Posts Tagged UN

Second UN Panel Criticizes Vatican on Sex Abuse / The Boston Globe

For the second time, a United Nations panel has criticized the Vatican for its response to the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, charging it with failing to mandate that abuse charges be reported to police, moving clergy to evade discipline, and failing to see that victims obtain adequate compensation.

“‘Clergy … were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable,’ the United Nations Committee against Torture charged in a new report, ‘and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements.’

“The report follows a similar indictment from the Committee on the Rights of the Child that appeared in February, which asserted that the Vatican had fostered ‘impunity’ for abusers.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The Catholic church & Sex Abuse: Looming Shadows / The Economist

POPES and their officials have long benefited from the Vatican’s unique dual status in international law. As the Vatican City State, it can shelter prelates wanted for questioning elsewhere and play host to offshore financial institutions such as the Vatican Bank. But when world leaders visit the pope in Rome it is to meet the absolute ruler of a global entity, the Holy See. As the Holy See, the Vatican engages in diplomacy, holds observer status at the UN and signs most treaties. The Holy See is sometimes called a sovereign entity without territory, although its sovereign, the pope, is also the ruler of the Vatican City State. It is a legal expression of the Catholic church’s leadership, yet American lawyers for the church have successfully argued that the Vatican is not responsible for Catholic clerics’ wrongdoing.

“On May 23rd the Vatican’s split personality will be put to a new test when a UN committee releases the findings of an inquiry into the Holy See’s compliance with the Convention against Torture, which it signed in 2002. Most of the questions put to the pope’s representative, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, in the public hearings were about the sexual abuse of children and adolescents by Catholic clerics. If the committee decides it was torture, a wave of prosecutions of historic offences could follow: there is usually no time limit for bringing torture charges, as there generally is for sex crimes. And if it judges the Holy See accountable for priests’ and bishops’ misconduct, victims’ lawyers may challenge existing jurisprudence and demand compensation from Rome.”

By The Economist — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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UN Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse: By Wading into Culture Wars, UN May Muddy Its Message / The Boston Gobe

Because the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has no police power, it relies on moral pressure to get member states to adopt its child protection recommendations. That is obviously what it hoped to accomplish with Wednesday’s report on the Vatican and the child abuse scandals that have rocked Catholicism over the last dozen years, issuing a stinging indictment of what it called a culture of “impunity” for perpetrators. There is a strong possibility the fusillade from the UN panel may backfire, however, by blurring the cause of child protection with the culture wars over sexual mores.” By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this analysis.

Also of interest — “UN Panel Assails Vatican on Priest Abuse,” by Michael Rezendes and Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe

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UN Sex Abuse Report Holds Bishops Accountable / National Catholic Reporter

In an unprecedented report critical of the Catholic church’s handling of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the United Nations demanded Wednesday (Feb. 5) the Vatican immediately remove all clergy known or suspected to be child abusers, turn them over to civil authorities, and hold ‘those who concealed their crimes’ accountable.

“The report by the U.N. watchdog for children’s rights targets bishops for enabling the abuse over decades. Church child sex abuse watchdogs maintain many hundreds of bishops have enabled and covered up abuse but have never been held accountable by authorities inside or outside the church.

“The UN report called on the Vatican to turn over tens of thousands of potentially incriminating documents held in its archives, according to various news reports.”

By Thomas C. Fox, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

Voice of the Faithful® has always advocated for accountability for bishops who covered up the crimes of clergy sexual abuse, enabling those crimes to continue to be perpetrated for many years. The U.N. is now saying what we and other victims’ rights groups worldwide have always insisted. Under Pope Francis, we hope that such accountability will become standard, rather than the grievous omission it now is. We must point out, as well, that some will use the “telling the Church what to do” argument to downplay the entire U.N. report, including and especially the part about clergy sexual abuse.

Also of interest:

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Vatican Facing UN Showdown on Sex Abuse Record / Associated Press

The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims. The Holy See on Thursday (Jan. 16) will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.” By Nicole Winfield and John Heilprin, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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