VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2007 (Zenit.org).- L'Osservatore Romano criticized a report published by an Italian weekly in which a journalist pretended he was a penitent in order to test priestly advice in the confessional.
The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper analyzed the article published in L'Expresso, calling the latter's report an "ignoble 'scoop.'"
A reporter for L'Expresso went to confessionals in 24 churches in Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples and Palermo, to confess invented sins and to compare the priests' answers on ethical questions such as euthanasia, drugs, prostitution, embezzlement and pederasty.
L'Osservatore Romano lamented: "To offend the religious sentiment of believers, to deceive the good faith of priests, gravely injuring the inviolable character of pastoral ministry, profaning a sacrament: All this
was achieved by the 'courageous' investigation of a journalist of the well-known weekly."
The newspaper added that it is an offense for "all those who believe in the sacrament of reconciliation."