Vatican official thanks media for uncovering Church abuse
Reuters: The Vatican’s new sexual crimes prosecutor on Tuesday acknowledged that the U.S. media “did a service” to the Catholic Church through its aggressive reporting on child abuse that helped the Church “confront the truth”.
The rare acknowledgement came from Father Robert Oliver, a canon lawyer from the U.S. diocese of Boston, speaking at his first public appearance since becoming the Vatican’s “Promoter of Justice” last week.
“I think that certainly those who continued to put before us that we need to confront this problem did a service,” he said in response to a question on whether the role of an aggressive American media was, in hindsight, a blessing for the Church.
“They (the media) helped to keep the energy, if you will, to keep the movement going so that we would, honestly and with transparency, and with our strength, confront what is true,” he told a news conference.
Since the abuse scandal erupted in Boston in 2002 and spread around the world, some Church and Vatican officials have accused the media of irresponsible journalism and exaggeration.
Oliver, whose Vatican department investigates cases of abuse, is the successor to Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who held the post for 10 years before being named a bishop in Malta.
Last year’s landmark symposium brought together some 200 people including bishops, leaders of religious orders, victims of abuse and psychologists.
Officials said about 600 cases of abuse – most of which took place from 1965 to 1985 – are being reported each year.