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Pope thanks journalists for helping expose Church sex scandals -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Pope Francis addresses people making a pilgrimage in Assisi. The meeting took place at Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica. Assisii (Italy), November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

VATICAN CITY (Reuters), Pope Francis has thanked journalists Saturday for helping to expose the clerical abuse scandals the Roman Catholic Church attempted to conceal.

Pope Francis praised the “mission of journalism” and stated that journalists must get out of newsrooms to discover the world outside of them in order to combat misinformation, which is often spread online.

“I” thanked the pope for telling us what was wrong with the Church and helping us to not sweep it under our carpet. Also, I thank you for your support of the victims.”

Francis spoke at a ceremony honoring two veterans correspondents, Philip Pullella from Reuters and Valentina Alazraki (Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa) for their long career covering the Vatican.

The 2002 scandals involving sexual abuse made headlines when The Boston Globe published articles detailing the abuses of minors perpetrated by clergy and the widespread culture of cover-ups within the Church.

In the years since, many scandals have shaken the Church across a variety of countries. Most recently, a large investigation in France revealed that French clergy had sexually abducted more than 250,000 children in the last 70 years.

Critics accused Francis, after becoming Pontiff in 2013, of reacting too slow to scandals and believing that the words of fellow clergy were better than those of abuse victims.

He tried to correct his past errors in 2018, apologizing publicly for being wrong in a Chile case and vowing to never allow the Church to be complicit in such wrongdoing again. He called for an “all out battle” to eradicate a crime from “the face of the Earth”, in 2019.

Francis stated Saturday that journalists were on a mission to explain the world and make it clearer, less mysterious, and less frightening for those who live there.

For that to happen, he suggested reporters need to “escape” the “tyranny” of constantly being online. He said that email and phone cannot convey everything.

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