Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

UN committee blasts Vatican on sex abuse, abortion

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM
  • 3 Replies

UN committee blasts Vatican on sex abuse, abortion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican "systematically" adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a U.N. human rights committee said Wednesday, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.

In a devastating report hailed by abuse victims, the U.N. committee severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children's rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.

The Vatican promptly objected and its U.N. ambassador accused the committee of having betrayed the international body's own objectives by allowing itself to be swayed by pro-gay ideologues. He said it appeared the committee simply hadn't listened when the Holy See outlined all the measures it has taken to protect children.

The report, which took the Vatican by surprise in its harsh tone, puts renewed pressure on Pope Francis to move decisively on the abuse front and make good on pledges to create a Vatican commission to study sex abuse and recommend best practices to fight it. The commission was announced in December, but few details have been released since then.

The committee issued its recommendations after subjecting the Holy See to a daylong interrogation last month on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the key U.N. treaty on child protection, which the Holy See ratified in 1990.

Critically, the committee rejected the Vatican's longstanding argument that it doesn't control bishops or their abusive priests, saying the Holy See was responsible for implementing the treaty not just in the Vatican City State but around the world "as the supreme power of the Catholic Church through individuals and institutions placed under its authority."

In its report, the committee blasted the "code of silence" that has long been used to keep victims quiet, saying the Holy See had "systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims." It called on the Holy See to provide compensation to victims and hold accountable not just the abusers, but also those who covered up their crimes.

"The committee 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," the report said.

It called for Francis' nascent abuse commission to conduct an independent investigation of all cases of priestly abuse and the way the Catholic hierarchy has responded over time, and urged the Holy See to establish clear rules for the mandatory reporting of abuse to police and to support laws that allow victims to report crimes even after the statute of limitations has expired.

No Catholic bishop has ever been sanctioned by the Vatican for sheltering an abusive priest, and only in 2010 did the Holy See direct bishops to report abusers to police where law enforcement requires it. Vatican officials have acknowledged that bishop accountability remains a major problem and have suggested that under Francis, things might begin to change.

The committee's recommendations are non-binding and there is no enforcement mechanism. Instead, the U.N. asked the Vatican to implement the recommendations and report back by 2017. The Vatican was 14 years late submitting its most recent report.

The committee is made up of independent experts, not other U.N. member states — the case on the larger and often politicized U.N. Human Rights Council, which also sits in Geneva. The Committee on the Rights of the Child is one of 10 U.N. bodies that monitor implementation of the core U.N. human rights treaties, and its 18 members include academics, sociologists and child development specialists from around the globe.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who headed the Vatican delegation at the Jan. 16 session in Geneva, was clearly taken aback by the scathing tone of the report.

"It seems as if the document was prepared before the committee meeting, where the Vatican gave detailed responses on various points that weren't reported in this concluding document or seem to not have been taken into consideration," he told Vatican Radio.

While most attention has focused on child sex abuse, the committee's recommendations extended far beyond, into issues about discrimination against children and their rights to adequate health care, matters that touch on core church teaching about life and sexual morals.

The committee, for example, urged the Vatican to amend its canon law to identify circumstances where access to abortion can be permitted for children, such as to save the life of a young mother. It urged the Holy See to ensure that sex education, including access to information about contraception and preventing HIV, is mandatory in Catholic schools. It called for the Holy See to use its moral authority to condemn discrimination against homosexual children, or children raised by same-sex couples.

Church teaching holds that life begins at conception. The Vatican, which therefore opposes abortion and artificial contraception, calls for respect for gays, but considers homosexual acts to be "intrinsically disordered." The Vatican has a history of diplomatic confrontation with the United Nations over such issues.

Tomasi said the call to reconsider abortion ran against the U.N. treaty's own objectives to protect the life of children before and after birth, and he accused pro-gay rights and gay marriage advocacy groups of having "reinforced an ideological line" with the committee.

Benyam Mezmur, a committee member and Ethiopian academic on children's legal rights, rejected any such criticism and said the committee report was balanced and was aimed purely at ensuring the treaty was implemented.

"The Committee on the Rights of the Child is not in the business of saying 'Well said.' We are in the business of saying 'Well done.' We want to see concrete measures," he said in a phone interview from Geneva.

Austen Ivereigh, coordinator of Catholic Voices, a church advocacy group, said the report was a "shocking display of ignorance and high-handedness."

He said it failed to acknowledge the progress that has been made in recent years and that the Catholic Church in many places is now considered a leader in safeguarding children. And he noted that the committee seemed unable to grasp the distinction between the responsibilities and jurisdiction of the Holy See, and local churches on the ground.

