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Vatican hits back with criticisms of UN report

By editor - 08 February, 2014

072011_Federico+LombardiThe concluding recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s report on the Vatican “go beyond its competencies” and “interfere in the very doctrinal and moral positions of the Catholic Church”, a spokesman for the Vatican has claimed.

In a formal response to the damning findings which were published earlier in the week, Fr Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, released a lengthy response on Friday.

The three-page statement charged that the UN committee neglected to pay attention to information submitted by the Vatican, relying instead on reports from groups critical of the Church.

The Vatican spokesman also suggested that the report had been drafted in advance, without waiting for the Vatican’s own report.

He also charged that the UN committee had overstepped its jurisdiction to attack the Church’s moral teaching.

“The Committee’s comments in several directions seem to go beyond its powers and to interfere in the very moral and doctrinal positions of the Catholic Church, giving indications involving moral evaluations of contraception, or abortion, or education in families, or the vision of human sexuality, in light of own ideological vision of sexuality itself,” he said.

Affirming the Vatican’s support for the UN, and for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Fr Lombardi said that the Holy See recognised the value of “serious and well founded” criticism regarding the Church’s response to the sex-abuse scandal.

However, he said that the UN committee’s report was a biased presentation.

He also claimed that the Church had suffered from “unjustly harmful” media scrutiny in the sex-abuse crisis and that the enormous attention accorded to the UN committee’s report was an example of that unequal treatment.

He pointed out that the same committee’s reports on other nations have rarely been given media attention, even when the reports point to grave violations of children’s rights.

Fr Lombardi also complained that the UN committee’s report shows a “lack of understanding of the specific nature of the Holy See.”

The Vatican, he explained, does not control the behaviour of priests in every country, and cannot be responsible for law-enforcement efforts outside its own limited jurisdiction.

He observed that this point had been made repeatedly to members of the UN committee, and “one is entitled to amazement” that the point had not been absorbed.

Repeating a point that had been made by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative at the UN, Fr Lombardi said that Vatican officials had provided the UN committee with a thorough briefing on the Holy See’s responses to sexual abuse, yet this information was not incorporated in the committee’s report.

Courtesy: Catholic Culture – http://www.catholicculture.org/news/

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