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Gregorianum 2020 Fasc. 2

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09 - Peter Lah, S.I. - The scandal of secrecy - pp. 405-425

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PETER LAH, S.I.

The scandal of secrecy

This article examines the notion of secrecy, specifically how it has been practiced
in the governance of the Church. Hardly a new issue in this context, secrecy in recent
decades has been scrutinized as a possible cause of sexual abuse scandals, or at least
its enabling factor. After a brief presentation of sociological meaning of secrecy, the
author presents three possible explanations of the phenomenon, namely administrative
efficiency and effectiveness, its psychological roots, and ecclesial and theological
reasons for secrecy and transparency. Finally, a Christian argument in favor of transparency is presented, drawing upon Peter Henrici’s insistence on the primacy of truth in Christian communication.

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PETER LAH, S.I.

The scandal of secrecy

This article examines the notion of secrecy, specifically how it has been practiced
in the governance of the Church. Hardly a new issue in this context, secrecy in recent
decades has been scrutinized as a possible cause of sexual abuse scandals, or at least
its enabling factor. After a brief presentation of sociological meaning of secrecy, the
author presents three possible explanations of the phenomenon, namely administrative
efficiency and effectiveness, its psychological roots, and ecclesial and theological
reasons for secrecy and transparency. Finally, a Christian argument in favor of transparency is presented, drawing upon Peter Henrici’s insistence on the primacy of truth in Christian communication.

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