Vatican Spokesman Hails Spotlight
March 4, 2016
Vatican City, March 4 - Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi on Friday hailed movies such as Spotlight and mobilization by pedophilia victims' right organizations in what he called "the long march in the fight against abuses against minors in the universal Catholic Church".
"May they be welcome... if they contribute to sustain and intensify" the fight against child sexual abuse by priests, Lombardi said in a statement to Vatican Radio. The spokesman said "abuse cases have become very rare and...the majority of those being talked about today and that keep coming to light belong to a relatively distant past".
"Much remains to be done in other countries due to very different cultural situations... but the path that needs to be taken has become clearer," Lombardi said. Victims' groups have been calling for the resignation of the head of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, Australian Archbishop George Pell, who has testified this week before an Australian commission investigating child sexual abuse by predator priests.
Speaking via video link from a Roman hotel, Pell said he had no idea that priest Gerald Ridsdale was repeatedly transferred by the bishop in the town of Ballarat for more than a decade because of pedophilia accusations.
The commission is investigating cases from the 1970s and 1980s, when Pell was a priest in the Ballarat diocese where the abuse occurred.