The Vatican’s new sexual crimes prosecutor 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.