Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The wrong rebuke

The recent report by the U.N Committee on the Rights of the Child drew this response in a post by B.C. in the Erasmus blog at The Economist.
"There are no words strong enough to denounce the abuse and exploitation of children, and many will commend the report for adding its voice to the worldwide indignation over this ghastly phenomenon. But I do not think this report does justice, in any sense, to the subject. It is a rather sloppy document from a little-known bureaucratic agency. In its 16 pages, it leaps from matters over which there is total international consensus (the unacceptability of physically and sexually abusing children) to matters on which there is no such consensus among the world's countries and cultures, such as the appropriate nature of sexual or reproductive education for children. [see, e.g., page 13]"
Earlier B.C. also noted the report talks about changes to Church teaching on homosexuality [page 5] and abortion [page 12]. He concludes.
"Whatever the appropriate answer may be to the giant moral issue posed by child abuse in the Catholic church, this report is surely not it. Perhaps a committee of really eminent persons should be invited to probe the subject deeply, and stick to the subject."
Update: The Washington Post headlines its story U.N. panel blasts Vatican handling of clergy sex abuse, church teachings on gays, abortion.

Here's John Allen's first column for The Boston Globe, UN report on Vatican and sex abuse may hurt reform cause.

"The range of the report appeared to infuriate the Vatican, which last month sent two top officials to appear before the U.N. panel in Geneva for the first public accounting of the Holy See’s handling of abuse allegations. Officials said they are still studying the findings, but responded angrily to what they described as recommendations that are ideologically biased. They said the United Nations has no right to weigh in on church teachings."

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