Words alone cannot express how awesome this action by the UN is, particularly in singling out the pope and demanding he take responsibility and act. Finally a global organisation standing in clear opposition to the church’s behaviour worldwide, and such a limp and weasely response from the vatican.
“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,” the report said.
In a statement, the Vatican said: “The Holy See takes note of the concluding observations on its reports, which will be submitted to a thorough study and examination… according to international law and practice.”
But the Vatican also reacted strongly to what it said was interference in church teachings after the UN called on the institution to amend its attitudes.
Global Catholic Church abuse cases
Australia: Priests, brothers, charged over more than 100 offenses against children dating back to 1970s at St Stanislaus school, Bathurst. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, launched in April 2013. Expected to hear from 5,000 victims.
Canada: Mount Cashel Orphanage, Newfoundland, closed in 1990 after it emerged staff abused 300 residents over several decades. In 2002, associations representing more than 10,000 self-declared victims joined forces to seek compensation.
US: A 2004 criminal investigation found 4,400 priests sexually abused minors between 1950 and 2002; abuse affected about 11,000 children. Former archbishop of Boston Bernard Law forced to resign in 2002 for having protected paedophile priests; former archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahony agreed to pay $US660 million to 500 victims.
Ireland: One priest admitted sexually abusing more than 100 children, another said he had abused minors regularly over 25 years. A total of 14,500 Irish children are reported to have been victims of abuse by clergy.
Germany: In early 2010, hundreds of alleged cases of child sex abuse in church institutions emerged, notably at the Jesuit college Canisius in Berlin where about 20 cases were reported. In late 2012, a report said at least 66 church officials had been accused of sex abuse.
The Netherlands: In late 2011, a report said “several tens of thousands of minors” had been abused within church institutions between 1945 and 2010, and around 800 suspects have been identified.