"Recent events in Germany have shown that there was a wall of silence here in many schools and facilities that prevented information on abuse and violence getting through to judicial authorities, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told Deutschlandfunk radio. In the case of abuse at Catholic schools, one factor is the 2001 directive from the Vaticans Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that even such serious abuse cases are first subject to papal confidentiality and are not supposed to be divulged outside the church, the minister said. That directive was promulgated by John Paul II, whose papacy was overshadowed by allegations that Vatican officials failed to confront the abuse aggressively. The German minister was critical that the directive calls for initial internal investigations and does not make clear prosecutors should be brought in as soon as possible. For years, the minister has also been honorary chairman of an association fighting sexual abuse of children and providing victims with support." German official raps Vatican rule on abuse - The Boston Globe Should secrecy on the part of Vatican officials concerning this issue be tolerated?