American actor Mark Ruffalo attends the premiere of "Avengers Age Of Ultron" at Westfield in London on Feb. 21, 2015. File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI | License Photo
VENICE, Italy, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Actor Mark Ruffalo is now urging Pope Francis and the Vatican to use his new film Spotlight to help heal sexually abused victims of the church.
The film, which covers the Boston Globe's investigation into accusations of child abuse by a number of Roman Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-up by the church hierarchy. Slated to debut in the fall, the film also stars Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams.
Spotlight premiered Wednesday during the Venice Film Festival where Ruffalo spoke to reporters directly addressing Pope Francis and expressing his wish that the film will "begin to heal the wounds sustained not just by the survivors, but all the people that lost their faith because of the revelations."
"I hope the Vatican will use this movie to begin to right those wrongs: not just for the victims and their destroyed lives, but for all the people who have lost their way to order a chaotic world for themselves," said the actor. "We are hoping the pope will use this sober and, I believe, judicious story to begin to healing the wounds the church also received."
Director Tom McCarthy is less optimistic however that the film will bring about any sort of response from the Catholic Church.
"I remain pessimistic," the director said. "I was raised Catholic - but words are one thing, actions are another. I have high hopes for Francis, but what actual changes remain to be seen. To be honest, I expect no reaction at all. Nothing would make me happier to be proven wrong. I would love the pope, the cardinals, bishops and priests to see it. I don't think anyone can think this is an attack on the church: everything in the movie has been well reported on and documented."
Ruffalo's plea comes a month after Pope Francis invited over various Hollywood actors and executives to discuss media matters and the Catholic Church's portrayal in the West. The list of the A-Listers invited include Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey, producer Brian Grazer and others.
Spotlight meets the silver screen stateside this November.