Wikimedia Commons

Vatican warns UN against misinterpreting international law, human rights

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • September 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican formally criticized a UN committee's "grave misunderstanding" of state sovereignty and reiterated its concerns over "controversial new expressions" that threaten the unborn and religious freedom.

By insisting the Holy See should enforce the compliance of Catholics all over the world with international treaties signed by the Vatican, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child "offers a controversial new approach to 'jurisdiction,' which clearly contradicts the general understanding of this concept of international law."

"The Holy See, in accordance with the rules of international law, is aware that attempting to implement the C.R.C. (Convention on the Rights of the Child) in the territory of other states could constitute a violation of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of states," the Vatican said in a formal written response to the UN committee.

The Vatican published its official response to the UN's committee on children's rights Sept. 26 on its web site.

On Feb. 5, the UN committee released its "concluding observations" and concerns as part of its ongoing process of monitoring states parties' adherence to the treaty; the Vatican ratified the children's rights treaty in 1990, making it one of the first countries to do so. The six-page response reiterated the same concerns Vatican representatives expressed during an all-day testimony Jan. 16 before committee members in Geneva and concerns Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, articulated Feb. 7 after the committee published its observations.

One of the committee's major criticisms was that the Holy See and the Pope, as head of the Church, can and should order Catholic dioceses and religious orders around the world to implement all the policies of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which includes provisions against the sexual abuse of minors.

The Vatican always has insisted that Church law requires bishops and religious superiors to obey local laws on reporting suspected crimes.

In its Sept. 26 comments, the Vatican wrote that the obligations stipulated in the UN conventions it signs apply only to territory of Vatican City State, Vatican citizens and "where appropriate, the diplomatic personnel of the Holy See or its officials residing outside the territory of Vatican City State."

In fact, the Vatican put a laicized papal ambassador, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, under house arrest Sept. 23 as he awaits a criminal trial for the sexual abuse of minors while serving as nuncio in the Dominican Republic.

In its written comments to the UN committee, the Vatican said, "The Holy See does not ratify a treaty on behalf of every Catholic in the world, and therefore, does not have obligations to 'implement' the convention within the territories of other states parties on behalf of Catholics," who are and should be subject to the national laws of the countries they find themselves in.

"Attempting to implement the C.R.C. in the territory of other states could constitute a violation of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of states," it said.

The Vatican said all states parties should be concerned with "the grave implications of this erroneous approach" by the committee, which is suggesting parties must be committed to implementing the treaty through all its individuals and institutions living and operating around the world.

Other concerns the Vatican had with the committee's "concluding observations," include "controversial new expressions not contained in the convention and related principles, which contradict the ordinary meaning of the words in the text." It said it is "completely unacceptable" that the committee advocate for abortion when the convention's original language says children require legal protection "before as well as after birth," have a right to life and should receive "prenatal and postnatal health care."

The Vatican disagreed with the committee's observations that "subjective lifestyle choices and attractions" should be promoted as "a matter of 'rights.' ”

By insisting the Church change its teachings, reinterpret Scripture and amend canonical laws to reflect current trends, the committee is infringing on "matters protected by the right to freedom of religion," the Vatican said.

Saying the Church's position on certain issues justifies discrimination is applying the important principle of nondiscrimination "in an unprincipled way, namely as a sword against religious freedom," it said.

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Part 1
Vatican still fails.
In May 2012 the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) said in its child protection guidelines that under Articles 2.1 and 4.4 of this concordat its priests have no obligation to report suspected abuse to the police. See...

Part 1
Vatican still fails.
In May 2012 the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) said in its child protection guidelines that under Articles 2.1 and 4.4 of this concordat its priests have no obligation to report suspected abuse to the police. See part 2 next for details

Read More
catechist101
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Part 2
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?org_id=878&;kb_header_id=39221
Vatican denies obligation to uphold children's rights in the Church (2013) see: http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?kb_header_id=45141

catechist101
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.