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Vatican abuse prosecutor: media performed service in uncovering scandal

Catholic World News - February 06, 2013

Father Robert Oliver, a Boston priest who is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s new promoter of justice, said at a news conference that the American media performed a service in uncovering the clerical abuse scandal.

As promoter of justice, Father Oliver is responsible for addressing cases of child sexual abuse by clergy. He said the Congregation is examining 600 cases, most of which involve abuse that allegedly took place between 1965 and 1985.

“I think that certainly those who continued to put before us that we need to confront this problem did a service,” he said. “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.”

“Every single one of us begins with denial,” he added. “I think the leaders of the Church, the members of the Church, we are no different from anyone else. In the beginning our reaction was ‘no this is not possible, people don’t do this to children.’”

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  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 07, 2013 2:07 PM ET USA

    Excellent points, joancollins. I am hoping that Archbishop Gomez and Fr. Oliver are signalling a more honest and therefore more effective attitude from our bishops and from Rome.

  • Posted by: joancollins507161 - Feb. 07, 2013 10:35 AM ET USA

    I agree that the sexual crimes needed to be exposed and that the news media actually did the Church a favor by so doing. My biggest complaint with the media in this matter is that it never admitted that the problem was mostly a homosexual problem, that the majority of the acts were committed by homosexual priests against older boys, and that very few girls were molested. The Boy Scouts should beware as they consider allowing openly homosexual scoutmasters.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Feb. 06, 2013 6:53 PM ET USA

    This is really refreshing -- hats off to Father Oliver -- for at least two reasons: 1) He's not whining about "media feeding frenzy" or charging that the Boston Globe is anti-Catholic (we knew that); and 2) he's acknowledging that the abuse-and-coverup scandal is NOT "history" or "over," as some self-congratulatory bishops have tried to assure us.

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