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Vatican will respond to UN criticism, archbishop vows

CWN - February 06, 2014

“The Holy See will respond” to a UN committee’s critical report on the Vatican’s handling of sexual abuse, Archbishop Tomasi has promised. But the committee “has not done a good service to the United Nations” by suggesting changes in Church teaching, he said.

Archbishop Tomasi, the Vatican’s observer at UN headquarters in Geneva, said that he was “surprised” by the negative tone of the UN. He said that the report apparently was written before the committee heard a Vatican presentation and report on efforts against sexual abuse. The final report, he said, “does not seem to be updated, taking into account what, over the last few years, has been done” by the Vatican and by national bishops’ conferences.

Nevertheless, the archbishop said, the Holy See has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “and intends observe it in the spirit and letter of this Convention, without added ideologies or impositions that lie outside of the Convention itself.” Toward that end, he said, Vatican officials will “read attentively and analyze in detail” the report’s criticisms and suggestions regarding protection of children.

In the past, Archbishop Tomasi said, UN members have commended the Vatican, and the worldwide Church in general, for taking vigorous steps to protect children. He said that the Vatican has been far more energetic in introducing reforms than other nations and international institutions. In future reports to the UN committee the Vatican will continue to explain those efforts, he said—adding: “because we have nothing to hide!”

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