Scathing U.N. report demands Vatican act against child sex abuse

GENEVA,  (Reuters) – The United Nations demanded today that the Vatican “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to civil authorities, in an unprecedented and scathing report.

The U.N. watchdog for children’s rights said the Holy See should also hand over its archives on sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children so that culprits, as well as “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 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.

The Vatican was expected to issue a statement on the report later today.

The U.N. committee on the Rights of the Child said the Catholic Church had not yet taken measures to prevent a repeat of cases such as Ireland’s Magdalene laundries scandal, where girls were arbitrarily placed in conditions of forced labour.

It called for an internal investigation of the laundries and similar institutions so that whose who were responsible could be prosecuted and that “full compensation be paid to the victims and their families”.

A commission created by Pope Francis in December should investigate all cases of child sexual abuse “as well as the conduct of the Catholic hierarchy in dealing with them,” the report said.

Abusers had been moved from parish to parish or other countries “in an attempt to cover-up such crimes,” it added.

“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.

At a public session last month, the committee pushed Vatican delegates to reveal the scope of the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests that Pope Francis called “the shame of the Church”.

The Holy See’s delegation, answering questions from an international rights panel for the first time since the scandals broke more than two decades ago, denied allegations of a Vatican cover-up and said it had set clear guidelines to protect children from predator priests.

Comments  

Barcelona van attackers plotted major bombings, Spanish court hears

MADRID, (Reuters) – An Islamist militant cell that last week used a van to kill 13 people in Barcelona had planned one or several major bomb attacks, possibly against churches or monuments, one suspect told a court yesterday, according to sources close to the investigation.

Muslim divorce law “unconstitutional”, rules India’s top court

NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – India’s Supreme Court yesterday ruled a Muslim instant divorce law unconstitutional, a landmark victory for Muslim women who have spent decades arguing that it violated their right to equality.

U.S. puts more pressure on Pakistan to help with Afghan war

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – The United States suggested yesterday it could cut U.S. aid to Pakistan or downgrade Islamabad’s status as a major non-NATO ally to pressure the South Asian nation to do more to help it with the war in Afghanistan.

Commentary: The threat to internet freedom in Trump’s America

(Emily Parker is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and policy advisor in the U.S.

Panama says to demand visas from Venezuelans, slams Maduro

PANAMA CITY, (Reuters) – Panama’s government said yesterday that from October Venezuelans wishing to enter the country would need a visa, accusing the administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of undermining democracy at home and security abroad.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×