A United Nations committee issued a scathing indictment Wednesday of the Vatican’s handling of child sexual abuse cases involving clerics, releasing a report that included criticism of church teachings on homosexuality, gender equality and abortion.
The report demanded that the Vatican immediately turn over to criminal investigators any known or suspected abusers and end its “code of silence” by enforcing rules ordering dioceses to report abuse to local authorities. It also called on the Vatican to open its archives on sexual allegations against clerics.
The article includes a link to the entire report from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mark Silk, in the Spiritual Politics blog on RNS, thinks the committee has missed a chance for real change:
Rather than try to get the Vatican to adapt longstanding and deeply held doctrines to the secular norms of the Convention, the Committee should have focused exclusively on the need for church institutions to treat accusations of sexual abuse in precisely the same way as secular institutions are required to treat them. And to treat officials who fail to follow the rules in exactly the same way secular officials supposed to be treated.
The abuse crisis came about precisely because the church was accustomed to operate as a state within states. The way to end it is for all to agree that it can do so no longer.