Sacha Pfeiffer & The Morality of Catholicism

In the Oscar winning drama, Spotlight, a group of journalists in Boston uncover years of sexual abuse that has been covered up by the Catholic church. For years, Catholic priests have sexually abused and molested children, mainly boys, at the churches where they preached. Sacha Pfeiffer, a journalist for the Boston Globe, is one of these journalists who dives in-depth into the lives and personal accounts of the victims. Being raised Catholic and had still attended church with her grandmother, Pfeiffer was faced with a dilemma if what she was doing was moral. On one side, the victims and people who were affected by this abuse needed a voice, but on the other, a large part of her belief system was being ripped to shreds.

Throughout the film, Pfeiffer was interviewing the victims of this sexual trauma and had to convince them to relive some of their worst memories. During this, Pfeiffer had to help them and comfort them so that she could gain the newsworthy information that she needed, while also taking into account whether or not their stories were credible. One of the leaders of a victims group often blamed Pfeiffer for not publishing the story sooner, even though she needed more information to write a more newsworthy story. I feel like she had to deal with more stress than some of the other journalists because she had to deal with a lot of the emotional heaviness of the situations and had to dig deeper for the explicit details that these victims weren’t always prone to share.

For Sacha and all of the other journalists, most of their work went home with them and took a toll on their personal lived. Pfeiffer at one point openly quit attending church with her grandmother due to her own accounts of the Catholic church and what they are capable of. Being  a woman in a male-dominated field, I feel like more was expected of her to succeed, even if there was a cost. She had to find morality in it all and had to choose to do the right thing according to her own conscious despite the fact that the Catholic church was being targeted. Catholicism is rooted in morality and teaching its followers to do the right thing. In the movie, Sacha Pfeiffer excelled at exposing the Catholic church by exposing their cover-up of sexual abuse and their efforts that took place to make sure their secrets are hidden.


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