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Revisiting The Verdict. Over the past couple of months, I’ve noticed Sidney Lumet’s 1982 movie The Verdict playing, perhaps on AMC or one of the other movie channels. When the movie first came out, I rolled my eyes at the (I thought) standard stereotyping of the Catholic hierarchy—the cold, almost corporate Boston archbishop hiring the prestigious Waspy law firm to crush a down-and-out lawyer trying to make a case for an unfortunate woman who went into a coma due to the negligence of a renowned doctor at the archdiocese’s world famous Catholic hospital. But now, seeing the way the sex abuse scandal has been handled by the Cardinal and by other bishops around the country, The Verdict seems almost naive in its portrayal. Who’d have thought Hollywood would error on the side of caution in its insinuations about how arrogant Church leaders can be.

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