The U.N. Assault on the Catholic Church
A high-profile sex-abuse report is an attempt to bully the church into bowing before the altar of Turtle Bay.
by Claudia Rosett, WSJ, Feb. 9, 2014
In the name of protecting children,the United Nations is now preaching to the Vatican. A report on the Holy See—released by a U.N. committee last week to much media fanfare—alleged that tens of thousands of children have been abused by Catholic clerics, and that the Vatican has helped cover it up.
The committee strongly urged the Vatican: “Ensure a transparent sharing of all archives which can be used to hold the abusers accountable as well as those who concealed their crimes and knowingly placed offenders in contact with children.”
That’s rich coming from the U.N., which has still not solved its own festering problems of peacekeeper sex abuse, including the rape of minors. Exposing abusers and holding them to account is a great idea. The Vatican has spent years addressing the scandal of its own past handling of such cases. But the U.N. hardly engages in the transparency it is now promoting.
The U.N. releases only generic statistics on violations committed by personnel working under its flag. The U.N. doesn’t share with the public such basic information as the names of the accused or the details of what they did to people the U.N. dispatched them to protect. Blue berets accused of sex crimes are simply sent back to their home countries, where in the majority of cases they drop off the radar.
Though the U.N. has been recording a drop in sex-abuse cases since it began releasing numbers in 2007, the number of alleged instances of rape and exploitation each year still runs into the dozens. (This may understate the realities, given the hurdles to victims coming forward, often in societies in tumult or at war.) From 2007-13, the U.N. reported more than 600 allegations of rape or sexual exploitation, with 354 substantiated—many of them involving minors. The numbers do not convey how ugly some of these cases get….
…In such matters as sex abuse, it is reasonable to hold the Vatican, or any other organization, to standards higher than the low bar the U.N. sets for itself. But hypocrisy is just one of the problems with this 16-page report on the Holy See…