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Pope thanks journalists for helping expose Church sex scandals

WorldNov 13, 2021 03:58PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with people who have made a pilgrimage to the Assisi, during a private visit, ahead of World Day of the Poor, at Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica, in Assisi, Italy, November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi 2/2

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday thanked journalists for helping uncover the clerical sexual abuse scandals that the Roman Catholic Church initially tried to cover up.

The pope praised what he called the "mission" of journalism and said it was vital for reporters to get out of their newsrooms and discover what was happening in the outside world to counter misinformation often found online.

"(I) thank you for what you tell us about what is wrong in the Church, for helping us not to sweep it under the carpet, and for the voice you have given to the abuse victims," the pope said.

Francis was speaking at a ceremony to honour two veteran correspondents -- Philip Pullella of Reuters and Valentina Alazraki of Mexico's Noticieros Televisa -- for their long careers spent covering the Vatican.

The sexual abuse scandals hit the headlines in 2002, when U.S. daily The Boston Globe wrote a series of articles exposing a pattern of abuse of minors by clerics and a widespread culture of concealment within the Church.

Since then, scandals have rocked the Church in myriad countries, most recently France where a major investigation found in October that French clerics had sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.

Critics accused Francis of responding too slowly to the scandals after he became Pontiff in 2013 and of believing the word of his fellow clergy over that of the abuse victims.

But in 2018 he tried to address past mistakes, publicly admitting he was wrong about a case in Chile and vowing that the Church would never again seek to cover up such wrongdoing. In 2019 he called for an "all-out battle" against a crime that should be "erased from the face of the earth".

Francis on Saturday said journalists had a mission "to explain the world, to make it less obscure, to make those who live in it less fear it".

To do that, he said reporters needed to "escape the tyranny" of always being online. "Not everything can be told through email, the phone, or a screen," he said.

Pope thanks journalists for helping expose Church sex scandals
 

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Comments (8)
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Nov 14, 2021 12:11AM ET
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This pope is a joke.  He is pro **** he is pro jabs.  Lol, now he is thankful for this?  Lol
Steve Bojo
Steve Bojo Nov 13, 2021 8:01PM ET
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If it bothered him so much rhen why didn’t he speak up long ago?
Steve Bojo
Steve Bojo Nov 13, 2021 8:01PM ET
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If it bothered him so much rhen why didn’t he speak up long ago?
Me comment
Me comment Nov 13, 2021 7:56PM ET
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Plus now they are making saints out of the popes that did nothing even when they new and participated in the deception.
Me comment
Me comment Nov 13, 2021 7:50PM ET
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still burying the fact church leader new the problem and did nothing to stop it or prosecute the pedifyers only move the to new parishes so they new little boys to prey on.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 13, 2021 4:30PM ET
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Did the pope send any to jail? No, then it is all talk #
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Nov 13, 2021 2:25PM ET
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good riddance is the best.
Jose Cabreja
Jose Cabreja Nov 13, 2021 11:32AM ET
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🤡🤡🤡 part of the issue.
 
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