NEWS — 05 February 2014

By staff reporter

The United Nations’ human rights committee in Geneva has denounced the Vatican for policies that ‘allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades’.

It called on Rome to open its files on both the offending child abusers and those whom it said conspired to conceal their crimes.

The committee said it “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.”

It said it wants to see the sex abuse commission announced by Pope Francis before Christmas to open an independent investigation of all cases of clerical abuse and how the clergy responded to them.

The Committee made its statement following last month’s submissions to it by the Holy See on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Holy See is a signatory.

The UN Committee also severely criticized the Holy See for its views and teachings on homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

The committee’s recommendations are non-binding and unenforceable.

The UN asked the Vatican to implement its recommendations and report back by 2017.

The Vatican was 14 years late submitting its most recent report.

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