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San Diego Man’s Role In Uncovering Priest Sex Abuse Featured In ‘Spotlight’

Evening Edition Host Peggy Pico speaks with author of "A Secret World: Sexuality and the search for celibacy," Richard Sipe, about the new film "Spotlight."

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The new film "Spotlight" chronicles the work of Boston Globe investigative reporters into the priest sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

One of the sources the reporters relied on is, Richard Sipe, a San Diego mental health counselor and former priest who spent many years investigating the sexual lives of clergy.

Sipe's character in the movie isn't seen on screen, but some of his many real life phone conversations with reporters are dramatized in the film and are voiced by actor Richard Jenkins.

Sipe, a La Jolla resident and author of “A Secret World: Sexuality and the search for celibacy,” said he began researching celibacy in 1960.

“That’s when I started collecting data,” Sipe told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “I was on a staff at a psychological hospital that treated a lot of clergy.”

Sipe researched behavioral changes and traced cases back to other people.

“It’s one of the key things that has changed something worldwide,” Sipe said of the Boston Globe report. “At the end of the movie, it shows all the places in the United States, then worldwide where this has taken place.”

The film is playing at AMC La Jolla.


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