The criminal charges against the two Italian journalists boil down to this: they practiced journalism. They found sources and persuaded them to give up confidential documents. That allowed them to report, in a more precise way, on important matters of public interest. A good portion of the reporters I know would have criminal records if this were a crime.
Criticism of what’s happened here seems curiously muffled – perhaps because Pope Francis has inspired so much hope. I’ve shared that excitement, and still do.
And I hope that Pope Francis will come to recognize this indictment for what it is: An attempt to interfere with the fundamental human right “to exchange information and ideas” — and a step backward for the church.