UN panel confronts Vatican on child sex abuse by clergy


Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious. (Al Quran 57:28)

Vatican City

Vatican City

Source: BBC

The Vatican is being confronted publicly for the first time over the sexual abuse of children by clergy, at a UN hearing in Geneva.

Officials faced a barrage of hard questions such as why would they not release full data and what were they doing to prevent future abuse.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said such crimes could “never be justified” and every child should be “inviolable”.

A fellow official said “things need to be done differently”.

The Vatican earlier refused a request from the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for data on abuse, and was accused of responding inadequately to abuse allegations.

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“Start Quote

The Holy See gets it that there are things that need to be done differently”

Bishop Charles Scicluna Member of Vatican delegation at hearing

The Vatican came to Geneva expecting a rough ride and so far it is getting one, the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports.

Victims say they hope the hearing, which is being broadcast live, will prompt the Church to end its “secrecy”.

Pope Francis announced last month that a Vatican commission would be set up to fight sexual abuse of children in the Church.

The Holy See is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a legally binding instrument which commits it to protecting and nurturing the most vulnerable in society.

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Catholic Church abuse scandals

  • Germany – A priest, named only as Andreas L, admitted in 2012 to 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys over a decade
  • United States – Revelations about abuses in the 1990s by two Boston priests, Paul Shanley and John Geoghan, caused public outrage
  • Belgium – The bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned in April 2010 after admitting that he had sexually abused a boy for years
  • Italy – The Catholic Church in Italy admitted in 2010 that about 100 cases of paedophile priests had been reported over 10 years
  • Ireland – A report in 2009 found that sexual and psychological abuse was “endemic” in Catholic-run industrial schools and orphanages for most of the 20th century

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3 replies

  1. Vatican Facing United Nations Showdown On Sex Abuse Record
    From the Huffington Post | AP | By John Helprin

    VATICAN CITY (AP) – 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 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.

    The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

    Victims groups and human rights organizations teamed up to press the U.N. committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem. Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the U.S., and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

    Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.

    ” For too many years, survivors were the only ones speaking out about this and bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism,” said Pam Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which provided a key report to the committee. “And so this is a very important moment for many, many people who are here in Geneva and around the world who will be watching as the Holy See is called for the first time ever to actually answer questions.”

    Indeed, to date the Holy See has never had to defend its record at length or in court since it has successfully argued that it is immune from lawsuits as a sovereign state and that, regardless, bishops were responsible for pedophile priests, not the pope or his policies. While the Holy See has had to answer some questions about abuse at the separate U.N. Human Rights Council, this is the first U.N. hearing dedicated to the issue and the Vatican was compelled to submit to it as a signatory to the convention.

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  2. what a filth ! yet they pose as pious people. I have heard such things about other religions and factions as well. Almighty is all the times watching and will account for the wrong doings done by the people no matter who they are. Almighty is mercifull, no doubt, but,also, he is very hard gripper and full of wrath, rage,fury and anger. Beaware avery one on this planet, follow Almighty’s commands for your own sack or be ready to go to the hell fire !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  3. He who is without sin cast the first stone.
    Sharif are you playing God………..Are you so perfect ?

    Many people stumble the devil is like a roaring lion going about the world seeking whom he may devour………..There but for the grace _____of God we all go and fall.(for Christians) Muslims insert your own solution to the problem in the gap.

    Pope Francis stood by his promise he is bringing things out in the open. Its painful and there are people hurting and the Church is being skewered on a roast spit.

    Companies, businesses, people in all walks of life , religions, countries , in political corridors of power. Even Bill Clinton walks among us, the former president having committed an indiscretion with a young woman. President Hollande in France as we speak has crossed over the line. So the best thing is look into your own heart and don’t take the high moral ground and make judgements about others lives.

    People close to you right now are either strong wavering lukewarm, or are curious, flirting with danger. One thing you are right about our God is a Merciful God He gives us second chances . So grasp the opportunity to be at peace and put all selfish things away and be God centered and don’t judge or others you will get a big bite on the butt and your self righteousness will be in tatters.

    What is happening to the Catholic Church is a wake up call to the world calling all to come to repentance. I have to speak to a young Palestinian guy who got too serious and aggressive in a game of football and had fought verbally his brothers. I will put my arms around him and tell he is a good player but he will be a better player if he doesn’t have head explosions all the time and tries to play with a killer instinct. Hey imagine a Christian is administering to a young Muslim Guy…..but I don’t condemn to hell fire. He has to face his work mates on Sunday and make his choice. Fix that bush fire up and there are 100’s more. So which of you is free of sin are you ready to throw the first stone.

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