Vatican refuses to give UN panel full details of clerical sex abuse cases

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The Vatican has refused to give a United Nations panel information it requested on clerical sex abuse, in a move that it said was part of its confidentiality policy but which was criticised as "a slap in the face" for victims.

In a series of questions asked in the runup to a public hearing scheduled for January, the UN committee on the rights of the child had requested the Holy See provide details of abuse cases and specific information concerning their subsequent investigation and handling.

But, in its response, the Holy See said that although it had answered the questions in a general way, it was not its practice to disclose information on specific cases unless requested to do so by another country as part of legal proceedings.

In the 24-page document, the Holy See said it had been "deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse" and regretted the involvement of some members of the Catholic clergy.

It added that it had "amended norms" regarding the suitability of candidates for the priesthood, and had taken other steps including the revision of some canon law rules "to ensure that clerics and religious are properly disciplined".

But it did not give all the details requested by the committee in a lengthy, multi-part question on the "sexual violence against children committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns in numerous countries around the world".

Written By: Lizzy Davies
continue to source article at theguardian.com

31 COMMENTS

  1. I am having difficulty understanding this. They are admitting that human international law should be held above morality, you know, the morality that only exists as an absolute because god gave it to us?.
    Not really sure wtf they are saying but that is my gut instinct on what the holy See, (holy See, excuse me while i piss myself laughing) are saying here.

  2. The Vatican has refused to give a United Nations panel information it requested on clerical sex abuse, in a move that it said was part of its confidentiality policy but which was criticised as “a slap in the face” for victims.

    Mmmmm! “It’s my confidentiality policy”!

    Isn’t that the excuse which does not wash with judges and investigating committees, who tend to put people in jail for contempt of court when they cover-up and refuse to answer or disclose the documents which they have available, but would have preferred to put the shredder given the chance?

    (What evidence of fraud mi-lud??? I couldn’t possibly release the account books: – It’s against our confidentiality policy!)

    Do they really expect rational people to buy that story??? Sheeples on the other hand .. .. .. . ..

    Police raids for documents not yet hidden in the Vatican perhaps? – IF governments have the bottle!

  3. So many people have given the new Pope high marks for appearing to be sympathetic towards people the church has in general been pretty adversarial with (atheists, homosexuals, etc) but I’ve reserved any praise for his take on this subject. The one that no amount of backtracking, apologizing or whitewashing is going to improve. That is to say the disturbingly high amount of child molestations and rape perpetrated by this church.

    The RCC has been under constant fire for decades over this very subject, and rather than openly deal with the matter and give the perpetrators over to authorities they try to quiet all parties and sweep things under the rug.

    We don’t need canon law rules to solve the problem, and the church certainly doesn’t need immunity from prosecution in the form of obfuscation and transferring priest from place to place. We need the church to be accountable for what it is doing to its own followers in direct contradiction of the very things they claim to preach against, which not only happens to be illegal in all civilized countries but the church happens to have a disturbing number of pedophiles in its clergy.

    Until that changes, the Pope can put on whatever nice face he wants. He’s not fooling me.

  4. It added that it had “amended norms” regarding the suitability of candidates for the priesthood

    I decided to see what I could find out about that. According to a Vatican document about one’s suitability for the priesthood, those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” are gravely immature and not suitable candidates. But I could not find anything in the long winded document about paedophilic tendencies:

    It is possible that the candidate – notwithstanding his own commitment and the support of the psychologist, or psychotherapy – could continue to show himself unable to face realistically his areas of grave immaturity – even given the gradual nature of all human growth. Such areas of immaturity would include strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity; deep-seated homosexual tendencies; etc. If this should be the case, the path of formation will have to be interrupted.

    Has the vatican learned ANYTHING in the last 10 years?

    • In reply to #6 by David W:

      It added that it had “amended norms” regarding the suitability of candidates for the priesthood

      “Such areas of immaturity would include… notable lack of freedom in relations…”

      Like being celibate?

