The Vatican (known in diplomatic circles at the “Holy See”) was accused by IHEU at the UN Human Rights Council today (22 September 2009) of both covering up child abuse and allowing it to continue. The sstatement by IHEU representative Keith Porteous Wood also drew attention to the failure of the Holy See to comply with its obligations under International Law. The statement was a summary of a longer written submission by the IHEU to the UN on the same issue.
International Humanist and Ethical Union
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 12th Session (14 Sept – 2 October 2009)
Speaker: IHEU Representative, Keith Porteous-Wood: Tuesday 22 September 2009
Agenda Item 4: Matters requiring the attention of the Council
Child Abuse and the Holy See
In 1990 the Holy See acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It submitted its first and only report in 1994 – about which CRC expressed several areas of concern. But since then – nothing.
The extent of child abuse within the Catholic Church is well known. What we are addressing here, however, is the reaction of the Church authorities over which the Holy See exerts control.
[Mr President, the Holy See has been complicit in widespread attempts to cover up cases of alleged child abuse perpetrated by members of its clergy and religious orders, apologies are rare, and a general admission of the Church’s culpability has yet to be seen.]
We urge the Holy See to recognise its responsibilities to children and the CRC, to bring its reporting up to date, and to instruct its dioceses and religious orders to report all cases of alleged child abuse to the civil authorities. We suggest that as an institution that claims to have “the highest moral authority”, it can do no less.
And we urge the international community to hold the Holy See to account.
3 example: Diocese of Dallas: http://www.richardsipe.com/reports/sipe_report.htm#DIOCESE%20OF%20DALLAS
5 example: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2548081.stm although it has treatment centres for child-abusing priests (Richard Sipe at http://www.richardsipe.com/reports/sipe_report.htm #FOURTH%20PHASE