The Vatican Secretary of State has criticized the Italian media for its coverage of the recent allegations of sexual abuse by Italian priests and suggested there might be a campaign against the Church, reported Reuters.
The cardinal’s comments were made in reference to the media coverage of a probe by Turin prosecutors into a priest who allegedly paid a 24-year-old man to keep quiet about past abuse. A separate investigation involves accusations of abuse by one of Italy's best-known priests, Fr. Pietro Gelmini, 82.
In comments to Vatican radio published on Tuesday, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said he respected the work of the prosecutors but criticized the media for paying so much attention to unproven accusations that he said warped the image of the Roman Catholic Church.
Giving too much attention to such accusations was "a false way to present the Church, as if you presented a dark fragment of the great Sistine Chapel ... which (after restoration) has reacquired Michelangelo's original colors," he said.
"Sometimes it seems like there is a plan (to the coverage)", Bertone said.
The cardinal also criticized the focus on a prestigious Turin school, where one of the accused priests worked and which the cardinal also attended as a boy.
"For a week, in newspapers or on TV news, to always see the outside of this institute is truly shameful and mystifying. It's absolutely something to condemn," he said.