The Vatican’s panel on sexual abuse of children said today that they will come out with “clear and effective” protocols to hold bishops and cardinals responsible if they do not report the crimes of sexual abuse to children. They failed to mention what the protocols would be and who exactly they are supposed to report the crime to, civil authorities or Vatican authorities.
Boston’s own Cardinal Sean O’Malley spoke from the Vatican saying “There is so much ignorance around this topic, so much denial.”
Meanwhile, somewhere else but still within the walls of the Vatican, Rev. Federico Lombardi the Vatican spokesman said that sexual abuse of children isn’t the same as torture in regard to the Vatican’s appearance before the U.N.’s Convention against Torture Committee
According to Josephine McKenna’s story in the Religious News Service: “He urged the U.N. committee, which is holding three weeks of hearings in Geneva, to resist pressure from nongovernmental organizations “with a strong ideological character” that are intent on including the sexual abuse of minors in a discussion about torture. “The extent to which this is deceptive and forced is clear to any unbiased observer,” Lombardi said.”
He feels the Vatican is being victimized by victims rights advocates.
Hey Cardinal Sean, I think I found some of that ignorance you were talking about.
The U.N. Convention against Torture’s job is to make sure those who signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment treaty.
Article One of the treaty defines torture as such:
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. (Say isn’t a priest a person acting in an official capacity for the Catholic Church and the Vatican? And a Bishop who covers up the crime is too!) It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Hey Sean, I found some of that denial too!
I wonder if the Vatican’s sexual abuse advisory board will clarify this stance. Who knows? According to WCVB.com: “The commission still has no founding statutes. Its independence within the Vatican bureaucracy is unclear. Neither a new date for a future meeting nor a timeline for drafting the protocols were set.“
Ah, so they just wanted to get a better headline out there than the don’t equate sexual abuse of children torture headline. Get ahead of the story. So they’ve learned a lot from Greg Burke, the former FOX News reporter turned PR guru to the Pope. Guru to the Pope… Is that a mixed metaphor?
In fact they Vatican is loving so much what they’ve learned from Burke that they are considering a A Secretariat of Communications. And it won’t have anything to do with communications with the Holy Ghost.
There is one thing in common with two stories however. The idea of accountability is still just an idea. Because when asked about reporting the crimes to civil authorities Cardinal Sean O’Malley said according to the same story on WCVB.com, “the church’s response shouldn’t depend on legal obligations, but rather “moral obligations” to report suspected abuse.”
I’ve heard that one before.