Catholic World News

Vatican releases full rebuttal to criticism from UN commission on rights of child

September 26, 2014

In a lengthy response to a UN committee’s critical report, the Vatican has said that the reported betrayed a “profundity of confusion regarding the nature of the Holy See.”

The Vatican on September 26 released the text of its full formal response to the report issued in February by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The committee had placed blame on the Vatican for sexual abuse of children worldwide, and called for changes in Church teaching.

The Vatican response pointed out that the Holy See exercises legal control only within the borders of the Vatican city-state. While the Church proclaims moral principles that should be observed by Catholics everywhere, the report notes: “The Holy See does not have the capacity or legal obligation to impose the abovementioned principles upon the local Catholic churches and institutions present on the territory of other States and whose activities abide with national laws.” In fact, the Vatican report notes, the Holy See would be violating international law if it interfered in the affairs of law-enforcement bodies in other sovereign states.

The Vatican response also expresses severe concern about the Un committee’s “lack of respect for the text” of the UN agreement that it is designed to monitor. The committee consistently pressed its own ideological agenda, advancing issues (such as contraception) that are not mentioned in the UN treaty, the report observes.

The Vatican also protests the “negative stereotyping and manifestations of intolerance against members of the Catholic religion” that characterize the UN committee’s report.

In February, after the release of the UN committee report, the Vatican had released a short statement making the same objections to the UN text. At the time Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, promised that a fuller response would follow. The text released on September 26, with extensive footnotes and careful analysis of UN texts, is that response.


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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: skall391825 - Sep. 27, 2014 3:08 AM ET USA

    Golly gee, I hope this doesn't sour the Vatican's support for the UN's proposed taxes on Americans so that less privileged countries can receive funds to fight global warming!

  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 26, 2014 10:08 PM ET USA

    The UN is attacking the Catholic Church rather than guarding children. Between January and August 2014: 275 teachers have been arrested in the U.S. for sexual misconduct with children. That’s more than one per day.

  • Posted by: abc - Sep. 26, 2014 7:53 PM ET USA

    I would like to see the UN calling Islam to change their teachings.