UN Report Slams Vatican over Handling of Clergy Sex Abuse

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In a highly critical new report, a United Nations panel accused the Vatican of systematically putting protection of the church’s reputation above the welfare of children who were sexually abused by priests. The nonbinding report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the Vatican to immediately remove all known or suspected abusers and turn them over to civil authorities. It also urged accountability for those who covered up the crimes. In response, church officials said the report ignored recent measures to address the abuse crisis. They also rejected the panel’s criticism of Church positions on other issues, including abortion, birth control, and homosexuality.

Watch our conversation about the UN report with Rev. Thomas Reese, an expert on the Vatican and a senior analyst at the National Catholic Reporter.