Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vatican Review by U.N. re: Compliance with the Convention on Rights of the Child: Links for Your Involvement

For those interested in watching the Vatican review by the United Nations today in real time, SNAP has helpfully provided information about links you may use. Unfortunately, for many of us in the U.S., the hearing has already occurred, due to the difference in U.S. time and European time. But note that you may still be able to catch the "reportback" by SNAP and Center for Constitutional Rights, here.

As SNAP also notes, you may also follow the conversation on Twitter (here), and you may tweet to it by using the hashtag #HolySeeConfess. Here's Laura Smith-Spark and Ed Payne's CNN report on today's events at CNN, which notes that Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told the review committee that crimes of sexual violence against children "can never be justified."

According to the CNN report, Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's former chief sex-crimes prosecutor, also told the review committee that the Holy See has no policy of encouraging cover-ups. It's not clear to me whether, in making that statement, Bishop Scicluna addressed the fact that, when he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II, emeritus pope Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger) required that all cases of abuse from Catholic dioceses anywhere in the world be reported directly to him.

For many of us who have been observing the situation in our church for some years now, the direct centralization of reporting that Cardinal Ratzinger mandated when he headed the CDF makes it rather difficult to understand how the Vatican cannot be involved when cover-ups take place. The Vatican appears to want absolute control over anything and everything that takes place in our church--above all, over its clergy. But when the question is one of taking responsibility for the actions of those over which it claims a right of absolute control, the Vatican suddenly claims that it is a distant manager of bishops and clergy over whom it has no control at all.

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