2014-05-06 16:46:19

Arch. Tomasi answers UN Committee Against Torture

May 6, 2014: The cases of clerical sexual abuse of children are a reality which the Catholic Church wishes never happened, he said, but, "human nature being what it is, they did happen." Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva, made the statement at a May 5-6 hearing of the Committee Against Torture, which monitors the implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. The Vatican delegation led by Archbishop Tomasi was asked about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sexual abuse, punish offenders and cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting the perpetrators. In response, the prelate said "there has been in several documentable areas a stabilization and even a decline in cases" of abuse of minors. "Measures undertaken in the last 10 years on the part both of the Holy See and local churches are bringing about a positive result," he said. In his opening remarks to the committee, Archbishop Tomasi told members that the Holy See, which signed the treaty, has no direct legal and juridical jurisdiction outside Vatican City State. While it hopes to exercise moral influence over all Catholics, "persons who live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law and the consequences contained therein."

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