Vatican 13 Years Late With UN Child Rights Report

If you want rights, you must accept responsibilities. If the Vatican wants to be taken seriously as a genuine independent state, it must behave like a state. The Vatican claims representation at the UN, a status that brings with it obligations to comply with reporting requirements on a wide range of matters pertinent to global concerns. One one of these, the Vatican has neglected these obligations for thirteen years! Is is a co-incidence that the subject is child rights?

Vatican "observer" at the UN, Msgr Silvano Tomasi

This neglect is not mere oversight. They have had repeated reminders, and officials assured the UN last year that completion of the report was imminent. But still – there is not yet any sign of a report appearing. It may be some small consolation that they are not alone. The only other states that have not yet submitted reports are   St. Kitts and Nevis and five Pacific minnow states – the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tuvalu and Tonga.

These AP news extracts are via CBS News, where you can read the full report:

The Vatican has failed to send the United Nations a report on child rights that is now almost 13 years overdue, the head of a U.N. panel has told The Associated Press.


A Vatican representative told the U.N. last year that the report was being “finalized as we speak.”

Appearing before the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in September, Hubertus Matheus Van Megen said “a paragraph will be dedicated to the problem of child abuse by Catholic clergy.”

The Vatican has faced claims that it has covered up clerical sex abuse around the world, such as by not investigating allegations or transferring accused priests to other duties without punishing them.

Van Megen told the Geneva-based council that the church was “very conscious of the seriousness of the problem” but insisted critics had misrepresented the situation.

“While many speak of child abuse as pedophilia, it would be more correct to speak of ephebophilia, being a homosexual attraction to adolescent males,” he told the rights council. “Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80-90 percent belong to this sexual orientation minority, which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the age of 11 and 17 years old.”

“From available research we know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5 and 5 percent of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases,” he said.

While the Vatican delivered an initial report in 1995, the second, third and fourth reports are now overdue, according to Lee. This puts it on a par with the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Only five Pacific minnow states – the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tuvalu and Tonga – have failed to deliver any kind of report.

Mongolia, Senegal and Togo, which also had a 1997 deadline, have since filed their second reports.

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