Catholic World News

Vatican braces for ideological attack from UN committee

May 02, 2014

As Vatican officials prepare for a May 5 appearance before a UN committee monitoring implementation of the Convention against Torture, the director of the Vatican press office has issued a statement voicing the Vatican’s hope that “a serene an objective dialogue may take place,” with questions focused on the prevention of torture.

The Holy See signed the Convention against Torture in 2002, and thus incurred an obligation to testify before the UN committee. But having recently been subjected to a harsh criticism of Catholic teachings issued by another UN committee, after testifying on the rights of the child, Vatican officials are clearly concerned that the May 5 hearing, and the UN report that will follow, will also stray beyond the committee’s official competence.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, stressed that the Vatican fully supports efforts to eliminate torture. However, he said, during such UN meetings, “not infrequently the committees pose questions deriving from issues not strictly linked to the text of the Convention, but rather connected to it indirectly or based on an extensive interpretation.”

Father Lombardi went on to warn against “the pressure exercised over the Committees and public opinion by NGOs with a strong ideological character and orientation, to bring the issue of the sexual abuse of minors into the discussion on torture, a matter which relates instead to the Convention on the rights of the child.”

Writing for The Catholic Thing, Austin Ruse—who as head of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute has defended the Church and the Vatican at the UN for years-- predicted that the Vatican representatives would suffer rough handling at the hands of the UN committee:

Here’s what’s gong to happen to the Holy See at the hands of this committee. The Church will be directed to change its teaching on abortion. The Church will be charged with violating the treaty for allowing sex abuse of minors, even beyond the 100 acres of Vatican City, indeed wherever a child has been abused by a Catholic priest. The committee will probably opine on sexual orientation and gender identity. But are any of these things really in the treaty against torture? Well, no.

Noting that the same UN committee has already told several countries that they should end bans on abortion, and has “quizzed our officials on the torture of homosexuals in the United States,” Ruse suggested that after absorbing the latest abuse from UN officials, the Vatican quietly withdraw from these treaties, explaining that the Holy See does not wish to be party to a process that is “harming genuine human rights.”


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 03, 2014 7:12 AM ET USA

    The United Nations is simply an instrument of torture for the whole human race. One by one, its various missions have been hijacked by the left to further their goals, which have nothing to do with freedom and human dignity.

  • Posted by: normnuke - May. 02, 2014 6:20 PM ET USA

    The UN is gradually showing the world what it has become under Obama's tenure in the White House. Time for a change of venue.