Pope Francis has thanked members of the press for helping to expose widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
Speaking on Saturday, November 13, the 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church praised what he described as the ‘mission’ of journalism.
Pope Francis went on to express how important it was for reporters to get out into the real world, looking beyond their newsrooms to seek truth in an age of misinformation.
Pope Francis made these remarks during a ceremony held to celebrate two veteran correspondents: Reuters’ Philip Pullella and Noticieros Televisa correspondent Valentina Alazraki.
Both Pullella and Alazraki have both reported on the Vatican for many years, and have now been honoured with the titles ‘Knight’ and ‘Dame’ respectively, as per the Vatican News.
Speaking at the Vatican before journalists accredited to the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis declared that the world needed journalists who were willing to ‘wear out the soles of their shoes’ so as to escape ‘the tyranny of always being online, on social networks, on the web’.
Pope Francis then went on to thank the journalists for reporting on ‘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 victims of abuse’.
Sexual abuse scandals within the church first made headlines back in 2002, when The Boston Globe reported on a pattern of child abuse by clerics, a pattern that was being concealed by the church. This sparked a series of subsequent investigations.
Back in October, a large-scale investigation in France discovered that French clerics had abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
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