UN presses Vatican on child sex abuse

The United Nations has called on the Vatican to release the full data about the sex abuse cases and how it is working to prevent future incidents.

After decades of reports listing priests involved child sex abuse, the Vatican was placed in the hot seat in Geneva Jan. 16.

Vatican faces a series of tough questions

A further line of questioning called for the Vatican to explain why priests were protected in sex abuse cases. The Vatican was also asked to explain why numerous pedophile priests were transferred from diocese to diocese instead of being turned over to police.

The hearing questions were conducted in blocs, giving the Vatican time to delegate and form their answers before responding.

Vatican slow to action

According to BBC, the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, recognized the Vatican’s less than adequate response time to the crisis, but said it is now committed to it.

The same report stated that The Holy See submitted the first implementation report in 1994 but failed to provide progress reports until 2012. This report was submitted following the backlash received from the sex abuse cases that exploded in 2010.

Written testimonies and evidence surrounding the global scale of the issue was submitted to the UN from human rights organizations and victims of the abuse. The hearing in Geneva was the UN’s response to these requests.

Evidence from victims shows cover up

The reports submitted to the UN outline various case studies around the world and inquiries that revealed the Vatican’s policies and secrecy were a part of the problem.

According to CBC, human rights organizations and victim groups provided the UN with Vatican documentation demonstrating its history of discouraging bishops to report abusers to police.

In response to evidence of global cases, the Holy See stands by its position that priests are not employees of the Vatican, but are citizens of their respective countries where they should be prosecuted by local law enforcement.


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