This is going to be pretty awkward.
The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.
The Holy See on Thursday will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.
The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.
Pffft. Why would they ever want to do that?
Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.
My advice? Handle the UN like you handle all evidence that contradicts the Christians faith: when the UN presents evidence that the Vatican under Ratzinger’s leadership shielded/enabled pedophile priests, insist you have faith that the evidence is wrong. Money in the bank, yo.
At least the Vatican is optimistic:
Indeed, to date the Holy See has never had to defend its record to any large extent or in court since it has successfully argued that it is immune from lawsuits as a sovereign state and that, regardless, bishops were responsible for pedophile priests in their care, not the pope or his policies. While the Holy See has had to answer some questions about abuse at the separate U.N. Human Rights Council, this is the first U.N. hearing dedicated to the issue and the Vatican was compelled to submit to it as a signatory of the convention. Officials have privately said they are hoping at best to do damage control at Thursday’s session.
Well…um…just tell them that the Vatican isn’t responsible for its actions, legally, the way everybody else is. Oh, and tell them how religion makes people more moral and less likely to weasel out of the consequences of their actions. That’ll do it for sure.
It seems being accountable only to god isn’t doing much. Perhaps they should start being accountable to humanity now.