Bishops must see press as allies, not enemies, Mexican journalist says

Light of truth

If they are truly serious about fighting clerical sex abuse, bishops must join forces with journalists and not view them as enemies plotting against the Catholic Church, Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki said.

Alazraki, who has covered the Vatican for over four decades, told bishops at the Vatican summit on abuse Feb. 23 that journalists can help them root out the “rotten apples and to overcome resistance in order to separate them from the healthy ones.” “But if you do not decide in a radical way to be on the side of the children, mothers, families, civil society, you are right to be afraid of us, because we journalists — who seek the common good — will be your worst enemies,” she warned.

The veteran journalist was invited to speak at the summit about the importance of transparency with journalists and media outlets.

Alazraki, who began covering the Vatican in the final years of St Paul VI’s pontificate, said church leaders too often blamed journalists’ coverage of the abuse scandal as a plot “to put an end to this institution.”

“We journalists know that there are reporters who are more thorough than others and that there are media outlets more or less dependent on political, ideological or economic interests,” she said. “But I believe that in no case can the mass media be blamed for having uncovered or reported on abuses.”

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