No hiding place says UN
A Report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
has heavily criticised the Catholic Church for their failure to deal with allegations of child abuse by priests
The report called on the Church to 'immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers' from their posts in the Church, and to hand over cases to law enforcement
authorities in the countries concerned.
The report also calls for the Vatican to ensure that all cases of child sex abuse and the way in which they have been handled by the Catholic hierarchy are investigated independently
. The Vatican must establish 'clear rules, mechanisms and procedures' for the reporting of all suspected cases of abuse
, the report said.
The Committee said it was very concerned that in dealing with allegations of child sex abuse 'the Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the Church
and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interest'
The Church is now under pressure to deal with allegations of child abuse effectively and appropriately. All too often, claims of abuse have merely led to the priest or bishop quietly being 'moved on'
, thereby free to continue to abuse others rather than facing the full force of the law.
Helen Stanton of Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors said: "There is evidence that abuse exists at all levels of the Church and is continuing. All too often abusers have been quietly moved aside and left free to continue
"Victims of their abuse have been ignored by the Church. There seems to be hope that international pressure brought by UNHCR
will lead to a change in the Churches method of handling this."