NY--Pope to address UN, despite Vatican non-compliance with treaties on Torture, Rights of the Child

NY--Pope to address UN, despite Vatican non-compliance with treaties on Torture, Rights of the Child

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 25

For more information: Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org), Joelle Casteix (949 322 7434jcasteix@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414 429 7259peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), David Clohessy (314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Pope speaks to UN but rebuffs UN treaties

Two UN committees investigated church cover-ups

Both issued reports last year harshly blasting Vatican

Experts made dozens of prevention recommendations

But Francis refuses to adopt them and turn over evidence


View the complete UN committee reports here:  http://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-cases/snap-v-pope-et-al

Members of SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights will be available for in-person comment and interviews from 11 am to 2 pm at CCR’s offices: 666 Broadway, 7th floor, NYC, 212-614-6464, or at the contact numbers above.

As Pope Francis speaks before the United Nations, clergy sex abuse victims are highlighting two recent UN reports that harshly criticize Catholic officials for how they enable child sex crimes and cover ups. The victims are urging the pontiff to take action on the dozens of recommendations made to him in 2014 by two UN committees to prevent the further sexual exploitation of children by clerics, employees and volunteers.

“The pontiff will lecture the global community today about what everyone else should be doing. But he won’t mention, much less adopt, any of the committees' common sense steps to prevent sexual violence,” said Joelle Casteix of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an independent, international Chicago-based support group. “On war, hunger and inequality, Francis is largely powerless. But as the head of the Catholic monarchy, he has almost limitless power to stop clerics who commit and conceal the rape of children. He refuses to do so. That is tragic.”

The reports—issued after months of research and attempts to gain access to long-hidden Vatican evidence about clergy who commit and conceal sexual violence—are highly critical of how top Catholic officials still endanger kids, move predators and maintain secrecy around clergy sex crimes.

“Francis has basically ignored these compelling reports while his defensive underlings ducked, dodged and denied the solid evidence in them. The Vatican went so far as to attack the motives of the dedicated volunteers who wrote them,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP.

In January 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded that "[t]he Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the Church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests." They criticized the Vatican because it "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 Committee lamented the “code of silence” that has allowed both abusers and those who have covered it up to “escape judicial proceedings.”

And in Feb. 2014, the UN Committee Against Torture, for example, found that child sex crimes “have hardly ever been reported (by Catholic officials) to the law enforcement authorities.” 

“It’s very disappointing to see Francis being welcomed at the UN despite having been cited for non-compliance with UN treaties on torture and children’s rights,” said Casteix. “He has no moral high ground"

“For decades, now, child sex abuse and cover-up have been devastating children and families around the globe. Thousands of predatory priests and complicit bishops remain free, in office, and face few or any consequences. And children worldwide remain at risk. For this, he should be welcomed at the UN?” said Blaine.

Members of SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights will be available for in-person comment and interviews from 11 am to 2 pm at CCR’s offices: 666 Broadway, 7th floor, NYC, 212-614-6464, or at the contact numbers above.

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