Vatican to UN: Did you have this report written years ago, or what?
posted at 9:39 am on February 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
The Vatican issued a statement today in response to the report from the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child on the child-abuse scandal that plagued the Catholic Church for decades, a report which I covered in this post. The Vatican’s response is worth noting, because its envoy to the committee, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, attacks the integrity of the entire process while still pledging to remain committed to working with the panel:
“My first impression: we need to wait, read attentively and analyse in detail what the members of this Commission have written”, commented the nuncio. “But my first reaction is of surprise, because of the negative aspects of the document they have produced and that it looks almost as if it were already prepared before the meeting of the Committee with the delegation of the Holy See, which had given in detail precise responses on various points, which have not been reported in this conclusive document or at least have not seemed to be taken into serious consideration. In fact, the document does not seem to be updated, taking into account what, over the last few years, has been done by the Holy See, with the measures taken directly from the authority of Vatican City State and then in various countries by the individual Episcopal Conferences. It therefore lacks a correct and updated perspective, which in reality has seen a series of changes for the protection of children that, it seems to me, are difficult to find, at the same level of commitment, in other institutions or even in other States. This is simply a question of facts, of evidence, which cannot be distorted!”.
Tomasi also noted the hypocrisy of attacking the Church’s position on abortion, given the panel’s mandate, and accuses the panel of advancing its own political agenda rather than its mandate:
With regard to the Holy See’s reaction to the document, the archbishop affirmed that “the Holy See will respond, because it is a member, a State that is part of the Convention: it has ratified it and intends to observe it in the spirit and letter of this Convention, without added ideologies or impositions that lie outside of the Convention itself. For instance: in its Preamble, the Convention on the Protection of Children talks about the defence of life and the protection of children before and after birth; whereas the recommendation made to the Holy See is that of changing its position on the question of abortion! Of course, when a child is killed it no longer has rights! Hence this seems to me to be a real contradiction of the fundamental objective of the Convention, which is the protection of children. This Committee has not done a good service to the United Nations, seeking to introduce and request the Holy See to change its non-negotiable teaching! So, it is somewhat sad to see that the Committee has not grasped in depth the nature and functions of the Holy See that, however, has expressed clearly to the Committee its decision to carry forward the Convention’s requests on the rights of the child, but defining precisely and protecting first of all those fundamental values that give real and effective protection to the child”.
Tomasi pledges that the Vatican will continue “constructive dialogue” with the panel, but suggests that in the future that becomes a dialogue.