"It takes no account of the particularities of the Holy See, treating it as if it were the HQ of a multinational corporation," he said in an email.

But victims groups hailed the report as a wake-up call to secular law enforcement officials to investigate abuse and any cover-ups, and prosecute church officials who are still protecting predator priests.

"This report gives hope to the hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex abuse victims across the world," said Barbara Blaine, president of the main U.S. victim's group SNAP. "Now it's up to secular officials to follow the U.N.'s lead and step in to safeguard the vulnerable because Catholic officials are either incapable or unwilling to do so."


by on Feb. 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-3):
by on Feb. 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM
1 mom liked this

Why are we still a member of this corrupt ,do nothing organization ?

Someone's got to pay for it...

Ha. Exactly. Of course our elected sheeples will continue bow down at the altar of the UN.

As long as their pockets are lined in the process, who's complaining (that can't be silenced)?

by Ruby Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 10:42 PM
1 mom liked this

The Catholic Church is not going to change the moral teachings of the Church in union with sacred scripture about abortion & homosexuality to please the UN. The Church has maintained it's teachings throughout the centuries. Tremendous steps have been taken to protect children, to heal victims and families of abuse. 

Vatican Responds To UN Committee Recommendations

Regrets Areas that Interfere with Church Teaching on Human Dignity and Religious Freedom

Vatican City,  (Zenit.orgJunno Arocho Esteves | 333 hits

The Holy See has responded to a report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that strongly criticizes the Vatican for failing to protect children from abuse.

The UN’s recommendations come one month after a delegation from the Holy See presented its report in January to the committee, along with Russia, Germany, Portugal, Congo and Yemen.

The extensive recommendation report, released by the UN Committee, expressed its concern with the Holy See’s response to allegations of abuse.

“The Committee is particularly concerned that in dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse, 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, as observed by several national commissions of inquiry,” the report stated.

The report recommended that the Holy See “strengthen its efforts” to ensure full cooperation with all legislative, administrative and judicial proceedings relevant to the protection of children.

In a statement released by the Secretariat of State, the Holy See said they will thoroughly study and examine the recommendations made by the report.

However, the Holy See expressed its regret for what they said was “an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of the human person and in the exercise of religious freedom.”

The UN Committee criticized the Holy See’s position on homosexuality, stating it contributes to the “social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.” The committee also urged that the Holy See condemns all forms of harassment and discrimination and support homosexuality.

The UN report fails to mention, however, the Holy See’s condemnation of discrimination and violence against homosexual people. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, states that while "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “close the sexual act to the gift of life”, homosexual men and women “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

“Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition [1],” the Catechism continues.

Sociologist and author of the book Pedofilia. Una battaglia che la Chiesa sta vincendo (Pedophilia: A Battle that the Church is Winning), Massimo Introvigne, has called the UN report an “intolerable violation of religious liberty.”

On the one hand, he says, sex abuse of minors is a reality among Catholic clergy, and has been acknowledged by Pope Francis and his predecessor. Nonetheless, Introvigne criticizes the report, saying it contains “exaggerated statistics and indiscriminate accusations.”

Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said Vatican officials "again ignore the Church's continuing and well-documented cover ups of horrific child sex crimes worldwide."

"Again they try to deflect attention from their extraordinarily devastating actions and talk of “church teaching” instead of bishops' behavior," she said in a Feb. 5th statement.

But Introvigne said the Church has repeatedly taken responsibility for those priests and bishops who have contributed to the abuse of children, and has taken drastic and effective measures to address the issue. “This document, however, is a sign that the tragedy of pedophile priests are used as a pretense… to attack the Church.”

The UN Committee also recommended the Church changes its position on abortion and contraception, despite the Convention on the Protection of Children calling for the defense of life and the protection of children before and after birth.

In its statement today, the Holy See reiterated its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child, "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."

by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM
1 mom liked this

What’s Behind the UN Attack on the Church?

by Anne Hendershott

United-Nations Against Vatican

As faithful Catholics continue to contend with last week’s incendiary United Nations report attacking the Church for her teachings on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, it may be time to look closely at the real agenda at the United Nations.

For more than two decades, the UN has dedicated itself to attempting to diminish the influence of the Church on life issues. We need to begin to understand why.

In an October 2013 Crisis article entitled “Kicking the Church out of the UN,” Austin Ruse, the president of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), suggests that the reason for the hostility directed at the Church is because the Church has obstructed the goals of the population control zealots at the UN. “Starting at the Cairo Conference in 1994, the Church has been able to block an international right to abortion … the Holy See has consistently handed the Catholics for Choice, the Norwegians, the United Nations Population Fund and all the other uglies at the UN defeat after defeat.”

