Cardinal Decries Misuse of Secret-Service Files

Prague Prelate Asks Media Not to Exaggerate Reports

ROME, FEB. 12, 2007 ( The archbishop of Prague is repeating his concern about the misuse of secret-service archives.

Cardinal Miloslav Vlk called the current campaign a “grave manipulation of the materials contained in the secret service archives” of Eastern European countries.

The Czech cardinal made these statements last week in Rome, where he was attending the congress of bishop-friends of the Focolare Movement.

In several former Communist countries, the publication of the dossiers of the state security services has been used to accuse some priests of collaborating with Communist regimes.

Cardinal Vlk, 74, said he believes that the issue has been amplified by the news media, which is publishing lists of reports made by the police of Communist regimes, in order to “conceal its own responsibilities.”

According to the cardinal, all the names that are on these lists are not those of priest-collaborators. Rather, he explained that the names of priests who were questioned are automatically on the lists. Their statements cannot be considered collaboration, the cardinal clarified.

“I am not trying to deny that there was reprehensible conduct for serious reasons, but I would like to urge journalists not to amplify too much the data related to collaborations,” he added.

The cardinal also asked journalists to reject highlighting the Church alone, adding that there are responsibilities in all sectors.

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