FaithWorld

Vatican official thanks media for uncovering sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

February 6, 2013

(Father Robert Oliver, the Vatican’s new Promoter of Justice, attends a news conference at the Pontificial Gregorian University in Rome February 5, 2013.
REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

The Vatican’s new sexual crimes prosecutorĀ  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 on Tuesday 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.

One Latin American cardinal once famously said sexual abuse was “an American problem” in part “invented” by the media.

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