How Will Pope Francis Respond to UN Report?


January 31, 2014; Washington Post

In a scathing report, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child took the Vatican to task for maintaining a corporate culture within which child predators were systematically protected from exposure and prosecution. The report called the culture a “code of silence” and it called on the Vatican to release all documents on its internal investigations into charges of abuse.

The committee wrote that it “is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

But NPQ suggests that readers take a look at the report itself (linked above) because not did only it deal with child sexual abuse, it also took the Church on for its positions on abortion, domestic violence, institutionalization of children and same sex marriages among other things. In short, the report is a bold human rights gauntlet. How will the pope respond?

Some of the first institutional responses to the document have been predictably defensive, charging that the findings go too far and are an attempt to interfere with Catholic teaching and the exercise of religious freedom. NPQ would be interested to hear from readers once you have read through the report.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Deb

    It’s a long time coming that the church be held accountable for their crimes. Priests who molest should be in the courts just like any other molestor is. What makes them different? NOTHING. Human rights should be protected everywhere. Why is the catholic church exempt from this? It’s wrong wrong wrong and they should be made to pay for their sins while still on earth. The world has put the catholic church and other religions on some sort of pedestal for too long when it concerns human rights.

  • John Stefanyszyn

    The “rights” of children vs the “rights” of the Vatican
    Ref.: “Vatican ‘must immediately remove’ child abusers – UN” BBC Feb 5, 2014
    “….The UN watchdog for children’s rights denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children.
    ….But the Vatican said that…”it regrets to see…an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom” and “reiterates its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child… according to the moral and religious values offered by Catholic doctrine”.
    ….Barbara Blaine, president of a group representing US victims of abuse by priests, told the BBC that the UN report “reaffirms …and shows that the Vatican has put the reputation of Church officials above the protection of children.”
    WHICH BELIEF does the Vatican ( the church of general values of Rome) turn to for protection?…..they have confessed that it is its exercise of religious freedom….its freedom of self-rights……It does that which is right in its own eyes. It believes that it is right to protect itself and its pedophile priests. It believes in its self-interest…to serve and magnify the “self” (XES).
    Keep in mind that the “pedophile priests” are just the tip of the iceberg.….how about the protection of?….the priests / bishops / cardinals / & popes that fornicate with “of age girls”, with married women, with prostitutes, that have caused abortions, that fornicate with other men, that are corrupt for money, that are corrupt for political power, that lie, that are alcoholics, that take on the title of “Father”.
    BUT above all of these, is their belief that it is RIGHT (a right) to be free to worship ANY ‘god’….as Jorge Bergoglio (and his predecessors) have confessed that “religious freedom” is right and good.
    President Obama has confessed that this “SELF-FREEDOM” is the “LIGHT” of man’s righteousness and that this same “FREEDOM” is the “will” of his ‘god’… of fortresses.
    It is clear that Christ is not their first love…that their first love is instead their “freedom”….and that this is the mark on their forehead.
    BUT soon, the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Only God, will rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the Only God and NOT according to man’s love for “his self justified freedom / rights”.

  • Michael Wyland

    Claudia Rosett has a provocative response in the Feb. 10, 2014 Wall Street Journal. She calls the report hypocritical (the UN body does not address documented, yet ignored, victimization of children by UN peacekeepers) , blames the UN for not evaluating, let alone criticizing, repressive regimes such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, and notes that the report explicitly calls on the Vatican to abandon its own tenets and adopt those of the UN, despite its having only signed onto the treaty with reservations based on religious principle.

    The U.N. Assault on the Catholic Church
    A high-profile sex-abuse report is an attempt to bully the church into bowing before the altar of Turtle Bay.