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Holy See did not violate torture convention, UN committee says
cna ^ | May 23, 2014

Posted on 05/23/2014 2:31:05 PM PDT by NYer

United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/John Isaac.
United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/John Isaac.

Geneva, Switzerland, May 23, 2014 / 01:47 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A U.N. anti-torture committee report has said that the Holy See did not violate the international Convention Against Torture.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the apostolic nuncio leading the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations in Geneva, told Vatican Radio the committee’s observations are “an acknowledgement of the good faith efforts of the Holy See to comply (with) always and to advance the Convention Against Torture.”

The U.N. Committee on the Convention Against Torture released an advanced unedited version of its concluding observations on May 23.

“The committee did not conclude that the Holy See, its officials, and those acting on its behalf, in conjunction with it, or under its direction or control have violated the Convention Against Torture,” the Holy See stressed in a communique.

The Holy See said the observations include many positive findings that show the committee acknowledges “the good faith efforts of the Holy See to comply with the Convention Against Torture, to institute reforms to prevent sexual abuse; and to compensate and facilitate the care and healing of sexual abuse.”

The committee observations cited the Holy See’s “clear condemnation” of the use of torture and noted Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 statement to prison chaplains that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances.”

The U.N. committee acknowledged that the Holy See, Catholic dioceses and religious orders have instituted “important efforts” to prevent sex abuse. It welcomed Pope Francis’ comments on sex abuse on April 11, 2014, when he told the International Catholic Child Bureau: “We will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger.”

The committee said the Holy See should ensure effective monitoring of accused clergy, prevent the transfer of clergy who face credible abuse accusations, and report allegations to civil authorities. It said the Holy See should ensure its officials react properly to credible allegations and should sanction any official who fails to do so.

The extent to which the convention applies to all Catholic clergy was a matter of debate at the hearings on the Holy See.

The U.N. committee report said that signatories to the convention have “international responsibility” for their officials and for “non-state actors” in “any situation in which they exercise jurisdiction or effective control.”

However, Vatican officials have repeatedly stated that there is a distinction between the Holy See and the global Church. International treaties are signed by countries rather than global institutions, they stressed, so while the Church as an institution exercises moral, spiritual and pastoral responsibility over its ministers, the Holy See’s signature on the anti-torture convention in 2002 has as its legal jurisdiction only the Vatican City State.

Critics have accused the U.N. of using the hearing as an opportunity to harass and target the Catholic Church by focusing on sex abuse. They have argued that sex abuse – although a terrible offense – does not meet the definition for “torture” laid out in the convention.

That definition states that torture is “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.”

The United Nations’ Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child held hearings about the Holy See earlier this year. That committee similarly focused on the Catholic sex abuse scandals, but also criticized Catholic teaching on homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

The Holy See communique noted that the anti-torture committee report rejected interpretations of the Church’s stance against abortion as a form of torture. This properly safeguards the freedom of religion and efforts to protect human life, the Holy See said.  

Some members of the anti-torture committee had criticized Catholic opposition to abortion at its hearings in early May. One committee vice-chair, the American Felice Gaer, told the Holy See delegation that the committee has found that criminalizing abortion in all circumstances can violate the convention against torture.

The Holy See communique reiterated support for the Convention Against Torture. It voiced willingness to enact measures to prevent “any cruel and inhuman behavior” and to continue to support all victims.

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: un; vatican

1 posted on 05/23/2014 2:31:05 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...


2 posted on 05/23/2014 2:31:21 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

3 posted on 05/23/2014 2:39:04 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: NYer

Where’s the UN on this? In fact, where is Amb. Susan Rice?

This is barbaric! A pregnant woman held in shackles and sentenced to death.

This is torture and injustice but it is ISLAM so I doubt the feckless in our government and around the world will touch it.

The worst aspect is the child is an American citizen. The father is a US citizen. Some illegal sneaking over the border will be given more regard by our government than a bona fide citizen who desperately needs help.

4 posted on 05/23/2014 2:46:18 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: NYer
Water is not a metal, UN committee says

Coal is not a vegetable, UN committee says

5 posted on 05/23/2014 3:10:11 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: NYer

Sex abuse is a disgusting crime, but it is not “torture,” except in the rarest and most violent cases.

6 posted on 05/23/2014 3:35:51 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: NYer

But does Planned Parenthood endorse torture of babies and their mothers?

7 posted on 05/23/2014 5:50:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: colorado tanker

Sex abuse has never been a policy of the Catholic Church, and while some liberal leftist members may have done this, the Church has been much more effective in catching up with them than the UN has been in catching up with its African and ME and some European “peacekeepers,” with whom gang rape of the surrounding population of both sexes and theft of female children seems to have been the norm. And this is with no follow up, prosecution or even routine apology on the part of the IN.

8 posted on 05/24/2014 4:04:06 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Sorry, that would be UN, not IN!

9 posted on 05/24/2014 4:04:41 PM PDT by livius
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