, who had exited the priesthood two decades earlier. Meanwhile, in March 1992, Cardinal Law was participating in an antiviolence march in Boston, and he addressed the hundreds of marchers in support of their cause.
As the Globe reported at the time, while Cardinal Law bemoaned how "the papers like to focus on the faults of a few" and that "good and dedicated people who serve the church deserve better than what they have been getting day in and day out in the media," he also said the following:
"St. Paul spoke of the immeasurable power at work in those who believe. We call down God's power on our business leaders, and political leaders and community leaders. By all means we call down God's power on the media, particularly the Globe.
"We call on the media to tell the good story about Morning Star Baptist Church, to tell the good story about the Catholic parishes in the inner city …
"It's time we take the bushel basket and the media off the light and let the light shine so all can see it."
In other words, rather than calling on God to angrily punish the Boston Globe for reporting on cases of abusive priests, Cardinal Law was simply calling down "God's power" upon "those who believe" – business leaders, political leaders, community leaders, and, yes, those at the Globe – to "tell the good story" about all the good that local churches do for their communities.
That's it. Cardinal Law did not bitterly invoke the "power of God," the "wrath of God," or anything else in hopes of punishing the Boston Globe.
It. just. didn't. happen.
Now you know.
[There is even more. See the headlines. See the editorial cartoons. See the photographs.
Check out the most talked-about new book, Sins of the Press: The Untold Story of The Boston Globe's Reporting on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church (Amazon.com)]