UN watchdog slams Vatican over child abuse record

February 06, 2014 - 7:30:50 am
GENEVA: The United Nations condemned the Vatican yesterday for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups, calling on the Church to remove clergy suspected of raping or molesting children.

The Vatican hit back, accusing the world body’s child rights watchdog of distorting the facts by failing to take into account fresh efforts to rid the Church of child abusers.

In an unprecedented report for a UN body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child slammed the Vatican for failing to live up to repeated pledges to put its house in order.

“The committee expresses serious concern that in dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims,” it said.

Saying abuse had affected “tens of thousands” of children worldwide, it urged the Vatican to “immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities”. AFP

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