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UN calls on Vatican to change the 'climate of impunity' on child sexual abuse

Tuesday, May 6th 2014 - 05:58 UTC
Full article 7 comments
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi is expected to reply on Tuesday Archbishop Silvano Tomasi is expected to reply on Tuesday

A UN committee on torture grilled on Monday the Vatican on the Catholic Church's child sexual abuse crisis, urging a permanent investigation system to end a “climate of impunity” prevailing for decades.

 In a two-hour hearing in Geneva, the Committee Against Torture launched a barrage of questions to the Vatican delegation, asking about past policy decisions, the juridical distinction between the Holy See and Vatican City, and information on specific cases.

The Vatican, which will issue its formal answers on Tuesday, said the Church has been “doing its own house cleaning” for 10 years, was determined to protect children and that measures put in place have led to a decline in cases of sexual abuse of children by priests.

George Tugushi, a committee member from Georgia, said a recently formed international commission advising Pope Francis on how to deal with sexual abuse, was a very positive step but not enough.

“The commission may need help to ensure all cases are reported properly and begin to change the climate of impunity but it cannot be considered in our opinion as a substitute for a functioning investigation system,” he told the Vatican delegation headed by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

Another committee member, Satyabhoosun Gupt Domah of Mauritius, asked if the Holy See was taking steps to eliminate the “chemistry that creates the conditions” for sexual abuse of children by priests.

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • golfcronie

    Not before time I hasten to add. In fact all faiths ought to clear the decks.

    May 06th, 2014 - 08:00 am 0
  • Bongo


    Don't tar everyone with the Vatican brush.

    In any case, the Catholic Church shouldn't be seeing “a decline in cases of sexual abuse” but an absolute end to it once and for all. “A decline” means it's still happening.

    If Pope Francis wants to get the church back on track he should throw the Vatican doors open to the police and cut this rot out at its core.

    May 06th, 2014 - 09:24 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    It's interesting that it's the UN Committee on TORTURE that is addressing the Catholic Church's failings with respect to sexual abuse of the person.

    I feel sure that this UN committee has more than enough to do without extending torture to include buggery.

    May 06th, 2014 - 12:38 pm 0
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