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Vatican sex crimes prosecutor, in inaugural public address, calls for transparency, justice

The Vatican's new sex crimes prosecutor has insisted on the need for full transparency about the church's failures to protect children from sexually abusive priests.

In his first public comments since taking office, the Rev. Robert Oliver quoted Pope Benedict XVI in saying the church must recognize the grave errors in judgment committed by church leaders who for decades actively covered up abuse.

Oliver — previously a canon lawyer in the Boston archdiocese — spoke days after personnel files released by court order in Los Angeles showed retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top archdiocese officials protected the church by shielding priests and not reporting child sex abuse to authorities.

Without citing Los Angeles, Oliver said Tuesday: "We must confront the current situation, including our failures, with courage and determination, honesty and transparency."