Vatican Gives Sharp Response to UN Committee's Report Criticizing Church Teachings
The Vatican’s chief spokesman gave a sharp, detailed response to a UN Committee’s critical report that lambasted the Catholic Church for its teachings on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
According to Catholic World News (CWN), Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, released a lengthy response Friday to the report given by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. In his statement, Lombardi said the committee’s recommendations went “beyond its competencies” to “interfere in the very doctrinal and moral positions of the Catholic Church.”
In emphasizing that the UN Committee had gone
beyond its jurisdiction in assailing the Church’s moral teachings,
Lombardi said the Committee’s remarks gave “indications involving moral
evaluations of contraception, or abortion, or education in families, or
the vision of human sexuality, in light of [the Committee’s] own
ideological vision of sexuality itself.”
Lombardi said the UN Committee had also neglected to attend to information actually submitted by the Vatican regarding the Holy See’s response to sexual abuse, and relied instead on reports from groups invested in criticizing the Church.
As CWN reports, the Vatican spokesman “strongly suggested that the report had been drafted in advance, without waiting for the Vatican’s own report.”
“Finally, one cannot but observe that the tone, development, and the publicity given by the Committee in its document are absolutely anomalous when compared to its normal progress in relations with other States that are party to the Convention,” Lombardi said.
Though Lombardi made a concerted effort to reaffirm the Vatican’s support for both the UN in general, and for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, he charged that the Committee’s report demonstrated a “lack of understanding of the specific nature of the Holy See.” He expressed “amazement” that the Committee seemed lacking in understanding that the Vatican does not control the behavior of priests in every country of the world and is not responsible for law enforcement efforts outside of its own restricted jurisdiction.
In response to the UN Committee’s report, Franciscan University Sociology Professor and Catholic scholar Dr. Anne Hendershott, writing at Crisis Magazine, argued that the report demonstrated the UN’s “continuing quest to marginalize the influence of the Catholic Church on the culture war issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.”
In addition, Hendershott asserted that the UN Committee used its report to “resurrect yet again the moral panic surrounding wildly exaggerated claims of clerical sexual abuse,” as well as unsubstantiated allegations, by attacking the Vatican for adopting policies that “allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children.”
The reality is that counter to inflated statistics of “tens of thousands” of child-victims, and the image of the alliterative “pedophile priest,” nearly all of the cases of sexual abuse by priests involved homosexual liaisons between priests and very young men in their teens or early 20s. While homosexual activities with minors are criminal offenses, and immoral, they are certainly not examples of pedophilia or child molestation.
Hendershott noted that in a comprehensive study by Baylor Professor Philip Jenkins, author of Pedophiles and Priests, there was no evidence found that “Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination.”
In an email interview with Breitbart News, Hendershott discussed the longstanding efforts to “get rid of the Vatican’s observer status at the UN.”
“It all started with Frances Kissling, the head of the fake Catholic group ‘Catholics for a Free Choice,’“ Hendershott said. “She had a whole campaign in 1999 called Operation Sea Change, designed to remove the Vatican from the UN.”
Hendershott discussed what she sees as the crux of the matter regarding the relationship between the UN and the Vatican.
“Quite honestly, all of this Vatican bashing is about population control,” she said. “The UN sees population control as a panacea. Bill and Melinda Gates are part of this also – they are big population control people. The Church stands in their way of controlling population on a global scale, and so the UN has to marginalize the Church.”
Hendershott believes the Vatican should simply ignore the UN Committee and what she calls an “insulting” report.
“The committee has absolutely no authority except to issue press releases and grandstand,” she asserted. “The Church should not be engaging with those whose goal it is to weaken it and destroy it.”
“That is why all the ridiculous allegations of priestly pedophilia,” she said. “I do not understand the Vatican's defensive stance. They have nothing to be defensive about. The Vatican is on the right side of this issue – truly protecting children.”