21 Mar 2011

International humanist group accuses UN committee of neglecting Vatican's violations of children's rights

Secular News Daily - March 15, 2011

Vatican accused of flouting UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

by National Secular Society

At the plenary session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday 15 March 2011, Keith Porteous Wood of Britain’s National Secular Society accused the Holy See of contravening its duties under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child in relation to child abuse.

Mr Wood pointed to major contributory factors cited by Geoffrey Robertson QC in his book The Case of the Pope: “procedural deficiencies of Canon Law, the selfish desire to protect the Church from scandal by harbouring and trafficking paedophile priests, and the negligent supervision of bishops by the CDF office of the Holy See, headed for the previous two decades by Cardinal Ratzinger”.

Robertson asserted that “The Holy See’s grave and extensive breaches of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its contempt for its reporting obligations over the past thirteen years, should … justify its expulsion.”

Porteous Wood called attention to the fact that when he made similar accusations at the Council on 22 September 2009, the Papal Nuncio did not deny them, but had claimed that a report, then twelve years overdue, was being “finalized as we speak”. It still remains to be filed.

As he also pointed out, since the book was published in 2010, Vatican letters to the Bishop of Tucson and the Irish bishops had been made public making the Holy See’s determination to keep wrong doing from the secular authorities very clear.

He also drew the Council’s attention to Robertson’s conclusion that “It is a serious reflection on the competence and resolve of the ‘eighteen experts of high moral standing’ who have been elected to the [Committee on the Rights of the Child] that they have done and said nothing about the Vatican’s thirteen-year failure to deliver a report, during the period when widespread child abuse by its priests has been extensively publicized.”

Wood also commended to the Council the report he had prepared on this matter [A/HRC/16/NGO/92] and concluded by calling again on the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the Rights of the Child to hold the Holy See to account for:

• its breach of its obligations under the CRC;

• its disregard for its duty of care to the abused children;

• its systematic cover-up of thousands of cases of abuse; and

• its failure to adequately control those put in positions of trust with children.

Keith Porteous Wood was speaking as international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the world umbrella group for secular and humanist organisations.

The representative of the Holy See did not exercise its right of reply to comment on, or even deny the accusations.

Details of contraventions are shown in the IHEU written statement to the UN Human Rights Council: 13th Session (1 to 26 March 2010). Read the written statement [also see Related Articles links below]

National Secular Society The National Secular Society is Britain's only organisation working exclusively towards a secular society.

Related articles on Secular News Daily:

In Brief: Vatican Rules: Ordaining Women Priests a Crime Like Sex Abuse of Children
Obama administration sides with Vatican on sovereign immunity
Islamic Lawmaker: Banning child marriage un-Islamic, violates men's rights
Evidence Benedict sat on more child rapist cases surfaces
Vatican hopes to improve image in Ireland by stifling liberal secular dissent

This article was found at:


Humanists ask UN to hold Vatican accountable for violating children's rights by shielding abusers & obstructing justice

UN publishes International Humanist and Ethical Union statement on child abuse and the Holy See

Leaked confidential letter reveals Vatican's intention to prevent reporting of abuse to criminal authorities

1963 letter by church expert on pedophile priests shows Pope Paul VI and Vatican officials ignored warnings to expel problem priests

Pope John Paul authorized 2001 letter to all bishops praising French bishop for hiding rapist priest from authorities

Bishops were warned of abusive priests as early as the mid-1950s

Of course popes, cardinals and bishops covered up crimes against children, but can the Church be reformed while leaders are in denial?

US clergy abuse lawyer says lawsuits only way to force churches to end secrecy, protect children, compensate survivors

Prominent Catholic clergy abuse lawyer says lawsuits needed to force church to disclose secret files that reveal abusive priests, policies and practices

German lawyers file crimes against humanity charges alleging spiritual coercion and abuse cover-up by the Pope

Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse [Book Review]

Litigating clergy sex abuse - 3 book reviews

Irish head of Amnesty International says addressing past human rights violations prevents future abuse

Thousands of children raped by priests is a human rights atrocity, Pope should resign to give survivors more than mere words

Catholic Church ignores Amnesty International's call to comply with international children's rights law

New book by UN judge says Vatican should be treated as a rogue state until it abandons canon law and stops protecting abusers

Christopher Hitchens: holding the Catholic Church accountable for its crimes takes earthly justice

Hitchens says Pope responsible for obstructing justice & enabling the rape & torture of children, an apologist responds

Humanists ask UN to hold Vatican accountable for violating children's rights by shielding abusers & obstructing justice

Pope & Church tested by children's voices crying out for accountability and justice long after childhood

Deaf man suing Vatican tells his story in CNN report on Pope's role in protecting pedophiles and covering-up clergy child rape

U.S. lawsuit accuses Pope Benedict and other Vatican officials of negligence for enabling abuse at school for deaf

No comments:

Post a Comment