It is likely that last week’s UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report was payback.   Despite its non-voting status at the United Nations, the Holy See has stood as the major barrier to the UN goal of universal access to abortion and contraception for young girls and women throughout the world.  While the Church was unable to convince all countries—including the United States—of the evils of abortion, the Vatican, as a sovereign state, continues to play an important role at the negotiating table in areas in which the Church has a stake in helping to ensure the right to life and the dignity of the person.

The UN has attempted to end that influence.  In 1999, decrying the Vatican’s role in encouraging the United Nations to block funding for abortion services, Frances Kissling, then-president of Catholics for Choice—a group that claims to speak for pro-abortion Catholics, yet has no actual membership—began a campaign to remove the Vatican from the UN.  A strong media presence and a letterhead funded by the abortion industry and pro-abortion organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, Operation See Change, as Kissling called her campaign against the Vatican, attempted to persuade the United Nations to revoke the Vatican’s status as a permanent observer.

Although Kissling’s See Change Campaign was supported by the abortion industry and was successful in focusing international public attention on the unique standing of the Vatican at the UN, opposition to the Catholics for Choice initiative was also strong.  Then-Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Bob Smith (R-NH), and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced congressional resolutions critical of the See Change Campaign and lauding the role of the Vatican at the UN. In the end, not a single member state signed on to support the Catholics for Choice campaign.

Still, the efforts to expel the Vatican continue today.  Austin Ruse’s C-FAM recently announced that Catholics for Choice has re-launched its See Change Campaign demanding that the Vatican’s observer status be reduced to that of a non-governmental organization—barring Church officials from negotiations.  And, as Ruse, who has a front row seat for the UN negotiations, writes: “a nasty Norwegian diplomat at the UN” who “frequently badmouths the Holy See” has suggested that it is time that the Holy See be expelled.

It is not a coincidence that Kirsten Sandberg, Chairman of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that issued the attack on the Vatican last week, is from Norway.  Demanding that the Church amend Canon Law to accommodate the changing culture, Sandberg’s committee “urges that the Holy See review its position on abortion which places obvious risks on the life and health of pregnant girls, and to amend Canon 1398 relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted.”

Sandberg’s committee demands that the Church “assess the serious implications of its position on adolescents’ enjoyment of the highest standard of health and overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality that hinder their access to sexual and reproductive information.”  Further, Sandberg’s UN Committee moves beyond denigrating the Church for her teachings on abortion and contraception to demand that the Church “overcome the taboos” surrounding adolescent sexuality—including homosexual behavior—by changing Church teachings on homosexual relations to conform to the prevailing culture espoused by the UN.

Recent Events Highlight UN’s Progressive Culture
Although Sandberg’s Committee on the Rights of the Child report has gotten the most publicity because it is the first to directly attack the Church in this way, the truth is that the report is just the latest in a long series of UN reports designed to make abortion an international right, and increase world-wide support for same-sex behavior.  A report issued last month by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) entitled “Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All,” is described by C-Fam in a report released last week as suggesting that the purpose of educating children is not simply to increase literacy, but also to teach them “where and how to have an abortion” and to be more accepting of same-sex behavior.

The UNESCO report decries that “in many parts of the world, people remain intransigent in their attitudes toward homosexuality.”  The truth is that many countries struggle with these new UN requirements to teach tolerance of homosexuality in their school curriculum while sodomy and homosexuality continue to be outlawed in their countries.

But, laws against abortion and homosexuality have not stopped UNESCO from promoting their pro-abortion and pro-same sex policies in the past.  In 2012, Maria Casado, director of UNESCO’s presence at the University of Barcelona, Spain called for a national registry of doctors who refuse to perform abortions.  According to LifeSiteNews, Casedo expressed opposition to restrictions to abortion in Spanish law and called for a more stringent definition of conscientious objection for doctors—claiming that her goal is to “respect rights in a democratic society, women’s rights as well as doctor’s rights…. When conscientious objection is transformed into a collective stance for ideological reasons, it turns into civil disobedience,” naming the Catholic Church as responsible insofar as it promotes conscientious objection to abortion.

