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Vatican denies obligation to uphold children's rights in the Church (2013)

The Vatican signed this United Nations treaty to protect children, but added a reservation that says it can only be applied in line with Church teaching. However, when this made it sound as Church doctrine permitted worldwide child abuse, the Vatican changed direction. Now it says its signature only commits it to protect the children in the (virtually child-free!) Vatican City.

Back in 2002 the clerical abuse scandal was only beginning to be reported in the papers. However, already then Catholics for Choice drew attention to the Vatican's international obligations. Catholics for Choice pointed out in a detailed report how the Vatican had failed to protect children, even though it had promised to do so by signing the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child. [1]

Of the United Nation’s nine core international human rights treaties, the Vatican has signed and ratified only two, and even one of those, with reservations. This last is the 1989  Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), where the Vatican has made three reservations. These have caused concern among the human rights experts who drew up the Convention.

The essence of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is that “Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights.” [2] However, the Vatican's reservations (below) would help keep children as property of the parents and would also doom many to lives of deprivation, by insisting on unlimited reproduction both by their mothers and by the young girls themselves.

Why on earth did the Vatican sign this child protection treaty?

It may seem strange that an organisation that has concealed and enabled child abuse worldwide was eager to sign a treaty to protect children. But before the scale of clerical abuse began to be revealed in 2002, it must have seemed like a good strategy. From the time of the Vatican's first submission to the treaty committee in 1994, it has used this as a platform to argue for its own doctrines. [3]

In its submission it carefully redefines children's rights so as to include a ban on contraception. It's a two-step argument. Life, it says, begins "at the moment of conception", and "contraception", which it claims prevents this "child" from being born, necessarily interferes with its rights. This assertion is medical nonsense, of course, as the pill, the morning-after pill and IUDs all work by preventing conception in the first place. [4]

It looks as if the Vatican's participation in the treaty represents another attempt to ban contraception.  

Vatican's reservations reflect Church doctrine on both children and rights

The Vatican's participation also appears to reflect an attempt to push its own dogma-compliant version of human rights. In 1983 it issued a Charter of the Rights of the Family, which refers, of course, only a family that conforms to Church doctrine. "The spouses have the inalienable right to found a family [...] in accordance with the objective moral order which excludes recourse to contraception, sterilization and abortion." [5] Some "inalienable right"! Essentially this is Vatican doctrine all dressed up in the language of human rights. Yet, in its first submission the Vatican includes its own Charter and lectures the human rights committe on its importance.

(The Muslim nations appear to have learned from this, for seven years later they issued their own parody of human rights, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI). Theirs, of course, doesn't conform to Catholic canon law, but instead is sharia-compliant.)

The Vatican also equivocates on the very idea of a child’s rights. In line with longstanding Church doctrine, Bishop Tabet, representing the Vatican, informed the Committee of the CRC that the rights of the child “emanate” from the fact that he was “created in God’s image”. In other words, rights are not utterly independent of anything else, but are derived from God (whose earthly representative is the Pope....) And he added, “To ensure effective protection of its rights, the Holy See considers that the child can not be dissociated from the context of the family”. [6] The family, as defined by Vatican doctrine.... The arguments circle round and round and inevitably end in Church teaching.

This sounds like a covert rejection of the ideals behind the Convention Rights of the Child and it would help explain the Vatican's equally covert way of avoiding being bound by it through its reservations and declaration.

What are reservations?

Reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs) are self-exemptions from some of the obligations set forth in the treaty. There are two competing views on RUDs. 

From one perspective, RUDs are a legitimate, perhaps even desirable, means of accounting for cultural, religious, or political value diversity across nations. Reservations, understandings, and declarations are set up by those countries that take human rights seriously, foremost the liberal democracies, while other countries need not bother because they have no intention of complying anyway. From the competing second account, however, RUDs are regarded with great concern, if not hostility. This is because of the supposed character of human rights as universally applicable, which is seen as being undermined if countries can opt out of their obligations. [7]


The Vatican’s interpretation

In 1990 when it entered the treaty, the Vatican made three reservations to the CRC and one declaration about it. As can be seen below, the first reservation is to require the unworkable method of family planning which is popularly known as "Vatican roulette". This effectively dooms many children to grow up in poverty in large families where young girls may be subject to sexual exploitation, (sometimes in order to eat), and as a result become child mothers themselves. The Vatican’s second reservation serves to keep children firmly under parental religious control until they reach 18. The third reservation effectively requires that everything in the UN Treaty be in conformity with Church doctrine. It does this in a convoluted way which hides the meaning, by saying that the CRC must be applied in a way compatible with the Vatican City State’s “sources of objective law”, which are principally Canon Law. [8] And finally, the declaration amounts to a ban on abortion and also on whatever methods of family planning the Vatican chooses to define as such.

Reservations:

      a) [The Holy See] interprets the phrase `Family planning education and services' in article 24.2, to mean only those methods of family planning which it considers morally acceptable, that is, the natural methods of family planning.
       b) [The Holy See] interprets the articles of the Convention in a way which safeguards the primary and inalienable rights of parents, in particular insofar as these rights concern education (articles 13 and 28), religion (article 14), association with others (article 15) and privacy (article 16).
       c) [The Holy See declares] that the application of the Convention be compatible in practice with the particular nature of the Vatican City State and of the sources of its objective law (art. 1, Law of 7 June 1929, n. 11 [as amended by the Law of 1 October 2008, N. LXXI]) and, in consideration of its limited extent, with its legislation in the matters of citizenship, access and residence.

Declaration:

[...] The Holy See recognizes that the Convention represents an enactment of principles previously adopted by the United Nations, and once effective as a ratified instrument, will safeguard the rights of the child before as well as after birth, as expressly affirmed in the `Declaration of the Rights of the Child' [Res. 136 (XIV)] and restated in the ninth preambular paragraph of the Convention.  The Holy See remains confident that the ninth preambular paragraph will serve as the perspective through which the rest of the Convention will be interpreted, in conformity with article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969.[...] [9]


The concerns of the CRC Committee over the Vatican's reservations (1995)

The experts who had drawn up the CRC were so concerned by the tenor of the Vatican's objections that they even suggested it withdraw them. [10] They listed three areas of in particular:

7. The Committee is concerned about reservations entered by the Holy See to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular with respect to the full recognition of the child as a subject of rights.

8. The Committee is concerned that discrimination between children may arise in Catholic schools and institutions, in particular with regard to gender.

9. The Committee is concerned at the insufficient attention paid to the promotion of education of children on health matters, the development of preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services, in the light of the provisions of the Convention.

The Committee's concerns were further underlined by their recommendations, which included these pointed suggestions: 

13. The Committee recommends that the position of the Holy See with regard to the relationship between articles 5 and 12 of the Convention be clarified. In this respect, it wishes to recall its view that the rights and prerogatives of the parents may not undermine the rights of the child as recognized by the Convention, especially the right of the child to express his or her own views and that his or her views be given due weight.

14. It also recommends that the spirit of the Convention and the principles set forth therein, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, of the best interests of the child and of respect for the views of the child, be fully taken into account in the conduct of all the activities of the Holy See and of the various Church institutions and organizations dealing with the rights of the child. 

During the informal questioning of the Vatican representative the experts on the committee expressed scepticism. [11] Representative of the concerns they expressed was "that, contrary to the philosophy of the Convention, the child was not regarded by the Holy See as a full subject of his or her rights. Furthermore, the principle of non-discrimination was not fully reflected in the Holy See’s policies and activities". [12]

Amnesty International put it more frankly, concluding that “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children.” [13]

It seems to have been fully clear to these experts on children's rights that the Vatican had signed the treaty only to effectively opt out of it through its reservations. However, as a noted professor of human rights law observes, the Vatican did this for a purpose: 

The Holy See has ratified the Convention [on the Rights of the Child] with a series of reservations and declarations, one of which is remarkably similar in scope to the “Islamic” reservations.

An example of such "Islamic" reservations is furnished by Mauritania. It has the highest proportion of people in slavery in the world, with women regularly raped by their masters in order to increase the number of slaves and therefore the owners' wealth. Yet it has signed a human rights treaty to protect women (CEDAW), by adding the same two provisos used in Vatican reservations. It entered a reservation stating that it would observe only those articles that comply with Sharia Law and the Mauritanian Constitution. [14]

He continues:

The Holy See declares “that the application of the Convention [should] be compatible in practice with the particular nature of the Vatican City State and of the sources of its objective law.” [15] It would appear from such a reservation that the Holy See does not really expect the Convention to apply to the Vatican City territory. Rather, its cynical purpose in ratifying seems to be to enhance its credibility in insisting upon an anti-abortion interpretation of Article 6 of the Convention. Ratification also permits the Holy See, which has an international legal personality but which is not a “state,” to participate (at no real cost) as a “state party” in designating members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. [16]

Here the Vatican seems to be trying to advance its own political goals, rather than the welfare of the world's children.

Almost a quarter of a century after the Vatican first formally pledged to protect children, the Committee was still dissatisfied with the response of the US authorities to the widespread clerical abuse in that country, and “the lack of measures taken by [them] to properly investigate cases and prosecute those accused”. The Committee said it was

deeply concerned at information of sexual abuse committed by clerics and leading members of certain faith-based organizations and religious institutions on a massive and long-term scale amounting to sexual slavery or servitude of children”. [17]

Finally Vatican admits its signature only applies to its tiny enclave

In 2013, when questioned closely by the UN committee on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican made an amazing contention -- that its signature only applied to the few city blocks in Rome which make up the Vatican "state". And the next year it back-dated this remarkable claim by saying that it had signed another UN convention, only in order to ban torture on 110 acres (44 hectares), and not within the Catholic Church.  "The Holy See signed the Convention in 2002 exclusively in the name of and on the part of Vatican City State.” [18]

It claimed that it had "unfortunately" used the wrong word in its second report to the Committee, when it said "implementation", instead of "encouragement".  But in reality, it  "implements" the Rights of the Child only on in its own territory, and merely "encourages or promotes" them outside. [19]

Furthermore, it refused to incorporate human rights legislation into the laws of its enclave.

15. it is not the practice of the Holy See to enact or promulgate one single piece of legislation to incorporate an entire international human rights convention into the laws of VCS. Rather, the Holy See’s approach is to ensure that the legislation, policies and practices comply with the human rights treaty. [20]

In other words, no official commitment to a human rights convention, thank you. Instead we will monitor our own compliance. And the Vatican only agreed to comply with "authentic human rights", in other words, ones which don't conflict with Church doctrine. [21] This appears to mean: We will follow our own rules and police ourselves.

When asked about its response to the torture of children in the Church-run Magdalene laundries in Ireland, [22] it retreated into its little state. It declared "The Holy See, as a Sovereign subject of international law, is obliged to respect the duty of non-intervention into the domestic affairs of other States concerning alleged crimes against children...." [23]

Even a former editor of a Catholic weekly rejected

the feeble nicety that the Holy See can only be held to account by the United Nations for what goes on in the limited territory of the Vatican city-state. Their argument, that they only have spiritual rather than juridical authority over the rest of the church, is deeply unconvincing to most outsiders. Religious superiors are bound by an oath of obedience to the pope, so there is a clear line of institutional accountability... [24]

Even stranger, but totally in line with the Vatican's urge to duck responsibility, it actually professed not to understand what the UN committee meant when it referred to the Church's "own institutions". [25] We know that Church lawyers have been telling priests that to offer an apology was to admit responsibility for damages. [26] (This is why, for instance, an American archbishop apologised not for what his priests had done to little boys, but for the "indignation" that people felt. No one can get awarded damages for indignation. [27]) And, now this legal caution even prevents them from acknowledging the worldwide network of Catholic establishments and admitting that the Vatican has its "own institutions"!

The UN committee charged with safeguarding children was not impressed. It expected the Vatican, as a signatory, to take responsibility for abuse perpetrated by officials and institutions under Vatican control. [28]

And even more amazing was the response of Pope Francis who echoed the Vatican's customary reaction to the abuse scandal, implying that it amounted to persecution, [29] “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No one else has done more. Yet the church is the only one to have been attacked.” [30] 

Bishops still told no obligation to report abuse to police

In 2016 a shocking set of instructions for new Catholic bishops was revealed. They were told that unless forced to by civil laws, (whose violation could lead to damaging court cases against the Church), they needn't tell the police about abuse:

According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds. [31]

This shows tht the Vatican has no intention of with the child-protection treaty it has signed. It flouts the UN Committee's recommendations that it

Establish clear rules, mechanisms and procedures for the mandatory reporting of all suspected cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation to law enforcement authorities. [32]

This is the bottom line: despite all the promises of Pope Francis, the Church continues to show more concern for shielding itself than for protecting children.


Appendix: The abuse scandal leaves Canon Law unchanged
Vatican directive (2011) still discourages reporting to police 

In May 2011 a Circular Letter was sent around to bishops to advise them on how to treat child abuse by priests. (It is published twice on the Vatican website, as if it was considered important for public relations.) [33] This directive turns out to contain a number of ways for Churchmen to evade the jurisdiction of civil law ― still.

 First, it says opaquely, “the responsibility for dealing with the delicts of sexual abuse of minors by clerics belongs in the first place to the Diocesan Bishop.” That appears to let the bishop decide whether allegations are plausible, thus giving him absolute power to suppress them, as has happened may times since the 1993 guidelines came out. In the latest examples to come to light, the bishops in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Mo. never informed their sexual abuse “review boards” about the cases, let alone the police. [34]

 Second, it says that “saving the approval of the Holy See, when a Conference of Bishops intends to give specific norms, such provisions must be understood as a complement to universal law and not replacing it.” So apparently any bishops’ guidelines about reporting abuse to civil authorities in countries where this is mandatory can be overridden by Church law and Vatican directives. 

 And it lays out two further conditions for reporting suspected abuse to the police:

Specifically, without prejudice to the sacramental internal forum, the prescriptions of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the designated authority should always be followed. 

Since “without prejudice” is a legal term meaning “without abandonment of a claim, privilege, or right”, this sounds as if the “sacramental internal forum”, the Church court, can continue to take precedence over any state courts.

 There also appears to be another restriction contained in this passage. An obligation to inform the police is mentioned only for countries with mandatory reporting, that is to say, where there is “civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes”. However, given the rarity of mandatory reporting laws covering child abuse, this isn’t much of a practical limitation. It leaves the overwhelming majority of the world’s children unprotected, since only three nations, the US, Canada and Australia, have robust laws about “duty to report” [35] and even then

the terms of these laws differ in significant ways, both within and between these nations, with the differences tending to broaden or narrow the scope of cases required to be reported and by whom. [36] 

The admonition to report suspected abuse only in those countries that require it, sounds less like an attempt to protect children than to protect the Vatican by formally telling the bishops not to break the law. In view of these four elastic preconditions, one wonders if this circular letter actually commits the Church to anything at all. SNAP, the “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”, which had 23 years of experience doubted that the been dealing with lists ten reasons why they are convinced that the 2011 guidelines will not make much difference, and charging that

The guidelines are being written now only because the crisis has reached the Pope's doorstep (due to investigative reporting on his own role concealing cases and due to increasing numbers and success of civil lawsuits). [37] 


Resources

― Newspaper summaries

Laurie Goodstein, “U.N. Panel Criticizes the Vatican Over Sexual Abuse”, New York Times, 2014-02-06. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/world/europe/un-panel-assails-vatican-over-sex-abuse-by-priests.html 
John Hooper, “Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing”, Guardian, 2014-05-05. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/05/vatican-united-nations-committee-clerical-sex-abuse

― Documents

Text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm 

CRC/C/GC/12 (20 July 2009)

Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 12, The right of the child to be heard, (2009) http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/AdvanceVersions/CRC-C-GC-12.doc 

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Reporting process

CRC-C-OPSC-VAT-1 (no date)
Holy See, “Initial Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography”, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/AdvanceVersions/CRC-C-OPSC-VAT-1.doc

CRC.C.VAT.2 (no date, but according to Amnesty International it was submitted in May 2010 http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/vatican/report-2011)
Holy See, “Second Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Convention on the rights of the child",  http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/CRC.C.VAT.2_en.doc

CRC_C_OPSC_USA_CO_2 (2 July 2013)
Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography: Concluding observations on the second periodic report of the United States of America, p. 11, # 35. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/co/CRC_C_OPSC_USA_CO_2.doc 

35. The Committee is deeply concerned at information of sexual abuse committed by clerics and leading members of certain faith-based organizations and religious institutions on a massive and long-term scale amounting to sexual slavery or servitude of children and about the lack of measures taken by the State party to properly investigate cases and prosecute those accused who are members of those organizations and institutions.

(November 2013)
Holy See. Written replies by the Holy See to the List of Issues (CRC/C/VAT/Q/2) prepared by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in connection with the consideration of the Combined Second, Third and Fourth Periodic Reports of the Holy See (CRC/C/VAT/2). http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fVAT%2fQ%2f2%2fAdd.1&Lang=en 

CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 (9 January 2014)
Committee on the Rights of the Child, List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of the Holy See. Addendum: Replies of the Holy See to the list of issues [2 December 2013]
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fVAT%2fQ%2f2%2fAdd.1&Lang=en 

(no date, but published in Zenit 0n 26 September 2014)
Holy See's Comments to Observations From UN Committee on Rights of the Child
Zenit, 2014-09-26  http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/holy-see-s-comments-to-observations-from-un-committee-on-rights-of-the-child 

Notes

1. The Holy See and the Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Shadow Report, Catholics for (a Free) Choice, September 2002. http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/topics/other/documents/2002rightsofthechildshadowreport.pdf 

2. “Convention on the Rights of the Child: Frequently asked questions”. http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30229.html 

3. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of reports submitted by State parties due in 1992. Holy See, March 28, 1994, CRC/C3/Add.27. http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/69b1b7cf52e6b1c4412561510037ea69?Opendocument

4. Brief of Amici Curiae Physicians for Reproductive Health, et. al., in Support of Petitioners, Physicians for Reproductive Health, 2013-11-26
http://prh.org/iPaper/brief-of-amici-curiae-physicians-for-reproductive-health-et-al-in-support-of-petitioners/

p. 11 "The scientific evidence confirms that the FDA-approved forms of emergency contraception are not abortifacients."

“New Birth Control Label Counters Lawsuit Claim”, New York Times, 2013-11-26
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/us/shift-on-birth-control-pill-may-affect-court-cases.html

5. Holy See, Charter of the Rights of the Family, 22 October 1983, article 3. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_19831022_family-rights_en.html

6. Bishop Paul Fouad Tabet, Committee on the Rights of the Child, Tenth session, Summary record of the 256th meeting, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 14 November 1995, #4. To access this see footnote 8 below.

7. Eric Neumayer, “Qualified Ratification: Explaining Reservations to International Human Rights Treaties”, Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 36 (June 2007), p. 398. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/geographyAndEnvironment/whosWho/profiles/neumayer/pdf/Article%20in%20Journal%20of%20Legal%20Studies.pdf 

8. For the “sources of [the Vatican City State's] objective law”, see Article 56, p. 20 of:

Holy See, “Initial Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography”, (no date, according to Amnesty International it was submitted in May 2010 http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/vatican/report-2011)http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/AdvanceVersions/CRC-C-OPSC-VAT-1.doc

9. Below the list of countries is the list of “Declarations and Reservations”: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en 

10. The CRC Committee's 1995 response to the Vatican's Initial State Report of 2 March 1994: Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Holy See, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.46 (1995). http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/crc-Holy-See95.htm In PDF format here: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,CRC,,VAT,3ae6aec910,0.html 

10. In the spirit of the final document of the World Conference on Human Rights, the Committee wishes to encourage the State party to consider reviewing its reservations to the Convention with a view to withdrawing them.

11. They can be found by conducting a seach at http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx For "Convention" choose "CRC"; for "Country", choose "Holy See" and for "Type" choose "Summary Record", before hitting SEARCH to get to the two documents (under "F"). The first is a record (in French) of the morning session of 14 November 1995 and the second (in English) of the afternoon one.

12. Youri Kolosov, [UN] Committee on the rights of the child, Tenth session, Summary Record of the 225th meeting, 14 November 1995, p. 7.

13.  Amnesty International, Annual Report 2011: Vatican, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/vatican/report-2011

14. "Mauritania", The Global Slavery Index, 2013. http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/Mauritania/

15. A list of reservations by all states: Convention on the Rights of the Child”, (20 November 1989), Declarations and Reservations (as of 18 May 2010), Holy See.

16. William A. Schabas, “Reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 478-79 http://www.jstor.org/stable/762512

17. Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography: Concluding observations on the second periodic report of the United States of America, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-second session (14 January–1 February 2013)”, p. 11, # 35. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/co/CRC_C_OPSC_USA_CO_2.doc

18. “Holy See testimony on torture a UN treaty obligation, spokesman notes”, CNA Daily News, 16 April 2014. http://www.dfwcatholic.org/holy-see-testimony-on-torture-a-un-treaty-obligation-spokesman-notes-35617/.html 

19. Answer to Part 1, Question 3. CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 (9 January 2014)
Committee on the Rights of the Child, List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of the Holy See. Addendum: Replies of the Holy See to the list of issues [2 December 2013]
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fVAT%2fQ%2f2%2fAdd.1&Lang=en 

20. Answer to Part 1, Question 2. CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 

21. Three mentions. CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 

22. “Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal must be laid to rest”, Guardian, 2011-06-08. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jun/08/irealnd-magdalene-laundries-scandal-un

23. Answer to Part 1, Question 8. CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 

24. Paul Vallely, “Vatican Missteps and U.N. Blunders”, New York Times, 2014-02-11. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/opinion/vatican-missteps-and-un-blunders.html

25. Answer to Part 1, Question 10. CRC/C/VAT/Q/2/Add.1 

26. “Sorry seems to be the hardest word: No Catholic Church apology to sex abuse victims”, The Daily Telegraph, 2013-12-11. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sorry-seems-to-be-the-hardest-word-no-catholic-church-apology-to-sex-abuse-victims/story-fni0cx12-1226780151159

27. “Minn. archbishop grieves, issues apology over clergy sex abuse”, CNA, 2013-12-17.  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/minn-archbishop-grieves-issues-apology-over-clergy-sex-abuse/

28. Laurie Goodstein, “U.N. Panel Criticizes the Vatican Over Sexual Abuse”, New York Times, 2014-02-06. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/world/europe/un-panel-assails-vatican-over-sex-abuse-by-priests.html 
John Hooper, “Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing”, Guardian, 2014-05-05. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/05/vatican-united-nations-committee-clerical-sex-abuse

29. Daniel Flynn, “Vatican sees bid to tarnish Church amid abuse row”, Reuters, 2010-03-16.
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Vatican+sees+bid+to+tarnish+Church+amid+abuse+row.-a0221311305

30. Clyde Haberman, “The Fight to Reveal Abuses by Catholic Priests”, New York Times, 2014-03-30. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/us/the-fight-to-reveal-abuses-by-catholic-priests.html

31. John L. Allen Jr., “What new Catholic bishops are, and aren’t, being told on sex abuse”, Crux Now, 2016-02-07. http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2016/02/07/what-new-catholic-bishops-are-and-arent-being-told-on-sex-abuse/

“Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says”, Guardian, 2016-02-10. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/catholic-bishops-not-obliged-report-clerical-child-abuse-vatican-says

32. Concluding Recommendations to the Holy See of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2014-02-25, UN document ref CRC/C/VAT/CO/2 Page 10 para 44.
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/VAT/CRC_C_VAT_CO_2_16302_E.pdf

Notes to the Appendix

33. Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, “Circular Letter to assist episcopal conferences in developing guidelines for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by clerics”, 3 May 2011. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20110503_abuso-minori_en.html Also at: http://press.catholica.va/news_services/bulletin/news/27423.php?index=27423&po_date=16.05.2011&lang=en#TRADUZIONE  IN LINGUA  INGLESE

34. Laurie Goodstein, “Bishops Won’t Focus on Abuse Policies”, New York Times, 14 June 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/us/15bishops.html

Joann Lovigl, “Judge: Try Philadelphia priests, official together”, Associated Press, 29 July 2011. http://news.yahoo.com/judge-try-philadelphia-priests-official-together-190230474.html

Laurie Goodstein, “Bishop in Missouri Waited Months to Report Priest, Stirring Parishioners’ Rage”, New York Times, 14 August 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/us/15bishop.html

“Missouri: Diocese’s Lawyers Say It Broke Rules”, Associated Press, 1  September 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/us/02brfs-Missouri.html

35. Isla Wallace and Lisa Bunting, “An examination of local, national and international arrangements for the mandatory reporting of child abuse: the implications for Northern Ireland”, Northern Ireland Policy and Research Unit, August 2007, p. 4. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/publications/downloads/mandatoryreportingNI_wdf51133.pdf 

36. Ben Mathews and Maureen C. Kenny, “Mandatory Reporting Legislation in the United States, Canada, and Australia: A Cross-Jurisdictional Review of Key Features, Differences, and Issues”, Child Maltreatment,  February 2008, vol. 13 no. 1, pp. 50-63.  http://cmx.sagepub.com/content/13/1/50.abstract

37. David Clohessy, Director of SNAP, “Ten reasons the Vatican’s new abuse guidelines will change little”, 15 May 2011.
 



Research contributed by Paul W. Stevenson’s report for the National Secular Society,
17 November 2009


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