UN Report on Child Sex Abuse Demands the Church Change Teachings on Abortion and Homosexuality

The United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Child has issued a report on the Catholic Church and the child sex abuse scandal.

The report goes off the rails. Instead of dealing with the issue of sexual abuse of children in the serious and concentrated manner that it deserves, the committee used the report as an opportunity to demand that the Church change its teaching on abortion and homosexuality.

I have a hard time when I see people using the sexual violation of innocent children as a wedge issue to promote their unrelated agendas. I regard it as callous political opportunism that has nothing at all to do with a genuine concern for the children. I think it violates the victims all over again by ignoring them and their needs and using them as tools to “get at” someone else.

It was dispiriting, reading this report. The children this report is talking about have been subjected to the life-destroying cruelty of sexual abuse by a trusted adult. It breaks my heart to see other adults, who are supposed to be their advocates, misuse their suffering to score points for their own private agendas.

The focus of this report should have been the children and how to help and protect them.

Here is a video summarizing the report.

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  • AnneG

    I read that report and really could not believe where it went. Saying, for example, that the Church needs to change “positions” on contraception so adolescents have access to contraceptives helps who and how?
    A lot of the actual, salient points are already in place, recommended by the Church’s own policies, but they never mentioned that.
    I thought it was even more outrageous knowing that there have been a number of cases of abuses of women and children by UN officials in refugee camps. Darfur and Somalia had officials running brothels, even, but I have never heard that denounced by this or any UN committee. Maybe I missed it.

    • Bill S

      The Vatican ratified the United Nations Convention for the Protection of Children so it could have its say on protection of unborn children (which isn’t the purpose of the Convention). In doing so, its compliance with international protocols is mandatory unless it chooses to withdraw. The actions of UN peacekeepers is of no relevance to this process. The Committee has posted its findings and recommendations which I must say do not reflect well on the Catholic Church.

  • FW Ken

    I’m glad the report includes the attacks on doctrine, since that exposes the real agenda. There is really no response to the sex abuse issues, but it’s nice to see that the will-being of children is definitely not their concern.

    A good dissection of the report is here:

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/ambushed_by_a_kangaroo_court

  • Bill S

    “Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a blog post that the report was “weakened” by the panel’s decision to include objections to Catholic teaching on “culture war” issues.”

    The report was not “weakened” by also commenting on counterproductive Church policies on abortion, contraception and homosexuality. That shouldn’t be used as an excuse to try to discredit the main complaint about how the Vatican has handled sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children by the clergy.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    I am surprised by the anger this has roused among Catholics in all countries I hear from. I have a suspicion that the UN, or rather those who manipulate it, may have gone too far this time. Not only is the fraud too obvious, but at the time when a liberal institution such as the BBC has been proving itself, in front of the whole world, to really be the enabler and protector of padeophiles and rapists that this woman only imagines the Church to be, there can be no more argument, even from the ignorant, about the Church being specially bad.

    • FW Ken

      Fabio,

      I think a lot of people, and not only Catholics, recognize that the U.N. has a record of rape and child rape far worse than the Church has ever had. I know from countless conversations that you can’t really respond to people who’s interest is not the welfare of children, but of riding this hobby horse as far as they can in attacking the Church. If you point out the relatively small percentage of priests involved (on a par with all men who work with children, and much less than men in general), they change the subject to bishops covering up or the all-purpose “moral authority” the Church is supposed to have. The hypocrisy does make a lot of people mad. As I said before, I’m glad they went after doctrine, since it discredits them even more than they are already.

      And here’s another good take on the whole thing, like most things by John Allen, worth a read:

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2014/02/05/report-vatican-and-sex-abuse-may-hurt-reform-cause/AjeJXpG15tLmLyVAGyRxkO/story.html

  • Pastor Chris

    The Committee is perhaps on target when it follows its charter to call nations, institutions and individuals to examine their policies and practices and perhaps modify them to ensure greater degrees of protection for the weak and powerless in their midst. If the Committee were a division of the Vatican or, in fact, of any of our church bodies, and if it were calling its own body to this evaluation, we might say they were exercising the “prophetic office” to call the church to repentance.

    However, as the Committee is in no way responsible to any division of the Church, nor is in any sense supervisory to it, we may look for other dynamics than the prophetic here. For one, it seems that both the Committee and the Vatican have in mind something vaguely called “the best interests of the child,” yet in key points they vary widely in what this definition includes. For example, though both agree that children ought to be protected from abuse or neglect, the Church includes abstinence and chastity among health education topics while the Committee includes “family planning” and “contraception.” What the Church recognizes that the Committee does not is that “the best interests of the child” – sin, shame, guilt, fear, as well as joy, acceptance, forgiveness and blessing – and that the teaching of abstinence and chastity flows from and returns to this spiritual center in ways that secular “health education” does not. In short, the Committee believes that “the child’s best interests” are exclusively secular, while the Church believes (and always has) that “the child’s best interests” must also be eternal.

    Now we know that much has been made in the media of the “abuse scandals” of the Catholic church. That “much” has certainly led to the impression that although the church teaches Jesus, in some respects it does not resemble Him very much (see Rebecca’s previous post on whether “They’ll Know We Are Christians by our Love”). However, where the Committee truly shows its stripes is when it calls on the church to revise Canon Law to bring it in line with the secular expectations of the Committee – for surely that is what the Committee is asking and demanding with regard to its “requests” about clergy sexual abuse, homosexuality, abortion, and other topics vaguely suggested. They use the phrase “positions”, thinking that the church is a political entity that merely develops ideas and policies to promote their agenda, rather than the Body of Christ and His Bride, where these doctrines and teachings are part of the very life of the church throughout its history and should not be taken lightly.

    And is this not one of the deep spiritual issues of our day (or, perhaps, of all history): How shall the church at large – or individual believers – respond to the pressures and demands of non-believers that the church not merely give in to their demands, but change their historic teachings and doctrine in order to do so?

  • FW Ken

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