Catholic World News

Religious order, Catholic school students lobby for controversial UN treaty

April 08, 2011

Students from a Catholic school in Rhode Island unsuccessfully urged state lawmakers to call upon the US government to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Clinton administration signed the treaty in 1995; the US Senate has not ratified it.

The school, Saint Raphael Academy. is administered by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a religious institute founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle.

“Lasallians have joined thousands of other Americans in calling for universal ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted in 1989,” according to a school newsletter. “The Convention emphasizes the rights of children to have their basic needs met, to develop to their full potential, and to be protected from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and exploitation.”

In a 1990 letter, Pope John Paul II said that the Holy See accepted the treaty with reservations.

The International Convention on the Rights of the Child constitutes a statement of priorities and obligations which can serve as a reference point and stimulus for action on behalf of children everywhere. The Holy See gladly acceded to and endorses the Convention on the understanding that goals, programs and actions stemming from it will respect the moral and religious convictions of those to whom they are directed, in particular the moral convictions of parents regarding the transmission of life, with no urging to resort to means which are morally unacceptable, as well as their freedom in relation to the religious life and education of their children.

Pro-life and pro-family advocates have expressed concern about potential US ratification of the treaty, in part because in 2009 a key UN committee interpreted it to mean that nations should permit minors to have access “reproductive health education or services.”

“Just like Gaddafi, it seems some activists are willing to use our children as human shields to promote an anti-life agenda,” said Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life, as he commented on the students’ testimony.

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  • Posted by: rpp - Apr. 08, 2011 6:15 PM ET USA

    I does in deed sound like "thousands" are calling for the ratification of this seriously flawed "treaty" and it's intrusive edict. Of course, one must keep in mind that "thousands" of people (that is 2,000 +/-) are actually insignificant when one considers that the USA has a population of well over three hundred million (300,000,000). These school leaders have demonstrated that they are equally unqualified to either teach or care for children. The entire staff should be dismissed forthwith.