The UN watchdog for children’s rights denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to abuse thousands of children.
The UN has said that the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.
In a report, it also criticized Vatican attitudes towards homos**uality, contraception and abortion.
The Vatican responded by saying it would examine the report – but also accused its authors of interference.
A group representing the victims of abuse by priests in the US welcomed the report.
In its findings, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the Holy See should open its files on members of the clergy who had “concealed their crimes” so that they could be held accountable by the authorities.
It said it was gravely concerned that the Holy See had not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, and expressed its “deepest concern about child sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic churches who operate under the authority of the Holy See, with clerics having been involved in the s**ual abuse of tens of thousands of children worldwide”.
It also lambasted the “practice of offenders’ mobility”, referring to the transfer of child abusers from parish to parish within countries, and sometimes abroad.
The UN report called on a Vatican commission created by Pope Francis in December to investigate all cases of child abuse “as well as the conduct of the Catholic hierarchy in dealing with them”.
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