News / Europe

Vatican Defends Itself Against Child Abuse Report

UN Calls on Vatican to Remove Clergy Accused of Child Abusei
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February 05, 2014
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on the Vatican "immediately remove" all clergy accused of child abuse and turn them over to civil authorities. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Related video report by Jerome Socolovsky

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A United Nations human rights committee has made an unprecedented demand that the Vatican "immediately remove" all clergy accused of child abuse and turn them over to civil authorities.

In its response to the report, the Vatican accused the U.N. of interfering with church teachings on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom.

The Holy See said it intends to submit the report to “thorough study and examination”, adding that it is committed to protecting children from abuse, "in line with the principles promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and according to the moral and religious values offered by Catholic doctrine."

Responding to criticisms in the report on the Church's stance on homosexuality, abortion and contraception, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi also said the world body cannot ask the Church to change its "non-negotiable'' moral teachings.

The head of the Holy See's delegation to the United Nations in Geneva told Vatican Radio that non-governmental organizations which favor gay marriage probably influenced the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child to reinforce an "ideological line'' in the report.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child on Wednesday called on the Holy See to acknowledge sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children and hand over its archives on the subject, adding that “those who concealed their crimes”, could be held accountable.
 
The watchdog's exceptionally blunt paper - the most far-reaching critique of the Church hierarchy by the world body - followed its public grilling of Vatican officials last month.
 
“The Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests," U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child Chairwoman Kirsten Sandberg said during a news conference in Geneva, Wednesday. " In its concluding observations, the Committee in this regard has highlighted the practice of offenders’ mobility.  They were moved from parish to parish when things were discovered and this still places children in many countries at high risk of sexual abuse.”

Pope Francis in December created a commission to investigate all reported cases of such abuse.

At a public session last month, the Vatican said it had little jurisdiction to sanction pedophile priests, but conceded more needed to be done.  The Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna said the Holy See “gets it” and that certain things “need to be done differently.”
 
“Due to a code of silence imposed on all members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication, cases of child sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement authorities in the countries where such crimes occurred,” the U.N. body said.

The Holy See denies allegations of a Vatican cover-up and says it has set clear guidelines to protect children from predator priests.  

“For the victims, it would be really important if the Holy See would acknowledge what has been said here in the concerns and the magnitude of this and what has not been done in ... the past and what should be done in the future.  I think that would really be of great help.  That is what we know from the victims that we met in the course of this process,”  Sandberg told reporters.

Some information for this report provided by Lisa Schlein in Geneva and Reuters.

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by: Anonymous
February 07, 2014 9:32 AM
Based on fear, preys on the innocent, extremely egocentric, produces sexual misery, depreciates natural world, misogynistric, homophobic,not a reliable guide to Christ's teaching, riddled with contradictions, unhealthy preoccupation with sex, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific, borrowed there central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions.


by: John from: London
February 07, 2014 7:21 AM
When will the church realize that they cannot trump criminal laws. As a victim you quickly realize that the church wants to forget and move on while this is not possible for you. If Pope Francis wants to be taken seriously he must act immediately on the UN recommendations.


by: Anonymous
February 06, 2014 11:04 PM
my my how the might hadth fallen


by: Joshua from: Florida
February 06, 2014 7:50 PM
The Church should excommunicate child abusers, but it will never be forced to change its positions on abortion.


by: Defend Catholic Church
February 06, 2014 9:12 AM
Can't believe the crap mention here. No difference what the utter nonsense the UN saying. All speculation, allegation, slur or flaming statement just to discredit and bully the Catholic Church.

Why is it the Catholic Church being targeted while other organisation, institution or government etc have same or similar problem even worst then what the Catholic Church do.

As much the Catholic Church aren't perfect, at least they already admit the wrongdoing, are doing something about those perpetrators, already compensate the victims and have zero tolerance to it.

Many organisation, institution or government are copying the same policy of hard stand. How about the goodwill and charity did the Catholic Church did.

Many of those in the UN and those adversaries against the Catholic church want to topple down and discredit 4000 years old institution, tradition and believes of the Catholic church.

The UN and UNCHR is losing the plot, out of touch and, becoming arrogant or dictatorship.

In Response

by: abuse from: demon
February 07, 2014 3:07 AM
u head full of sand man, read history of catholic ...

In Response

by: Kathleen from: Australia
February 07, 2014 12:16 AM
The Catholic Church is not 4000 years old. Jesus Christ was born about 2014 years ago. . The second commandment says "you shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath
or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down
to them. For I the Lord your God am a jealous God.....but showing mercy to those who love me and keep my commandments." This commandment was deleted from the Catholic Bible and to make up the numbers to 10 the final commandment was divided. The reason that there is so much
sexual immorality against children and women amongst the priests is the celibacy rule.This is not biblical as it says in
1 Timothy 3:1-5 ....If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?) Later on it mentions the deacons who were like trainee bishops, also
should be the husband of one wife.
There is no purgatory in the Bible. It was invented by the catholic church to extract money from the bereaved .There is only Heaven and hell and if you want to be saved and go to Heaven when you die you must truly repent to God(not a priest)
of your sins, accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and allow Jesus to turn your life around and not go back to your old life.
Start reading the Bible and find a good Bible based Church to get some good solid Bible teaching . Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 : not of works lest anyone should boast. 10 for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
February 06, 2014 8:57 AM
During my childhood I was convinced to believe that all Christians are divine messengers from God. .... now UN depicts most Christians as child molesters while Western media portray Muslims around the world as terrorists. Is that so?


by: Antonio from: Canada
February 05, 2014 11:19 PM
EVERYONE acknowledged for years that pedophilia was a problem that was totally mishandled by church authorities but to jump from that to preaching on abortion and homosexuality proves that the often useless UN has a totally different agenda than simply caring for children. Instead of digging and digging into a painful past that has been scrutinized and where the Catholic Church (even if it is not the only guilty institution of that sin) was bashed by so many, the UN would do better try to defend children of the world suffering today, namely in Africa and in Syria where children are dying AS WE SPEAK from hunger, torture and chemical bombs under the eyes of an indifferent world that the UN claim to represent.


by: Joseph Effiong from: Calabar - Nigeria
February 05, 2014 7:53 PM
As a catholic , I want to see child abuser sent out from the holy church.


by: John from: Uk
February 05, 2014 5:39 PM
The church has been way more open than any other 'institution' or other 'churches' about child abuse, however clearly there is a cultural war against the RC church by the 'gay lobby' who use any and every influence to attack it because the church tells the truth, homosexuality is a sin against God.

In Response

by: Tony K from: Utah
February 06, 2014 12:16 AM
All Catholics should hang their heads in shame. Sexual abuse of thousands. Protecting abusers. Withholding information.


by: Ifeanyichukwu R. E. from: Nigeria
February 05, 2014 5:24 PM
The pope should take a decisive stand and brought the culprist to justice!
Is high time the church should stop this cover-up and impunity given to the priest as measure to avert this scandals!

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