Tuesday, May 6, 2014

News and Commentary: Vatican Hearing Edition

For the second time this year, the Catholic Church is being held accountable on a world stage for clergy sexual abuse of minors. Back in January, Vatican representatives appeared before the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, after which the committee released a hard-hitting report on the Holy See's responses to clergy abuse, institutional maltreatment, and LGBTQ issues.

This week, the Catholic Church has been pressed once again to explain its response to clergy abuse. The U.N. Committee Against Torture (under the aegis of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) questioned Holy See representatives at a hearing in Geneva on May 5-6. The hearing is part of the committee's monitoring process of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the Vatican ratified in 2002.

For your edification, I have gathered news articles and commentary pieces on the hearings below.

New York Times: Vatican Envoy Questioned at U.N. Over Response to Abuse

Washington Post: At UN, Vatican sex abuse compared with torture

Los Angeles Times: Vatican panel on sexual abuse meets, plans to tackle church coverups

The Guardian: Vatican releases figures on how it disciplined priests accused of sex abuse

NPR: Vatican Tells U.N. Committee That Abuse Claims Have Dropped

BBC News: Vatican: States must tackle child abusers among clergy

The Center for Constitutional Rights: Understanding Clergy Sexual 'Abuse' as Torture

RH Reality Check: At UN, Vatican Continues to Claim Limited Jurisdiction on Sexual Abuse of Children by Priests

The Daily Beast: Torture the Little Children? The Catholic Church Says It’s Not Responsible


  1. Though it is shameful, the Catholic Church's efforts to distance the institution from the horrific acts of its agents is entirely predictable. The Mormon church has been doing this for years -- at least since its leadership figured out (via its marketing dept.) that suppressing the truth and blaming the victims was not good for PR.

    1. Agi Tater -- Good people must not -- and will not -- let either institution get away with abuse and denial. It still amazes me how many parallels exist between the Catholic Church and the LDS.

  2. "The Holy See has no jurisdiction…" -- Very smooth.

    1. Donna -- It's the same ridiculous excuse they used at the last hearing, and observers see right through it.

  3. I am not sure if you read the response from these fools when they said.I am paraphrasing but somthing like "The Catholic church has evolved and no longer hides priest pedophiles as that was a thing the happened 20 years ago." Seems they do not read the newspapers.

    1. Christian -- If they expect the public to believe that the church has made substantial progress, they're fooling themselves. A LOT more work needs to be done before the Vatican can claim to have evolved.


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