UN rights poses tough questions to Vatican over child abuse

By REUTERS
July 10, 2013 18:22

1 minute read.



GENEVA - A United Nations human rights panel has posed a list of tough questions to the Vatican about child abuse by Catholic priests, a potential embarrassment for Pope Francis a few months into his papacy.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) asked for "detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers or nuns" since the Holy See last reported to it some 15 years ago, and set Nov. 1 as a deadline for a reply.

The request was included in a "list of issues", posted on the CRC's website, to be taken up when the Vatican appears before it next January to report on the Church's performance under the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It will be the first time the Holy See has been publicly questioned by an international panel over the child abuse scandal which severely damaged the standing of the Roman Catholic Church in many countries around the world.

The CRC has no enforcement powers, but a negative report after the hearing would be a blow to the Church whose leader, Pope Francis, is striving to put a number of scandals behind him since succeeding Benedict XVI who resigned in February.


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