Catholic church complains about bad press

The Swiss press commission is looking into the recent coverage of paedophile priests after complaints from the church that all priests were being tarred.

This content was published on February 14, 2008 - 15:32

In an open letter Roland Trauffer, vicar general for the diocese of Basel, criticised "patterns of editorial thinking that boost circulation" which "assume guilt until proven innocent".

Trauffer added that certain media were painting all Catholic priests as "potential child abusers".

Trauffer's comments follow the revelation of several cases of child abuse by Catholic priests. In the most widely publicised case, a Swiss priest was moved to France by superiors who knew he had already sexually abused at least one child.

At the beginning of February Bernard Genoud, a bishop who represents the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, publically asked forgiveness from victims of paedophile priests.

Genoud said cases of paedophilia involving priests "quite rightly" attracted much media attention.

On February 3 a priest from Fribourg accused of sexually abusing children committed suicide using his army gun.

The priest, who had been treated medically and was kept away from children within the church, left behind a message criticising the media.

The press commission's findings could take several months.

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In compliance with the JTI standards

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