UN panel slams Vatican on priest sex abuse scandal
By the AP
May 23, 2014
GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations committee concluded Friday that the Vatican has effective worldwide control over bishops and priests who must comply with a U.N. anti-torture treaty, a finding that could expose the Catholic Church to new lawsuits by victims of clerical sex abuse.
The opinion from the U.N. Committee Against Torture, which oversees the international treaty on torture and other forms of degrading treatment, said Vatican officials failed to report abuse charges properly, moved priests rather than discipline them, and failed to pay adequate compensation to victims.
The opinion by the panel's 10 independent experts concludes a highly anticipated and first-ever review of the Holy See's responsibilities under the treaty that it ratified 12 years ago.
In at least 50 cases, panel members said, the Committee Against Torture has referred to rape and sexual violence, which clearly falls within the treaty's mandate on a case-by-case basis.
The committee said the Vatican must ensure that the treaty isn't violated by its officials and others "in any situation in which they exercise jurisdiction or effective control."
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.