A United Nations human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday, February 5, for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and demanded it to open its files on the pedophiles and immediately turn over known or suspected offenders to civil justice.
Devastating and Scathing Report
In a devastating report, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child also severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. It also urged the Holy See to review its policies to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care.
According to reports from the AP and Reuters, the UN report said church officials had imposed a “code of silence” on clerics and moved abusers from parish to parish “in an attempt to cover up such crimes.”
Ignorance on Both Sides
On sex abuse, “the committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators,” the report said.
The Vatican called the report “distorted” and “unfair” and said the United Nations had ignored steps taken in the past decade to protect children.