Wednesday, February 5, 2014

United Nations' Committee on Rights of the Child Scathing Report on the Vatican and Catholic Church

I will not comment here; the excerpts speak for themselves, I think.

Here are some excerpts (which means they are taken out of the document and are not entirely "in context" -  follow the link to read the entire document):

While also noting as positive the progressive statement delivered in July 2013 by Pope Francis, the Committee is concerned about the Holy See’s past statements and declarations on homosexuality which contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.

The Committee also urges the Holy See to make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of their parents and to support efforts at international level for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The Committee urges the Holy See to adopt a rights-based approach to address discrimination between girls and boys and refrain from using terminology that could challenge equality between girls and boys. The Committee also urges the Holy See to take active measures to remove from Catholic schools textbooks all gender stereotyping which may limit the development of the talents and abilities of boys and girls and undermine their educational and life opportunities.

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 Committee nevertheless expresses its deepest concern about child sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic churches who operate under the authority of the Holy See, with clerics having been involved in the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children worldwide. 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.

Child sexual abuse, when addressed, has been dealt with as grave delicts against the moral through confidential proceedings providing for disciplinary measures which have allowed the vast majority of abusers and almost all those who concealed child sexual abuse to escape judicial proceedings in States where abuses were committed;

Immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes;

Amend Canon Law in order for child sexual abuse to be considered as crimes and not as “delicts against the moral” and repeal all provisions which may impose an obligation of silence on the victims and on all those that become aware of such crimes;

The Committee welcomes the indication that the Holy See pays particular attention to promoting the dignity of women and girls. However, given the extent and the devastating impact of domestic violence on children and the fact that domestic violence often has a gender component, the Committee is seriously concerned that during the 2013 Commission on the Status of Women, the Holy See objected to a draft final text proposing that religion, custom or tradition should not serve as an excuse for States to evade their obligations to protect women and girls from violence.

The Committee recommends that the Holy See ensure that Canon Law provisions recognise the diversity of family settings and do not discriminate children based on the type of family they live in.

The Committee urges the Holy See to properly investigate all allegations of children and adolescents being separated from their families by means of psychological manipulation and ensure that those responsible for manipulating adolescents be held accountable and cease their activities.


  1. Manipulating adolescents? What is that last paragraph talking about?

  2. Russ,
    I believe it refers to the preceding paragraph:
    The Committee is however concerned about the situation of adolescents recruited by the Legion of Christ and other Catholic institutions who are progressively separated from their families and isolated from the outside world. While taking note of the Holy See’s response which highlights parental rights and duties to choose schools and seminaries for their children, the Committee also notes that in November 2013, the President of the French conference of bishops recognized the manipulation of individual consciences in some Catholic institutions and congregations.



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