And, while one of the goals of UNESCO and the Committee on the Rights of the Child has been population control through abortion and contraception, there is no other entity at the United Nations that has worked as ruthlessly for population control as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  Exposed by Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, as being a direct participant in China’s coercive one-child policy, UNFPA is an international development agency that “promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.”  Three core areas of UNFPA’s work focus on reproductive health, gender equality, and population and development strategies.  The main focus is on increasing access to contraception and abortion by working directly with governments throughout the world.

Population control supporters Bill and Melinda Gates have assisted the efforts of UNFPA through the Gates Foundation.  Recipients of the prestigious UNFPA Population Fund award in 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates have donated more than one billion dollars to family planning groups—including the UNFPA; International Planned Parenthood Federation; CARE International—an organization that works with the UN to lobby for legalized abortion in several African nations; Save the Children—a major promoter of the population control agenda; and the World Health Organization—an organization that forcibly sterilized thousands of women in the 1990s under the pretence of  providing tetanus vaccination services in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines.

Sharing the same ideology as the UN, Bill and Melinda Gates view population control as the key to the future.  For Bill Gates, “there is no such thing as a healthy, high population growth country.  If you’re healthy you’re low-population growth…. As the world grows from 6 billion to 9 billion, all of that population growth is in urban slums.”

At an international women’s health conference called “Women Deliver” last May in Kuala Lumpur, Melinda Gates promised to expand access to family planning and promised to raise $4 billion to supply contraceptives, particularly Depo-Provera, to 120 million more women. Co-sponsored by the UNFPA, UNWomen, UNAIDS, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others including the World Bank and the World Health Organization, the “Women Deliver” conference included a presentation by the late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart who was there to instruct others on how best to expand abortion services.  Participants also heard presentations from Princeton University’s most famous abortion proponent and euthanasia advocate, Professor Peter Singer.

It is likely that the United Nations will continue its commitment to expanding access to abortion and contraception, and removing the taboos that surround homosexuality throughout the world.  The Catholic Church is one of the few remaining barriers to this expansion.  There will be continued attacks and the Church needs to prepare for them as the United Nations will continue to attempt to diminish the authority of the Church by resurrecting old clergy abuse cases and inflating statistics on past misdeeds by priests.

Pot Calls Kettle Black
Continuing a defensive stance has not been effective. The Catholic laity should demand that the United Nations look to its own failures to protect children.  Even Neil MacFarquhar, a reporter for the New York Times, had to admit in an article published in 2011 that the United Nations needs to “focus serious attention on addressing sexual crimes” by those involved in the peacekeeping missions globally: “But the question that diplomats, advocates and even some officials ask is why the efforts still lag in terms of investigating accusations and, making sure those who send troops and contractors abroad hold them accountable.”

In his Times article, MacFarquhar described a 2011 case in which “hundreds of Haitians protested in support of a teenage boy who said he was sexually assaulted by peacekeepers from Uruguay on a United Nations base, eliciting a furious rebuke from Haiti’s president and an apology from Uruguay.”

The Times article charges that human rights experts and some member states fault the United Nations for leaving too much of the job of enforcing its zero tolerance policy to others. Worse, MacFarquhar charges that “[i]ndividual cases and any disciplinary action are rarely made public.”  The Times also points out that the United Nations has been recalcitrant in responding as “senior officials defend the numbers as improving and argue that publicly shaming member states would make finding peacekeeping troops more difficult. Going into a blame and shame approach is counterproductive because this requires a mind-set change, said Susanna Malcorra, head of the logistics end of (UN) peacekeeping.”

Of course, as the most recent report issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN has no problem in attempting to “shame” the Catholic Church by dredging up unsubstantiated allegations of priestly pedophilia.  In contrast, the sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers continues.  A report published last September in the United Nations own News Center described serious misconduct by its UN peacekeeping troops—including sexual abuse—in Mali.

More than a decade ago, the Christian Science Monitor suggested that “Wherever the UN has established operations in recent years, various violations of women seem to follow.” It seems that these violations also include sexual abuse involving young men and girls.  The Christian Science Monitor concludes that these violations have included a prostitution ring in Bosnia involving peacekeepers, UN staff members in West African withholding aid such as bags of flour from refugees in exchange for sexual favors, Jordanian peacekeepers in East Timor accused of rape, peacekeepers in Somalia accused of sexual abuses, and Moroccan and Uruguayan peacekeepers in Congo accused of luring youth into their camps with offers of food for sex.

Perhaps it is now time for the Church—including the laity—to stand up to the bullying by the various committees of the United Nations—including the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  It is time to expose the real agenda of the United Nations—most notably the UNFPA—to expand the lucrative contraceptive and abortion industry throughout the world, and remind others that the true protector of children remains the Catholic Church.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)