Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d'Arcy James star in a scene from the movie "Spotlight." A Brazilian priest mentioned in the movie committed suicide while in custody Aug. 7. CNS photo/Open Road Films

Brazilian priest cited in "Spotlight" commits suicide in prison

By  Lise Alves, Catholic News Service
  • August 10, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO – A Brazilian priest mentioned in Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film about clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, committed suicide Aug. 7 in his cell.

Brazilian authorities said Father Bonifacio Buzzi, accused of molesting children in Minas Gerais state, hanged himself with bed sheets in his cell a day after being arrested.

In 1995, he was found guilty of abusing several youngsters in a mental hospital and sentenced to four years of house arrest. In 2004, he was found guilty of molesting an 11-year-old boy but fled before authorities could detain him. He was arrested in 2007 and imprisoned until 2015.

Father Buzzi, 57, was arrested again in early August in the southern state of Santa Catarina and was taken back to Minas Gerais, where he had been charged with molesting another youth.

The Vatican was taking action against the priest, but the process had not been concluded.

In the movie "Spotlight," the city of Mariana, where Father Buzzi worked in the local parish, was included as one of the locations where religious abused youths.

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