Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
U.N. Committee Against Torture asks Vatican about sex abuse scandal
Catholic News Service
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic News Service
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Appearing before a U.N. committee monitoring adherence to an international treaty designed to fight torture, Vatican officials repeatedly were asked about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sexual abuse, punish offenders and cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting the perpetrators.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, led the Vatican delegation at the May 5-6 hearing of the Committee Against Torture, which monitors the implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

The cases of clerical sexual abuse of children are a reality which the Catholic Church wishes never happened, he said, but, "human nature being what it is, they did happen."

What is most important now, he said, is that "there has been in several documentable areas a stabilization and even a decline in cases" of abuse of minors. "Measures undertaken in the last 10 years on the part both of the Holy See and local churches are bringing about a positive result."

In his opening remarks to the committee, Archbishop Tomasi told members that the Holy See, which signed the treaty, has no direct legal and juridical jurisdiction outside Vatican City State. While it hopes to exercise moral influence over all Catholics, "persons who live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law and the consequences contained therein."

Several of the questions committee members posed to Archbishop Tomasi and the Vatican delegation focused on the extent of the Holy See's jurisdiction; the committee wanted to know, for instance, if all employees of the Roman Curia and all Vatican diplomatic personnel serving abroad are considered subject to Vatican City State's laws against torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.

Felice Gaer, vice chair of the U.N. committee, said she was concerned that while the Holy See voluntarily signed the treaty, it now claims it applies "only to the four corners of Vatican City State." She also asked about specific provisions of the Holy See's treaties with Italy and Austria, which some people have claimed make it difficult for local police to investigate, document and prosecute claims of sexual abuse involving clergy.

"Sexual violence can constitute torture or ill treatment," she said, and failing to report the crime and-or failing to cooperate in police investigations of it can be read as "acquiescence," which is a violation of the treaty.

In a May 2 statement, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the Vatican recognized that the U.N. treaty monitoring committees were able to interpret the texts of the treaties and to include issues they believed should be treated in line with the principles inspiring the treaty. However, he also expressed hope that "ideological pressure" would not be exerted to manipulate the Vatican's appearance before the Committee Against Torture, turning it into a hearing about the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Several committee members asked the Vatican delegation for statistics on how many allegations have been reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, how many have been deemed credible, how many perpetrators have been dismissed from the priesthood and how many church officials voluntarily have reported abuse allegations to local police.

Gaer and George Tugushi, a committee member, also asked the Vatican delegation about the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion, including when the child is conceived during a rape.

"This committee has found repeatedly that laws that criminalize the termination of pregnancy in all circumstances can violate the terms of the convention," Gaer said.

In separate remarks to the U.N. committee May 2, Ashley McGuire, a member of the board of advisers of Catholic Voices USA, questioned what she called "hostility to Christianity" in the comments of some of nongovernmental organizations regarding the church's response to clerical abuse.

McGuire explained that the Catholic Church has become a "global model for the safeguarding of children" and continues to help children and vulnerable people through various ministries including education, health care and other services. Connecting the clergy sexual abuse with state-sponsored torture "will have painted a bull's-eye on the back of every Catholic aid worker and every Catholic church in every area of the globe now torn by sectarian strife," she said.

The text of McGuire's statement was posted on the organization's website.

Catholic Voices USA explains on its website that its mission was "to put the church's case in the public square" by offering "an authoritative -- but not official -- group of articulate speakers who make the Catholic case in interviews and debates."

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved