Vatican promises report following pressure from NSS Executive Director
The Vatican has at last given an indication that it will submit a report to the United Nations this autumn on its treatment of children.
The “Holy See’s” envoy inGeneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said on Monday “From what I’m able to say it’s that (in) September or October it will be presented.”
The Holy See has been challenged on two occasions at the United Nations Human Rights Council by NSS Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood about its failure to produce the report. Now his goading appears to have paid off – even though the report is 14 years overdue and has been promised before and not materialised.
The report was originally due to be submitted to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1997, but failed to appear year after year without explanation. Under pressure from Keith — acting as a spokesperson for the International Humanist and Ethical Union — Tomasi said last year that the report’s release was imminent. But he arrogantly told reporters inGenevaon Monday that “imminent, in the tradition of the Church, it’s a very long time.”
Human rights groups have urged theVaticanto explain in the report its role in the cover-up of child abuse committed by Catholic clergy.
Keith commented: “The first time I made this challenge to the Holy See inGeneva, they issued a rebuttal trying to shift the blame on to others. It was an almost unbelievably callous response which caused an international controversy. On the second occasion Signor Tomasi wisely kept silent, but it is clear that our insistence that they produce this report is making them explain themselves, something theVaticanis not used to doing. Of course, we have yet to see the report, but if it doesn’t arrive by October, we will once more want to know why.”
Mr Porteous Wood said he hoped theVaticanwould be honest about its failings in the protection of children from abuse by its priests. “However, having seen other documents on this matter from theVatican, I suspect that they’ll manage not to even mention their own role in a massive international cover up.”
UNHRC, 15 March 2011
UNHRC, March 16 2010
UNHRC, 22 September 2009