      “… excessive rigidity of character…”

      Dogmatic? Us?

      Seriously, what priest is not disqualified by these standards?

  5. If you or I show contempt of court, it is considered an offense and we are likely to get a fine or see some jail time.

    What about an organization that shows contempt of humanity?

    What about an organization that shows contempt of children — perhaps the most vulnerable members of humanity?

    Is the RCC beyond contempt?

    • In reply to #8 by RDfan:

      If you or I show contempt of court, it is considered an offense and we are likely to get a fine or see some jail time.
      The RCC is definitely beyond my contempt.

      >

      What about an organization that shows contempt of humanity?

      What about an organization that shows contempt of children — perhaps the most vulnerable members of humanity?

      Is the…

  6. “concrete situations that fall outside the direct control of the Holy See, since they concern matters for which Catholic persons and institutions present in other countries are responsible”.

    What, God’s right hand man won’t accept any responsibility for what happens in other countries? Perhaps his popeness discussed it with God and was shown a way for The Vatican to avoid the mess. Sounds like something Yahweh would do.

    • In reply to #13 by ArloNo:

      “concrete situations that fall outside the direct control of the Holy See, since they concern matters for which Catholic persons and institutions present in other countries are responsible”.

      What, God’s right hand man won’t accept any responsibility for what happens in other countries? Perhaps his…

      From the Guardian article:
      The Holy See, which signed the convention on the rights of the child in 1990, argues that while it encourages the rights recognised on a global basis, it can only implement them on the territory of the Vatican city state.

      Part of the Catholic defense is that (they claim) catholic clergy are self employed or in extremis employed by their local (ie country) catholic church. This is how the Catholic Church as a large institution has tried to avoid sanctions with regard to anything that happens further down the chain. Interestingly, those further down the chain like to tell people that all this stuff is above their pay grade. Hence anyone with a claim is caught between the lower orders trying to push it upstairs and the higher orders pushing it back down. Can you imagine trying to get any sense out of that!

  7. Did we really expect this festering pile of corruption and greed to behave itself according to the principles and virtues of honourable men?

    Carry on regardless RCC, but know it is better to be thought stupid and evil than to provide some finely worked examples!

  8. and regretted the involvement of some members of the Catholic clergy.

    regret is like a slap in the face with a limp lettuce.

    They should be condemning in the strongest possible terms, not regretting that their official policy of obfuscation were lacking.

  9. It seems the RCC’s concern for the unborn child ceases once the child is born.

    They are so callous and so cruel, those Catholics. How they must hanker after the days of the Inquisition and the setting fire to heretics.

  10. In a world where paedophiles are mercilessly hunted down, humiliated, imprisoned and then put on the sex offenders list for life, I find it amazing that the Vatican is still allowed to refuse to cooperate with investigations into abuse within its clergy. Why is this allowed? Why isn’t the Vatican subject to sanctions and publicly humiliated?

    • In reply to #22 by andyb:

      In a world where paedophiles are mercilessly hunted down, humiliated, imprisoned and then put on the sex offenders list for life, I find it amazing that the Vatican is still allowed to refuse to cooperate with investigations into abuse within its clergy. Why is this allowed? Why isn’t the Vatican subject to sanctions and publicly humiliated?

      That is because it was set up as an independent state for Pope Pius XI in a buddy-buddy arrangement with the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, subsequently continuing to be recognised by world governments after WW2. They are an independent state which can make up any laws or rules they like – so as in some other states, corrupt governments can please themselves and dictate to others.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateran-Treaty

      The RCC is funded from various other state budgets and taxes, while often exempted from paying taxes to those states:-

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church-tax
      Church tax is compulsory for Catholics in Austria, with a rate of 1.1%. This tax was introduced by Hitler.
      After World War II, the tax was retained in order to keep the Church independent of political powers.

      But it seems not to keep political powers separate from the church!

  11. In the 24-page document, the Holy See said it had been “deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse” and regretted the involvement of some members of the Catholic clergy…

    … but not that much.

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