CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE,
Vatican secretary of state, has accused the media of giving the public a distorted view of the Church focusing only on the failures of Catholicism.
In an interview with Vatican Radio the cardinal said the Church is a positive and everchanging organisation.
"It is as if they presented a dark fragment of the great, restored Sistine Chapel, which is a splendour and has reacquired Michelangelo's original colours," the cardinal said, referring to a few dark spots of dirt and grime in the great chapel.
"If someone pointed a television camera at one of these dark spots to show the Sistine Chapel instead of focusing on the splendour of the Sistine Chapel (as a whole), it would be a falsification." he said.
The dark spots are part of the chapel, he said, but they do not portray accurately the overall impact of Michelangelo's masterpiece.
In the same way, Cardinal Bertone said, "the Church is a great masterpiece of God's and of the men and women of the Church", who have done and continue to do "an immense volume of good in every part of the world".
Cardinal Bertone said that "sometimes it seems that there is a plan" by the media to present only negative stories about the Catholic Church and to focus on them long after the moment that they are news.
In the interview the cardinal was also asked to comment on the formal decision of Amnesty International to support the decriminalisation of abortion as part of its campaign to "Stop Violence Against Women".
"Certainly one must combat violence against women, the inhuman form of violence which is rape, and struggle together to defend the dignity of women, of any woman," the cardinal said.
However, he said, one shOuld never campaign for the taking of another human life, "even if it is the fruit of violence".
Vatican Radio also asked Cardinal Bertone about remarks he made in an August 19 homily about the struggle between good and evil.
lie argued that there are many signs that the devil continues to attack all that is good and all that is of God.
He said: "Think of violence, which is so widespread and which erupts almost spontaneously, even in places that should be sanctuaries of love: within a family, in forums of sharing, reconciliation and friendship; and the violence that explodes on the part of religions," he said. "Religions were created for peace because they look towards the same God of all," he said.
"Each of these are signs of the furious attacks of the evil one in our age, which we must oppose with a strong faith, the faith of one who follows Christ."