By Robert Carey
The culture in the Catholic Church of covering up the sexual abuse of minors by clergy has come into sharp focus in Australia during the recent trial of its cardinal, George Pell. Pell boasted of having implemented best practice in the Church’s response to sexual abuse in the Church. When he was Archbishop of Melbourne (1996–2001), he introduced the “Melbourne Response”, a set of policies for the compensation of abuse victims. The model is now discredited, with some saying the Melbourne Response was Pell’s way of ensuring the Church’s handling of sexual abuse complaints was not transparent and that any response to victims remained firmly under the control of the Church and of Pell himself.
At the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival held February 20 – March 1, 2020, the Ecumenical Jury, appointed by INTERFILM and SIGNIS, awarded its Prize in the International Competition to the film Sheytan vojud nadarad (There is no Evil) directed by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2020).
In 2016, the Asociación de Grupo de Mujeres Tejedoras Ixiles Q'imb'al, a women-led civil society organization from Guatemala’s Ixil region, listened to the desire of their Indigenous community members to have a community radio that would “publicize the value of respect for our culture.”
The World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), suggests that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism.
The 2020 edition of the Index, which evaluates the situation for journalists in 180 countries and territories, identifies five converging crises: geopolitical (due to the aggressiveness of authoritarian regimes); technological (due to a lack of democratic guarantees); democratic (due to polarisation and repressive policies); trust (due to aggravated suspicion of the media); and economic (impoverishing quality journalism). These are currently compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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