F Rosa Rubicondior: It's All Someone Else's Fault - Vatican

Monday 6 October 2014

It's All Someone Else's Fault - Vatican

Vatican accuses U.N. panel of sowing confusion

If you're expecting radical reforms in the Catholic Church, especially in its attitude to predatory paedophile priests and nuns, don't hold your breath.

In stark contrast to Pope Francis' protestations of regret and promises of reform with no measure spared to root out corruption and coverups and bring the abusers to justice, the reality is hand-washing that would do credit to Pontius Pilate, weedling excuses that would make a rogue market trader blush, and ducking down behind obscure, strict legalistic interpretations of International Law. Anything in fact barring actual cooperation with the authorities in states where these crimes against children were committed and assistance with identifying the abusers and bringing them to justice.

Silvano Tomasi, Vatican's UN ambassador, and Charles Scicluna, former Vatican chief prosecutor of clerical sexual abuse, giving evidence to UN Committee.

Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
The role of the UN Committee on the rights of children is to monitor compliance with the U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child, to which the Vatican City is a signatory.

This treaty requires governments to take all adequate measures to protect children from harm and ensure their interests are placed above all else. Ironically, the Holy See was one of the first states to ratify the treaty in 1990, eager to contribute the church's experience in caring for children in Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages and refugee centers. However, apart from an implementation report in 1994, it failed to produce a progress report until 2012 by when the child abuse scandal had exploded worldwide.

The Committee, after a day spent grilling Vatican representatives, and being met with obfuscation, evasion, denial of responsibility and attempts to blame local law enforcement agencies produced a highly critical report which said:

The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators.

In the Vatican's belated response a few days ago to this highly critical United Nations report published last February, the Holy See again claimed that:
  • The UN Committee had ignore the measures they had already taken.
  • Anyway, they haven't got the power or authority to do very much.
  • They only have authority in the Vatican City.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-16
(with apologies for the horribly mixed metaphor)
In addition, the Holy See has now made the astonishing claim that to do something about the paedophile priests would violate the concept of non-intervention in the affairs of another state and has accused the UN Committee of sowing "a profundity of confusion [which] has led to a grave misunderstanding of the Holy See's legal obligations under the convention".

That's the way, Frankie! It's always someone else's fault and someone else's responsibility. It's all about pointing the finger and apportioning blame - just so long as it point away from the Vatican. Don't worry about the victims. Their 'guardian angels' didn't think they were worth bothering with, so why should the Vatican be bothered either?

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