The pro-abortion U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has requested that the Holy See provide “detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers or nuns”. It is the first time the UN has asked the Holy See for a wide-ranging appraisal. The question has to be asked, why now? Why didn’t the UN make this high-profile request during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI at the height of the clergy child abuse crisis? Why has the UN chosen to make this public demand for information during the first months of Pope Francis pontificate?
The report from Reuters suggests the motive behind this grandstanding from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child :
‘A United Nations human rights panel has posed a list of tough questions to the Vatican about child abuse by Catholic priests, a potential embarrassment for Pope Francis a few months into his papacy.
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) asked for “detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers or nuns” since the Holy See last reported to it some 15 years ago, and set November 1 as a deadline for a reply.
The request was included in a “list of issues”, posted on the CRC’s website, to be taken up when the Vatican appears before it next January to report on the Church’s performance under the 1990 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It will be the first time the Holy See has been publicly questioned by an international panel over the child abuse scandal which severely damaged the standing of the Roman Catholic Church in many countries around the world.
The CRC has no enforcement powers, but a negative report after the hearing would be a blow to the Church whose leader, Pope Francis, is striving to put a number of scandals behind him since succeeding Benedict XVI who resigned in February.
By issuing its questions, the Geneva-based CRC brushed aside a Vatican warning that it might pull out of the Convention on the Rights of the Child if pushed too hard on the issue.
In a report of its own in late 2011, posted on the U.N. website last October, the Holy See reminded the CRC of reservations on legal jurisdiction and other issues it made when it signed the global pact.’
Protect the Pope comment: Unsurprisingly, the MSM have seized on the story that regurgitates the false impression that child sex abuse and its cover-up is something unique to the Catholic Church by contacting well-known anti-Catholic bigots for comments.
Mr Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the Natioal Secular Society, said, ”Child abuse is a major issue, along with corruption, that he needs to sort out. His legacy will be judged, I think, on his ability to deal with these immensely difficult problems.”
Geoffrey Robertson QC said, ‘The committee’s enquiries will inevitably lead it to conclude that the Vatican has broken multiple articles of the convention on a huge scale in many countries. The result in human suffering is incalculable. Francis’s papacy could well be defined by the world’s verdict on his response – more handwringing apologies or calls for a line to be drawn under the past will no longer wash. He will fail unless he initiates bold tangible actions, for example lifting the veil of secrecy that has protected so many clerical rapists, engaging secular authorities and offering rather than resisting appropriate compensation.”
What’s frustrating about Robertson is that he goes on as if the local dioceses have not set up robust safe-guarding polices, have not revealed historical cases of abuse, and have not engaged with secular authorities. Local dioceses in Ireland, UK, the USA and Europe have done all these things. About compensation, does Robertson believe that the Catholic Church is the only public institution in the world that shouldn’t have the right to legal scrutiny of claims for damages and compensation? Is he saying that the Catholic Church should just pay out to every claim of sexual abuse, without that claim being tested?
The UN has a problem with Pope Francis, in that unlike Pope Benedict, who had the task as Prefect of the CDF of investigating allegations of sexual abuse against children, Pope Francis has no such history. The Catholic Church has been a leading member of the international pro-life alliance blocking the UN rolling out unrestricted and universal access to the killing of babies through abortion under the mantra that abortion is a human right. The UN must be worried about the popularity and influence of Pope Francis, so they get one of their committees to issue an unprecedented demand on any international body in an attempt to make mud stick on him. The Holy See should answer the UN’s questions, and at the same time reject its jurisdiction.