World Bulletin/News Desk
Barbara Blaine, President of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked the Vatican to reveal the names and whereabouts of predator priests following on from the Holy See's disclosure of defrocked priests on Tuesday.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) are investigating the report by the Papacy to determine if it is in compliance with the Convention Against Torture. The report published that 848 priests were defrocked and another 2,572 were given lesser sanctions for sexual abuse of children over the last decade.
Blaine told the Anadolu Agency that "we don’t know if the numbers are complete and we have no way of knowing unless the Vatican opens its files on sex crimes and turns them over to the police."
She explained that knowing the quantity of abuses will not help protect children, but she said that what would be far more helpful would be if the Vatican gives the names and whereabouts of the predator priests so that parents are able to keep the children away from them.
"No concrete action" by Vatican
"Church officials continue to split hairs and dodge questions. We did not hear about any concrete action being taken that will protect children. We were hoping for a clear statement from Pope Francis that predators are not allowed in the priesthood," Blaine said.
She said that there is an air of secrecy surrounding the Holy See's policies in dealing with these issues. "Archbishop Silvano Tomasi pointed out that there are now policies in place in dioceses across the globe but we have not heard any information on who has been punished for violating church policies, in the past, present or future."
On Tuesday, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, revealed the figures for the first time, and said a total of 3,400 incidents of abuse have been recorded since 2004, 401 of which were reported in 2013.
Tomasi said priests who were found to have committed lesser abuses were nonetheless placed in positions where they would not have any contact with children.
"Since there is no mechanism to ensure the policies are followed they are ineffective and fail to keep children safe," said Blaine, adding that she asks for bishops who enable and transfer predator priests to be punished and fired claiming that this action would protect children.
Blaine explained that the committee are looking into whether the recent revelations by the Holy See of abuses are in violation of CAT and will release its final observations on May 23. "The evidence submitted looks that way but it is the committee who must judge."
Vatican "dodges responsibility"
Blaine, commenting on The Holy See's argument that its obligation to enforce the CAT stops at the boundaries of the Vatican City, said "This appears to be an effort to dodge responsibility. Vatican officials hold the authority, they have the resources and the opportunity to protect children but they refuse to do so."
"Everyone knows that the Pope and the Vatican hold authority over every bishop and priest in the world. For them to claim something else is disingenuous. What is lacking is courage and action, not authority," said Blaine.
In February, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child urged the Holy See to ensure the immediate removal of all priests suspected of being connected with child abuse and other crimes against children. The Vatican told the UN committee that the Catholic Church needs to "clean its house" and repair the damage done by priests carrying out child abuse.Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2014, 12:25