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Attacks on the Church
Vatican harshly criticizes journalistic manipulation of Confession
Vatican harshly criticizes journalistic manipulation of Confession
Reporters gave pretend confessions and reported on priest responses

.- The Vatican newspaper, "L'Osservatore Romano," has sharply criticized an article published by a weekly Italian newspaper based on a series of false confessions throughout Italy, calling it an "attack on religious sensitivities,” and a breach of “professional ethics.”

In order "to reveal" what Italian Catholic priests teach in confessionals on certain matters of ethics and morality, reporters of the weekly "L'Espresso" acted as penitents - an act the Church considers sacrilegious given the sacred nature of the Sacrament of Penance.  

An editorial in L'Osservatore Romano denounced the act, saying it "has desecrated the sacrament...attacking the religious sensibilities of the faithful and deceiving the good faith of priests, seriously wounding the inviolability of pastoral ministry."

The Vatican newspaper called the report "shameless" and a "seriously unheard-of episode" accusing the weekly of crossing "the imposed limits of professional ethics."  

Years ago, the Italian communist newspaper L'Unitá resorted to a similar method "to uncover" the political inclinations of Italian priests.  The sacrilegious experiment, in both occasions, proved to be a useless journalistic abuse, as the results showed that an overwhelming majority of Italian priests teach in the confessional exactly what the Church preaches publicly.

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