THE Vatican's new sex crimes prosecutor has insisted on the need for transparency over the church's failures to protect children from sex abuse by priests.
In his first public comments since taking office, the Reverend Robert Oliver quoted Pope Benedict XVI in saying the church must recognise the "grave errors in judgment that were often committed by the church's leadership".
Rev Oliver, previously a canon lawyer in the Boston archdiocese – ground zero of the US abuse scandal – spoke days after thousands of pages of personnel files of abusive priests were released by court order in Los Angeles.
They showed how top archdiocese officials protected the church by shielding priests and not reporting child sex abuse.
The archdiocese agreed to release the files as part of a $660m (€448m) settlement with abuse victims in 2007. Rev Oliver said bishops must follow civil laws and report abusive priests to police.