Pope praises journalists for giving voice to church sexual abuse victims

Pope FrancisPope FrancisTop Vatican official, aide test positive for COVID-19 NY mayor revises Bronx apartment fire death toll down to 17 Pope sends condolences to victims of 'devastating' Bronx fire MORE praised journalists on Saturday for giving a voice to victims who experienced abuse within the Catholic Church. 

The pontiff made the comments on Saturday while honoring Reuters reporter Phillip Puellella and Valentina Alazraki of Mexican news outlet Noticieros Televisa. 

Speaking about the broader profession of journalism, Francis thanked reporters for their “efforts to recount reality” and said a diversity of styles and points of view that reporters bring adds “a wealth of information.”

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“I also thank for what you tell us about what goes 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: thank you for this,” Francis said.

Incidents of the abuse in the Catholic Church notably gained attention after The Boston Globe’s groundbreaking 2002 investigation which revealed a pattern of clergy abuse, Reuters noted.

Since then, more cases of sexual abuse have come to light, drawing scrutiny to the church. Last month a report from an independent commission found that over 216,000 minors had allegedly been abused by Catholic clergy in France since the 1950s.

The Pope on Friday said he sought to pay homage to the entire journalism community by honoring the reporters.

He said journalism comes about by “embarking on a mission… to explain the world, to make it less obscure, to make those who live in it less afraid of it and look at others with greater awareness, and also with more confidence.”

“The risk, as you well know, is to be overwhelmed by the news instead of being able to make sense of it,” Francis said. “This is why I encourage you to preserve and cultivate that sense of mission that is at the origin of your choice.”