Father Robert Oliver, Vatican official, thanks media for uncovering abuse

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Rev. Robert Oliver speaks at the Boston church archdiocese headquarters, in this file photo dated Friday, May 30, 2003, revealing the final set of rules outlining protections for children from clergy sexual abuse. Oliver was named the Vatican's "promotor of justice" or chief prosecutor in December 2012, and in his first public comments since taking office, reported Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013, he insists on the need for transparency about the church's past failures to protect children from sex abuse by priests.

Elise Amendola, Associate Press

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Our take: Often the news media is criticized for its handling of religion. Here's a story from the Huffington Post on some rare praise. It came from the Vatican's new sexual crimes prosecutor who said the U.S. media "did a service" to the Catholic Church through its aggressive reporting on child abuse by clergy.

ROME — The Vatican's new sexual crimes prosecutor on Tuesday 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 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.

Read more about Father Robert Oliver, Vatican official, thanks media for uncover on Huffington Post.

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