Media attention helps Church

Lucetta Scaraffia, who edits the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano women’s supplement, has published an editorial defending the media’s role in unlocking the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Scaraffia says the “implacable and pitiless” nature of the coverage is “born from disappointment.”

In her view, in societies affected by the sexual revolution, this disappointment stems not so much from the discovery of “the sexual infraction or human weakness” but from the discovery of the abuse of power, cover-ups and inaction against perpetrators.

“There are one or more news items about the church in various regions of the world nearly every day,” Scaraffia said.

Rather than publishing news about the many initiatives for aid and assistance (to victims) and backing the justice system, the media prefers to focus on cases of sexual abuse that have been scandalously covered up through silence and ‘omerta,’” she said.

Scaraffia appealed to readers to not target their anger at the media, even when the media took pleasure in examining the sexual behaviour of the clergy.

Instead, readers should be venting their distress on the problem of sexual abuse and the cover-up by the church hierarchy, she said.

“We should not look at this wave of media interest as a malevolent attack on the institution.

“There is a real scandal involved, which is not so much a matter of sexual transgression as an abuse of power, followed by silence and a lack of sanctions against those responsible as well as a silence and impunity that humiliates victims.

“The media with their polls and interviews force those who seek to cover up and forget to do the right thing, to remember that victims have a dignity that needs to be respected and protected,” she said.


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