Wednesday, 30 May 2012

When transparency and accountability just isn't...

There is always a delicate balance between transparency and accountability on the one hand, and the need to protect confidentiality in the interests of good governance on the other.

For good decisions to be made, there are times when people have to be able to exchange opinions frankly and fearlessly.

Over at Cath News, there has been lavish coverage of these various stories, a certain glee and predictable reaction to the 'Vaticleaks' affair in the comments box.

So let's hope they also run this response tomorrow.

Osservatore Romano on the stolen documents affair

Here is the response, from VIA news:

"The "Osservatore Romano" newspaper today published an interview with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, concerning the question of stolen papal documents.


Archbishop Becciu says that he has seen the Holy Father "suffering because, on the basis of what has thus far emerged, someone very close to him would seem to have acted in a completely unjustifiable manner. Of course, the Pope's prevailing sentiment is one of pity for the person involved, but the fact remains that he has been the victim of a brutal action. Benedict XVI has had to witness the publication of letters stolen from his own home, not simply private correspondence but information, reflections, expressions of states of mind, and effusive comments which he has received merely by virtue of his ministry. For this reason the Pope is particularly sorrowful, also for the violence suffered by the writers of the letters he has received".

In the view of the Secretariat of State, the publication of these documents "is an immoral act of unprecedented gravity, especially because it is not just a serious violation of the privacy to which everybody should have the right, but a despicable abuse of the relationship of trust that exists between Benedict XVI and those who turn to him, even if they do so to express some heartfelt protest. The question does not merely involve the theft of some of the Pope's letters; the consciences of those who address him as the Vicar of Christ have been violated, and the ministry of the Successor of the Apostle Peter has come under attack".

It is, Archbishop Becciu said, unjustifiable to claim that the stolen documents were published for the cause of transparency and reform in the Church. Robbery and accepting stolen goods are both illegal. "These are simple concepts, perhaps too simple for some people, but certainly when a person loses sight of them he easily loses his way and also leads others into disaster. Renewal cannot trample moral law on the basis of the principle that the end justifies the means, which is not in any case a Christian principle".

A number of articles which have appeared in newspapers in recent days have suggested that the published documents reveal turbid dealings inside the Vatican walls. On this subject the substitute for General Affairs notes that, "on the one hand they criticise the monarchic and absolutist nature of central Church government, while on the other they are scandalised because people who write to the Pope may express ideas or even complaints about how that government is organised. Many of the published documents do not reveal power struggles or vendettas but the freedom of thought which the Church is criticised for not allowing. ... Diverging points of view, even contrasting evaluations, are part of the normal order, and if someone feels misunderstood he has every right to turn to the Pontiff. What is scandalous about that? Obedience does not mean renouncing one's own opinions, but sincerely and fully expressing one's point of view, then abiding by the leader's decision".

In conclusion Archbishop Becciu tells the Catholic faithful that "the Pope has not lost that serenity which enables him to govern the Church with determination and foresight. ... We wish to echo the Gospel parable which the Holy Father himself mentioned a few days ago: the winds beat against the house but it does not fall. The Lord sustains it and no storm can bring it down".

2 comments:

Father K said...

Oh! Come on - enough about Cathnews for the sake of your readers - move on to other stuff for the Love of God

A Canberra Observer said...

after a few short days, CathNews reverts to type with articles calling for a Year Zero approach to the Church ...